#HealtheVoices15 First Conference a Huge Success


Multiple Sclerosis Was Represented At Conference

Janssen Pharmaceutical presented the first of hopefully many first Bloggers Conference in New Jersey City April 17-19th. The name was called HealtheVoices15 and in my opinion, met all my expectations and more. Before I go on I must post a disclaimer: Janssen paid for all my travel and lodging for this conference. This does not affect what I have to say about the outcome though.

Over 60 bloggers attended this summit representing several different diseases; these people are voices and activists for their own health issues. Multiple Sclerosis had two different representatives. What impressed me was that Janssen does not make medication to treat MS yet that made zero difference in their invitations to attend.  They spared no expense to provide us an excellent location, lodging, food, and top notch speakers to assist us with information that all of us who speak out for our own disease need. These speakers and bloggers traveled all over the US to attend, so many different States were represented as well. This is the first conference that I have attended which didn’t focus on a specific disease such as MS, so it was extremely interesting to be able to mingle and learn from attendees information about what they are living with each day and why they are speaking out. We were all provided tools hopefully to help improve our communications with our followers.

Janssen went beyond my expectation to provide all of our needs such as bringing in comfortable chairs for those of us who were having trouble sitting in straight back chairs, providing ice/heat packs to those in need, and searching for what else would provide comfort to each who were there. A relaxation room was open for anyone who needed a break from the conference. The first night they hosted a gathering prior to the first meal for mingling and meeting everyone, which included a game of a type of bingo which encouraged you to reach out to others to learn specific information about them in order to play. This was fantastic because it provided meeting new people easier along with being fun; I really enjoyed this and plan on using this concept with future events. It was never about pushing their products but assisting us to make our experience writing/blogging a success, and that meant a lot to me. I was able to attend with my son, Josh Robbins, #imstilljosh, who blogs and is a large activist for HIV. Josh was involved in the planning of this conference; in fact this was a dream of his for a conference like this to be offered. I am extremely proud of him and of his dream which brought so many fantastic people together under one roof.

I just want to thank everyone and give a big two thumbs up to all who put in so much time planning this event and Janssen for funding and inviting me to this wonderful conference. I left extremely satisfied and excited to step up my blogging experience with living with Multiple Sclerosis. Hopefully this will be the first of many conferences for HealtheVoices, and I wish you much success.

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.