The 5p- Society holds a yearly conference for parents, family and providers of children with Cri Du Chat Syndrome. It really is a magnificent event.
Sophie was 18 months old when we attended our first conference in July of 2010. We almost did not make it to the conference due to some financial complications that arose at the last-minute but we were very lucky to have been given a helping hand that made it happen for us. My husband expected to feel out-of-place and was very hesitant with the whole idea of attending the conference but by the end of the first day my husband was already looking forward to future conferences.
It was so comforting to be surrounded by so many families who understood what your daily life is like without having to explain. We experienced an entire weekend where you felt that your family is normal without questions or stares. We could celebrate our children’s accomplishments with people who can appreciate the smallest of milestones and had the opportunity to meet in person all the friends who are a part of your daily life on facebook. To be able to talk openly about your fears and trials and not feel like you’re an outcast is priceless. The opportunity to forget for just a bit that you live in a different light and not feel the pressures and paranoia most of us experience on a daily basis. It was a wonderful experience for us all, my children absolutely loved it. Although circumstances have not allowed for us to attend the last two conferences we hope to be there for the 2013 conference.
My CDCS families are very important to me, they are my extended family and are always there for me. I have tried my best to offer the same support that I have received and more whether it be by staying involved, sending messages of encouragement, answering questions or sharing my daughters and mine struggles and triumphs or helping out in the Cafepress 5p- Shop. Being a part of this extended family is and will always be a big part of my life.
My best friend Jacqui who was at the conference this year called me while at the banquet having a blast to tell me I had been chosen as “Parent of the Year”. I had no clue I had even been nominated. A humbling feeling of appreciation overwhelmed me and I cried tears of joy. I feel honored that so many people thought of me and while I was not physically there I really felt like I had been. It’s such a rewarding feeling to be appreciated for helping others. I hope that I can serve as an example that no matter how difficult life can be there is always room to find if even but a brief moment to help another.
Being selected parent of the year is an honor I will hold dear to my heart and just makes me love my special families so much more. I am here for them just as they are always there for me.
A big thanks to the 5p- Society and my special families for being such a wonderful part of my life!!!!!