Thursday, April 26, 2007

Scenes from the Ontario CLL Conference

Larry and I first heard about the Ontario CLL conference in the deep of winter and immediately decided to attend. It was to be the first patient-run meeting on CLL. The conference was the brain-child of Deb Baker who was joined in the effort by Elizabeth Locatelo; they gathered friends and cohorts into working groups, solicited funding and support; successfully approached world-class physicians and researchers in the field of blood malignancies; and negotiated space in a five-star hotel/spa and conference center.

And they were on.....and running.

Deb Baker told me that she was dreaming in black & white
but that Elizabeth Locatello was dreaming in full color!
When opening day of the conference came, there were over 250 participants registered. The meetings were chaired by Dr. Ronan Foley and international presenters included: Dr. John Byrd, OSU/Columbus, Ohio; Dr. Terry Hamblin, England; Dr. Susan Leclair, UMASS Medical School/Dartmouth. In addition, prominent medical professionals from the Canadian scene were there including: Dr. Graeham Fraser, Dr. Sagar.

These lovelies await the traveler as s/he enters the White Oaks. There are four of them each one representing a season. At night pillars of candle light flicker in tall glass vessels around them.

The White Oaks Resort is elegant & luxurious.
The conference meeting space was more than comfortable. Hotel staff were attentive. The facility sported squash courts, tennis courts, fitness rooms, a pool and a full-service spa, as well as a four-star dining room. Surprisingly, there are statuary, interesting pieces of art and some exceptional pieces of art-furniture here and there.

Yes. These really are chairs. With matching glass tables. Positioned in front of mirrored walls and scattered on landings throughout the hotel.

But more than gaining knowledge and acquiring state-of-the-art information on CLL research and clinical trials was the opportunity to feel part of feel less share the 'dragon' with others who alos live in its grip.

I have been home from Canada for five days. I returned very tired and just didn't have the energy to get these images ready and my thoughts in order. I have yet to begin the task of re-reading the material I took from the conference. That is next on my agenda.

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