The 2016 Chromosome 18 Conference: The Starfish Gala

July 14 2016:

Here are some beautiful people I’m deliriously in love with!!! I am incredibly blessed and thrilled we got to meet face to face and have so many chats Heidi Hulspas!!!!! And please tell Sahara that I will never forget the hugs she shared with me!!!!

So happy to see you Marianna Kuortti!!! Thank you for being you! xoxo …. Plus, a picture of the great schedule for the conference!!

Farewell dance and dinner … The Starfish Gala … Lillian Darnell and some of her friends. Lillian loves her friend Katie and loves staying in touch with Rebecca Parker all throughout the year.

Lillian has a speech impediment and struggles with articulation. Guess what? When one texts, blogs, post on Facebook and Instagram, emails, chats on Facebook, or uses skype; the spoken word is not needed.

In our world of verbal communication difficulties, social media has helped create a world that would not exist for Lillian and one where she has true friends. She has no local friends, yet she has friends all over the United States and the world … As far away as Tasmania, Australia.

Thomas as well. Thomas is unique in his own way and by way of having Lillian as a sibling. He gets to share with other siblings and gets to be mentored by older siblings who have traveled his path. These people are his friends too and every year their friendships deepen. He gets to be amongst others who have long ago released judgments of others. xoxox

Why the Starfish for the Chromosome 18 symbol? This …

The Starfish Story

A young man is walking along the ocean and
sees a beach on which thousands and thousands
of starfish have washed ashore. Further along
he sees an old man, walking slowly and
stooping often, picking up one starfish after
another and tossing each one gently into the

“Why are you throwing starfish into the
ocean?,” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out
and if I don’t throw them further in they will

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles
and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even
save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you
work all day, your efforts won’t make any
difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent
down to pick up another starfish and threw it
into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”

Thanks Missy Baker, Marie McGing, Nora Schaefer, Heidi Hulspus, and Natalie Abreuhorne for sharing your pictures with me!!

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