I have finally gotten back to posting my blogs from the Support Group Leader Summit. Honestly, so much exciting stuff is going on at the IMF, it is hard to keep up. Right now I am at the LA Patient & Family Seminar!
Anyway, back to the Summit. Saturday was BIG. In the morning, Susie started
the day with a HUGE surprise. In a very dramatic ceremony--lowered lights,
musical fanfare, people rushing into the room with tables loaded with white
boxes--she announced that the IMF, thanks to funding by Celgene, Millennium,
Onyx, and Sanofi, was giving each of the support groups an iPad fully loaded
with all the materials support group leaders need to more effectively do their
The room exploded with excitement! Paula van Riper declared she felt as though she was on Oprah. Modenia Black's computer had just died. She didn't know how she was going to replace it, and she was presented with an iPad to help with communication with her group. The reaction around the room was WOW, WOW, WOW!
One necessary part of business took place next, and that was having the leaders sign an agreement that, in summary, indicated that the iPads belong to the group, and if the leader steps down it is passed on to the new leader and if the group closes up shop they must return the iPad to the IMF.
The Support Group Team knew you couldn't give someone such an exciting gadget and expect them to sit there and ignore it, so Robin had scheduled an iPad lesson run by Kelly Cox, Thomas Shin, the IMF's tech support guru, and a guy from Apple (who we really didn't need because Kelly and Thomas did a way better job of explaining how to use it).
Also helping the leaders learn how to use their iPads were the Support Group leaders who--while keeping the big surprise a secret--had beta-tested the iPads.** They stood up to be acknowledged, then got down to helping others learn how to navigate the special features Thomas had loaded onto each iPad. As I looked around the room I also saw some of the pharma sponsors helping the leaders learn the basics! They spent the next couple of hours learning how to use their new tools.
I don't have anything to write about other than feeling the general sense of wonder and delight in the room, so I will show you how it looked:
**Many, many thanks to the following Beta-Testers for their generous spirits:
- Jack Aiello - San Francisco, CA
- Hunter & Dianna Chiles - Jacksonville, FL
- Gail Young - Boca Raton, FL
- Jim Barth - Tampa/St. Pete, FL
- Yelak Biru - Dallas, TX
- Joanna Jones - San Diego, CA
- Cindy Ralston, Kansas City, MO
- Nancy Bruno - Atlanta, GA
- Barbara Marx - Richmond, VA
- Linda & Jack Huguelet - Chattanooga, TN
- Cindy Chmielewski, Philly, PA
- Jerry Walton - Norfolk, VA