Confederation of Meningitis Organisation Conference - Paris, France

CoMO Conference  Paris, France

Well, I realize it's been a while since we've posted but needless to say we've been quite busy.  Although there is so much so say it will be all in due time.  What I will do is start with the CoMO Conference in Paris, France and I will work backwards - one post at a time.  So as The JAMIE Group is a member of CoMO and I am the Regional Directors of the Americas we are fortunate to attend this wonderful conference in Paris.  For reference my  Americas Region include Canada - U.S. - Mexico - Central America - South America - Brazil.  It's quite a region but Meningitis is quite an issue all over the world.  The conference included  CoMO members from around the world - 41 representatives from 23 Meningitis organisation and 17 countries from around the world attended making this the biggest conference yet.  The conference is an opportunity to come together to share experiences and ideas,  discuss current situation of Meningitis globally and to gain new skills that will help us raise awareness in our own countries.

We learned a lot and met a lot of wonderful people - it was a learned experience.  The conference gave Jamie and I a chance to meet meningitis survivor and families who have lost loved ones to this horrible vaccine preventable disease.  It was also wonderful to meet Doctors and Scientist who share our hope to protect our loved ones.  The 3 day conference gave us an opportunity to understand this disease more and to learn of the issue other countries have.  It was very upsetting to know the effects of this disease in other countries.  But the conference also ignited another fire inside of us and to understand that there is still so much to do.  When you have an opportunity visit the JAMIE Group facebook page  to see all the incredible people we met and all the fun time we had.

Speaking of fun times we couldn't be in Paris, France - yes I said PARIS, FRANCE without extending our stay and so we did.  And by the way we had our own French speaking Private Tour guide - Roni Schanbaum.  And did I mention Roni's roommate Courtney was able to join us.   Just before Jamie got sick Roni was a student in Paris and so now was our opportunity to see what that was all about.  Well we went and did it all - riding on the Metro was an adventure and of course the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Lourve, Sacre-Coeur, The Musee dOrsay, a night ride on the Seine, we saw a show at Moulin Rouge and more and more. Jamie even had an chance to celebrate her 23rd birthday in Paris and of course Roni really got to help her celebrate and to show her the night life of Paris.  Yes there are lots and lots of pictures -  just none of Moulin Rouge - HA!

Well we made it back safely and believe when I say there is nothing like home - the good old USA!!  Jamie of course will agree with that comment.  Today as I write this message our bags are packed ready to take us off to another adventure.  Wait till you hear this - my beautiful, incredibly awesome Jamie is participating in the Challenged Athletes Foundation - San Diego Triathlon.  This will be a relay event and Jamie will be taking care of the cycling part of the relay.  Jamie will be riding 44 miles - unbelievable.  Unbelievable considering that less than 3 years ago Jamie was stricken with Meningitis and less than 3 years ago Jamie lost both legs (below the knees) and all her fingers were amputated because of this horrible vaccine preventable disease.

This adventure never ceases to amaze me and I hope you will be back on board and stay tuned for the incredible journey we've been on and on the adventure we are yet to tackle.  Just a brief summary of what is to come.  I will tell you all about the new law - The Jamie Schanbaum - Nicolis Williams Act and all the opportunities we have to spread awareness, to educate, to inform and to advocate.  We will also tell you of the Gold Medal Jamie won in cycling during the U.S. National Championship in Augusta, Georgia.  This opportunity has lead to the U.S. Paralympics announcing that Jamie is on the roster of 16 cycling athletes (8 men - 8 women) who will compete in the 2011 Parapan Games in Guadalajara, Mexico Nov 12-20.  USA - USA!!  BUT there is more and more to come.

Thanks to all who have supported  Jamie and the Schanbaum Family