A big thank you to all those who attended and presented at our Annual Alpha-1 Conference 2012 which took place last Friday 19th October at Marino Institute of Education on Griffith Avenue in Dublin 9. This annual conference is an opportunity for Alpha-1 individuals and family members to come together, listen to some interesting presentations, and share their experiences in a relaxed setting.
Over 40 Alphas and their families attended the meeting this year from far and wide and the morning session saw presentations on a range of topics that were of interest to an Alpha-1 audience. The Alpha One Foundation was honoured to have Dr. Ronnie Delany, Olympic gold medallist at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne to open our meeting. Ronnie spoke eloquently about the benefits of physical exercise and his role with the recent “Love Your Lungs” campaign which aims to highlight the importance of lung health.
Other morning speakers included Professor Gerry McElvaney, Respiratory Consultant who chaired a lively Q&A session, psychologist Dr. Frank Doyle who spoke about stress and physical activity, Eibhlín Mulroe, CEO of the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI) who discussed the rare disease landscape in Ireland, Miriam Gunning, Senior Health Promotion Officer for Tobacco in the HSE who outlined the latest smoking cessation policy initiatives, and Dr. David Bergin, an RCSI scientist who spoke about current research projects in Alpha-1 at Beaumont Hospital.
For the afternoon session we were delighted to have Michelle O’Brien, a physiotherapist from St. Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire. Michelle co-ordinates the pulmonary rehabilitation programme in St. Michael’s and gave an informative talk on the benefits of participating in such programmes, followed by a gentle workout with an enthusiastic audience. Finally, a special thank you must go to the Alpha-1 Support Group who presented the Alpha One Foundation with a cheque for the purchase of a new freezer from Asistec. This freezer will be used to store the many blood samples received every week from around the country for Alpha-1 testing by the Alpha One Foundation in RCSI Beaumont.
We hope that those who attended enjoyed the many presentations and if you would like additional information on any aspect of this year’s meeting you can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01-8093871.