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Nate and Melanie Hanson hosted the 2010 1p36 Deletion Support & Awareness Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Familes were once again able to share and connnect with each other as well as hear from informative speakers and enjoy fun family activities together.

Speakers spoke on a variety of topics including adaptive communication devices and listening therapy.  Plus, we were once again thrilled to have Dr. Lisa Shaffer of Signature Genomics attend and speak to families about 1p36 Deletion Syndrome.  Dr. Shaffer has been a great asset to our newly formed organization, volunteering her time and expertise to help support 1p36 familes. We are so thankful for her continued support.

Families were treated to a very special talk and preformance from the dynamic and talented Rachel Coleman, creator of Signing Time.  Rachel shared her experience and inspiration as a special needs mom herself.  Then she sang some favorite Signing Time songs, getting the audience to join in.  It was clear that many of the parents and children were very familiar with the music and didn't need much coaxing or coaching!

Beau Culvahouse, father to Kaylee, a beautiful little girl with 1p36 Deletion Syndrome, presented a slideshow of pictures from the 1p36 DSA Dodgeball Fundraiser that he and his wife Sherry organized earlier in July. They raised over $6,500 for the organization and had some amazing fun doing it.  Thanks Culvahouse Family! 

Another very special speaker got probably the biggest round of applause ever from conference attendees and she was Callie Hoots.  Calllie is a fabulous young woman with 1p36 Deletion Syndrome who has attended almost every conference.  She lights up every room she enters and is never without a smile or friendly word for all her 1p36 friends.  Callie read a speech she wrote for People First on the use of the "R" word. She spoke eloquently and from the heart as she always does.  Well done Callie!

Conference attendees spent all kinds of fun together in the afternoons. Before the official start of the conference a group of families had a great excursion to the zoo. Then, Friday afternoon a big group went to play in the Olympic Fountain for a cool refreshing break. And Saturday afternoon, the kids all played at the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum.

It was a wonderful conference weekend where, once again, it made all the difference in the world for the families who attended.  They could connect with each other and share easily and openly about the struggles and the joys of caring for someone with 1p36 Deletion Syndrome.  Thank you to all the folks that worked so hard to bring it together and to all the families that came.