Wow! What a great Family Conference!  If you attended, what was your favorite part?  Mine was spending time with all of you, the families.  It was gratifying to see all of the families and kiddos hanging out, having fun and sharing tips and stories.  The conference was full of good times, with lots of laughter, some tears, but definitely lots of love with our NFED family.

Kelley Atchison and Amy Rush
Whew! Getting set up is serious business. They look pretty intense, huh? Pictured are staffers, Kelley Atchison and Amy Rush.

It is really hard to say what the best part of the conference was.  We started with the XLHED Women’s Forum on Wednesday.  Women affected with XLHED had the opportunity to talk together and to learn about genetics, family histories and EDI200.  It was a very emotional and impactful workshop and I was happy to be part of it.

Group of Women at XLHED Women's Forum
Our wonderful group who participated in the XLHED Women’s Forum.

How about our Liaisons? They did quite a job with the pep rally, performing their cheer and organizing the Minute to Win It games. Go Liaisons!  The best part was seeing Jack Kriz as a cheerleader in a skirt.  What a hoot.  Go Jack!

Our liaison cheerleaders.

We started Thursday with words of wisdom from our founder, Mary Kaye Richter. For those of you who know Mary Kaye, you know that she never is at a loss for words.  She made us laugh. She made us cry. She made us think. We love you, Mary Kaye! Xo

Mary K. Richter
Mary K. Richter

And, of course, it was fun meeting new friends and seeing returning friends.  This is my favorite part: just hanging out and getting to know you and your children.

Mary Fete and her friend.
Making friends at Kays’ Kids Camp
Emma, I thought you were going to call me?
Emma, I thought you were going to call me?
Mary Fete with two girls
These twins had lots of energy!


See Terri. You made our Wall of Fame!  Everyone makes the NFED Picture Wall of Fame. (With Terri is Kelley Atchison.)
See Terri. You made our Wall of Fame!     Everyone makes the NFED Picture Wall of Fame!
Cory the Intern Jonak, Lea Richardson, Amy Rush and Ally Kelso
Norma MacDonald
Norma MacDonald and Jodi Edgar Reinhardt

All of the work it took to plan the Ohio event was worth it when I watched the kids make new friends, laugh and play games in Kays’ Kids Camp. It simply filled my heart with such happiness to see all of the energy and laughter in those rooms.

kids camp 2
The children enjoyed learning about animals from the Columbus Zoo.
kids camp
The magician was a big hit at Kays’ Kids Camp.

The teens stayed busy and out of trouble for the most part.  They had a field trip every day. They visited a museum, an arcade and ice cream parlor.

Ice cream is always a big hit with teenagers!

There were lots of times to socialize and to learn all about ectodermal dysplasias and treatment options.  And let’s not forget about the dental exams!  Our wonderful dentists conducted 92 exams in a few short hours! It was crazy, but we had quite an efficient crew.  Families truly value this opportunity to have a free evaluation from a dentist who is an expert in ectodermal dysplasia.

Dr. Frank Farrington discusses dental options for Erin with mom, Shannon Brown.

The kiddos – little and big – enjoyed dropping their tickets into the bags at the Chance Auction. It was a fun way to help raise some funds to offset Conference expenses.

chance auction
We raised more than $1,600 with our Chance Auction. Thank you families for donating items and participating!

And, how about all of that NFED talent? We had more than 30 acts sing, tell jokes, play the piano and dance. It’s always a highlight of the Conference, and this year was no different.

Songs from the movie, Frozen, were a big hit this year at NFED’s Got Talent.

Coming back from the Family Conference and catching up with emails and things left undone is always quite a challenge. We’re all physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. But, the days at the conference were amazing and that positive energy stays with us throughout the year. The staff is ready to work with you to accomplish great things.

On behalf of the entire staff of the NFED, I thank the families who attended for sharing four extraordinary days with us in Ohio last month at Homecoming 2014. Plans are already underway for next year’s Conference in Colorado Springs, July 23-25.  Join us in the Rocky Mountains as it is going to be another phenomenal conference.

How could we have more fun?  Wait until Colorado!

Call us; we would love to hear from you.  Lots of hugs and love to you and your families.

NFED Staff
NFED Staff
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2 comments on “A Gratifying Homecoming”

  1. 1
    Ginna on August 22, 2014

    oh I miss you guys!!!!!!!

  2. 2
    Thoughts from the International Conference on Ectodermal Dysplasias | National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias on July 3, 2015

    […] A Gratifying Homecoming […]

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