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As I sit here on train to Mineola Station I know one thing for sure: I am confident . Confident of the condition I was born with, the limits I posses, and the boundaries I can break.  Outside the window to my right passes scrawny trees and packed cities. This sight is nothing compared to Mount Rainier, WA, the first convention I attended. At that time i was anything but confident. It was a year after I learned of my condition and I was lost. Unlike some, I experienced an episode, and as a result I had to give up playing competitive sports. In other words I was very restricted.  That first convention I attended truly changed my life. I learned I was not alone. Which sounds silly when I type it out, but it was comforting to know that there are others out there who have my condition, and there are individuals out there striving for a change. At each conference I attended thereafter I learned how my condition differed from case to case, the different approach every individual doctor took with his/her patients, and how I did not have to be as restricted as I was at first. Most importantly I became confident, and this confidence could not have been achieved without the SADS Foundation, my family, and the individuals I met whose stories changed my life. If you’re thinking of going to the next convention don’t go because your parents are making you, but go to better understand the condition you possess, and to meet individuals who could change your life too.

-Annie