We are at the 2nd Annual Microcephaly Convention, and it's late. I really should be going to bed. California is two hours earlier than Texas, and it's been a long day. But I needed to say this now, while I'm still in the middle of it.
Tonight, Julie, Schuyler and I sat at a table with two other families, both of whom I feel like have become, in a short evening's time, part of our family, too. But in a very real way, they already were.
Because each of those families have a child with polymicrogyria, just like Schuyler.
They are the first kids with PMG besides Schuyler whom we have ever met. And they weren't the only ones here, not even close.
It's barely even begun, and yet we've already met amazing people at this conference, including Jenniffer Lewis, the remarkable young woman who first established the Foundation for Children with Microcephaly (which is now opening up to families with other related neurological disorders, like polymicrogyria & lissencephaly) and then put together this gathering, now in its second year. She did so because when she received a diagnosis for her child and then went to find some kind of support, there was nothing. She felt alone, and because she refused to accept that feeling, now none of these families have to feel that way.
I give my presentation tomorrow and again on Saturday, and suddenly I'm afraid that I won't be able to keep myself together all the way through.
But I'm not that afraid, because I also don't think it'll matter much if I don't.
Schuyler was never alone, of course. But tonight, that's more true than ever.