A couple of weeks ago I got an email inviting me to "an exclusive, invitation-only conference to join other members of the online health advocacy community for the first-ever HealtheVoices Conference designed to bring together advocates from a variety of areas of health to learn, share and connect. It seeks to provide valuable content, such as tips to further engage and grow an audience, thought-provoking conversation and networking opportunities for online health advocates."
At first I wrote the email off to spam even though it named Janssen (a big drug company), Johnson & Johnson and Everyday Health as the hosts for the event. I just didn't believe it was real. Another part of me, though, thought that it just might be real so I forwarded the email to my main email address, read it to my husband and then left it sitting in my box.
Then the day before yesterday my husband came home from work and out of the blue he told me that I should go to it. Still not really believing it was real I decided to click the link in the email and it sent me to a website with a better explanation of what's going on and a place to register for the event. Suddenly it was VERY real. I went ahead and emailed questions about it to a couple of the event coordinators and heard back from them yesterday and they were very excited that I was showing interest in the conference and they provided me with a wealth of information about it.
What at first was potential spam has now turned into a real conference hosted by Janssen, Johnson & Johnson and EverydayHealth and I have decided to attend. It is such a great opportunity to meet others in the health advocacy field and I am deeply honored that I was chosen. They expect 90-100 people to attend and I am shocked and honored that out of thousands of people out there in the online health advocacy community, I was chosen to come to this event.
It takes place in New Jersey at a very nice hotel where each room overlooks the Hudson River and has views of the Manhattan NYC skyline. This is not a small thing, the hosts are big time companies and websites and I believe they are going to change my life and ultimately (it is my hope) this page and its audience. I intend to go and "make some noise" and network with others in the healthcare advocacy field and I plan to be one of the "HealtheVoices" that they are talking about.
It will take place April 17th-19th and it will be at least one full day of meetings and breakout sessions where all of us in healthcare advocacy can get together and learn from professionals and each other. It is truly an AMAZING opportunity.
In the past I was given other offers that were tied to my work here on the page and some have fallen through leaving me disappointed because I really wanted to make a difference with my message I work so hard to get out there. But those lost opportunities appear to have left the door open for this opportunity to arrive and change my life. Since my dad got sick and then died I have often wondered why God was doing all of the things that he was to my family and to me but I learned to have faith that there were reasons behind it all and that I just needed to be patient and live my life the best that I can and eventually the why's of things would be revealed to me. So, here it is, one of my why's.
Now, I really wanted to share this news with all of you because you are my family. I think about you all a lot during the day and when this opportunity came through I couldn't wait to tell you. As time marches towards this event I will keep you up to date as I learn more about it. I will open the floor to all of you as time goes on and we learn more about what's going to happen at the conference and I am going to ask you all to help be one of the "HealtheVoices" in the conference. I will be going to this alone physically but I will be taking each and every one of you with me. These are big players in the game of mental health and healthcare and they will all be in a room with me (and others) to listen to what I have to say.
I really hope that you all will be excited for me and for this event. Things like this come along once in a lifetime and I know I have been given a priceless gift by being invited to this conference. As such, I do not want to squander even one moment of time there and I want to make a difference and I hope I can do that with help from you all.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
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