Report on the 2005 Conference of the New Zealand GBS Support Group

By Jenny Murray

The group’s second conference was held in Wellington over the weekend of the 23/24th April 2005 and 100 people were present.

Guest speakers included Dr Gareth Parry, Professor of Neurology at the University of Mineapolis USA who brought us up to speed on current practices in treating GBS, CIDP and MF; Grant Watson ( Wattie) physiotherapist and an ex GBS sufferer himself made a Power Point presentation on his own experience with GBS; little eight year old Courtenay Bryant who has written her own story about having GBS last year read it to us all. Mr Bryan Stuart told us of his experiences as a husband of a Miller Fisher Syndrome sufferer and Janet Leatham, psychologist spoke on the psychological aspects of trauma. Some excellent presentations and very informative.

A lot of information, detail and helpful advice was tendered and a lot of light hearted experiences portrayed.

We had a lot of fun and President Terry Watton had a somewhat “odd” idea as a fundraiser. He arrived at the conference with his hair dyed bright red. It was later revealed that, no – it was not a midlife crisis, but he had done this as a fundraiser. If we could raise enough money he would shave the lot off. The person who donated the highest amount was handed the hair cutters. This was Dr Parry himself and he had the honour of shaving Terry’s off (just to No 7 comb… orders of his wife Diane). It was one of those things that everyone got behind and ended up raising $1000. Good effort Terry….well done!

All things considered it was a truly great conference and it has been decided to hold the next conference two years from now …..same place…..same weekend in April 2007.