IFOPA Celebrates its 25th Anniversary in High Style!
By Mark Gambaiana
To commemorate the wonderful growth, multiple achievements and progress toward a treatment and cure, the IFOPA celebrated its 25th anniversary with a family gathering at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Conference Center in Kissimmee, Florida from November 7-9, 2013. Please view our 25th Anniversary Highlight Video.
More than 279 people enjoyed the three-day festivities, including 59 FOP members. Attendees represented a dozen international countries and six continents.
The 2013 year marked a special milestone in the history of the IFOPA — our 25th year of operation! Founded by Jeannie Peeper as a means to end the isolation of those afflicted with FOP, our organization began in 1988 as a pen pal group. Now, we are the world’s leading advocate and resource on FOP whose programs and services are focused on research, education, support and advocacy.
An opening reception, series of family-oriented activities, research updates, clinical appointments, special presentations on dental and anesthesia workshops and a celebration banquet all highlighted the weekend. The banquet included remarks by Richard Simcox, one of the world’s leading FOP philanthropists, Dr. Fred Kaplan, the renowned leading FOP clinician, a special presentation by Saskia Blonk of The Netherlands to the FOP researchers, and a tribute to our founder and president, Jeannie Peeper.
The anniversary year was a time to reflect and say thank you to the many families and friends who have made investments of items and resources to advance our cause. Because of you, we have funded research and provided programmatic support to improve the lives of people around the globe who suffer from this condition.
Thank you to our scientists and researchers who are working daily to solve the mysteries of FOP and keep the march moving forward toward a treatment and a cure.