The welcome session has over 300 folks from 34 states represented. We have been charged with speaking as not one of 310 people but as one of 53 million people with some form of arthritis. We are growing at a rate of a million people diagnosed every year, (it is 1 in 6 Americans).  We learned that we are 70,000 advocates, currently. Our new CEO Ann Palmer told one of the faces stories of a young girl from Florida who was scolded by her PE teacher because she wasn't running fast enough. My question today for my students is "how can you advocate for a child with a chronic illness without embarrassing the child?"  

Congressman David McKinley received the Advocacy Leadership Award,  His message "We need to use the power we have in Washington to make a difference."  "Give us real stories not statistics". My question to you is what is your story? How could your story impact the legislators in Washington?

"His final message You can't vote for me but I can vote for you."