Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crown Plaza Arlington
Early Evening - Meet & Greet in the hotel lobby

Friday, July 13, 2007
Events Begin 9am

Welcome/Opening Speech
Ani S. Vinson - Proud Mommy to Abby & Founder of AMCSUPPORT.ORG & FORABBY.COM

For every cloud there's a Silver Lining. It's an old saying that we've all heard.  It's a pretty picture, when there isn't a cloud.  It can be hard to imagine when a cloud bursts on the scene.  The Silver Lining is not quickly discovered.  It's not easy to see more than the large dark clouds blocking the sunshine and warning of an approaching storm.  The storm commands our attention.  The need to prepare, to protect, to reach for safety and security takes our focus.  And if the storm brings destruction then we must use our energies to salvage and repair what can be restored.  Or we may need to learn to live with the changed situation.  It is not easy to see the Silver Lining.  It takes time to weather the storm and surive the stress.  It takes a particular perspective not to look at the storm but through the storm to the other side.  It takes insight to discover the nuggets of Silver in the changed circumstances.  It takes a certain attitude to release the ' might have beens' and celebrate the joys of the here and now.  It takes humility to recognize that the clouds enable us to become stronger and more resouceful and yet more gentle, caring and empathetic.  Sometimes we don't see the Silver Linings, until a friend who has shared the journey points them out.  We all need a friend like that who can point to the glimpses of the Silver Lining which can bring us hope and joy.  We all need to be a friend like that who can help lift the load and open the way to new possibilities. I hope that the experience of this convention will help all of us to recognize and affirm the Silver Linings in our lives so that we can begin to 'Hope & Dream' again. 

AMC'ers Photo Presentation
Presented by Rosalinda Morales - Proud Mommy to Louie and President of AMCSUPPORT.ORG
A Moment of Silence for our AMC Angels in Heaven

Parade of Kids
Introducing all of our beautiful Lil AMCers

Motivational Speaker David Sweet (Adult w/ AMC)
David Sweet is a Meteorologist/Forecaster for the National Weather Service Forecast office in Oxnard, CA.  He has been a federal employee for 15 years.  In addition, David has pursued an interest in acting for almost 30 years.  He has participated in almost 50 stage productions including musicals.  He will be seen in two stage productions during the remainder of the year, Disney's High School Musical and Peter Pan

Parent's Roundtable
Presented by Donna Carleton - Proud Mommy to Kadi and Member of the Board of Directors for AMCSUPPORT.ORG
All parents are invited to share their stories

Video posted with permission from Cheryl Schalk

AMC Teen Group Session
Presented by Jennifer Keeton, Theresa Lucas, & Tracey Schalk

Sibling Workshop

Presented by Savanna Keeton - Proud Sister of Jennifer Keeton
Donut Eating Contest

Adults with AMC Roundtable
Conducted by Jennifer Keeton & Theresa Lucas and Special Guest - Dr. Harold Van Bosse

This was the first year of having the Adults With AMC Roundtable Session and we were very honored to have Dr. Harold Van Bosse to join us. There was no specific agenda for our first meeting, as we at amcsupport just wanted to discuss the daily lives and past of those who are living with AMC. We talked about what it was like when we were growing up compared to what it is like now. What surgerical procedures, therapies, adaptive worked for us, what didn't and what we felt was the reason behind each one. Dr. Van Bosse was especially interested in hearing our answers to those questions and 'listening' to our stories, as he himself treats AMC patients from across the US on a weekly basis. But most of all we had the opportunity to simply sit and talk face to face with each other. We gained some valuable ideas for next years convention for our 2nd Session of the Adults With AMC Roundtable, and would like to say 'Thank You' to each of you who participated! We look forward to seeing you all again and meeting even more adult AMC'ers in 08'!

Dana Dempsey - Therapeutic Recreation - Texas Scottish Rite
Dana is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist who joined Texas Scottish Rite for Children in 1997 to develop and coordinate therapeutic recreation programs, activities and services utilizing the James F. Chambers Jr. Youth Fitness Park.  A graduate from the University of North Texas, she has worked in the recreation and leisure profession developing programs in community and clinical settings for people of all ages and abilities for many years.  Since joining the team at Scottish Rite, she has been able to provide recreation and leisure opportunities for children with disabilities so that they might become more independent, learn activity skills, develop rewarding relationships, get involved in community recreation programs and feel a sense of accomplishment. 

Heather Watchel - Occupational Therapist - Texas Scottish Rite
Heather Watchel is a graduate from Saint Louis University in Occupational Therapy and has 8 years experience in pediatrics at various settings; schools, clinic, home, hippotherapy, and most recently at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.  She has been the director of Camp Just Like Me ( A Camp for Children with Arthrogryposis).  She has grown the camp from 7 children to over 25 and instituted a transition program for teenagers.  She has spoken at various conferences on arthrogryposis and other topics.  She has participated in research concerning motor issues and a pilot study on arthrogryposis.  She is currently working on her Master's in Healthcare Administration.

*Group Picture*

Dr.  Mary Kukolich - Director Clinical Genetics - Cooks Children's Hospital
Dr. Kukolich graduated from Cornell Medical School.  She has served as the Director of Medical Services, Genetic Screening & Counseling Services.  She currently serves as a consultant for Cook's Children's Hosptial, John Peter Smith Hospital and All Saints Hosptial.  Dr. Kukolich has been published multiple times.  She is the Director of Clinical Genetic Services for Cook's Children's Hospital where she diagnoses and treats children from across Texas with all types of genetic issues.

Becky Ligon - Occupational Therapist - Shriner's Hospital for Children
Becky Ligon has worked as an Occupational Therapist with a specialty in pediatrics for more then 25 years.  The last 14 years have been at Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston, TX.
Becky has been actively involved with the development of the comprehensive treatment program for children with Arthrogrypsosis.  Becky is the care coordinator for the Arthrogryposis clinic along with Physical Therapist Janet Dawson.

Janet Dawson - Physical Therapist - Shriner's Hospital for Children
Janet Dawson has been a pediatric physical therapist for 20 years.  She has spent all this time at Shriners Hospital in Houston, TX.  She is a graduate of Texas A&M and then got her BS in PT at UTMB in Galveston.  Along with Becky Ligon, OTR, they have developed at therapy treatment protocol for children with arthrogyposis/amyoplasia and coordinate the care of these patients in a multidisciplinary clinic that includes pediatric orthopedic surgeons, a geneticist, a pediatric neurologist, a pediatrician, a nurse, OT and PT.

Julianna Arva - Permobile Representative

Julianna Arva, MS, ATP is a pediatric specialist for Permobil.  She gradated with her Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Science and Technology.  She has extensive clinical experience in seating and mobility for adults and children.  Ms. Arva has lectured nationally and internationally.  This workshop will cover certain aspects of powered chairs, of specific importance to the Arthrogryposis community.  There are many variables to consider for wheelchair selection and the decision will have a significant impact on your quality of life for years to come.

Saturday, July 14, 2007
Events Begin 9am

-Daily Opening
Photo Slideshow Presentation
Song - If We Hold On Together - The Land Before Time Soundtrack - Diana Ross

I Can't
Presented by Donna Carleton
A special exercise to say goodbye to all those "I Cant's" in every aspect of your life and to move forward with a "can do" attitude.

Hopes & Dreams
Presented by Ani S. Vinson, Jennifer Keeton, Michele Schaffer & Theresa Lucas

Tracey Schalk - College Student & Adult with AMC
Tracey Schalk was born with AMC (amyoplasia) in all four limbs. She was born to Ed and Cheryl and raised on a farm in Northwest, OH.  She has two older brothers Terry & David.  She has had 7 corrective surgeries, all of which were before the age of 9.  She is currently a student at The Ohio State University studying Political Science with a minor in English and Disability Studies.
For more info on Tracey please visit

Painting with Theresa, MK, & Stephanie
Theresa Lucas is a self taught artist born with AMC, mainly working in watercolors.  She does most of her work by holding her brush in her month.  Theresa is a member of the Art Association of Madison County, Inc. & has held office as the President and Treasurer at various times.  She is also the Student Exhibition Coordinator and has been for the past 8 years.  Her passion is helping kids and encouraging them in the arts.  Her paintings have hang in local galleries as well as the Indiana State Fair.  Theresa also serves as Vice President for AMCSUPPORT.ORG

M.K. Watkins is a self taught Indiana artist who always focuses on sharing her art with others, with her main focus being with kids.  M.K. works in watercolor, acrylic, and oils.  She is most known for her murals.  She has spent many hours doing art with youth in schools, jail, summer camps, and at VSAI (Very Special Arts of Indiana).  SHe has led the movement to make the arts accessible to people with disabilities and her grandchildren. M.K. tweeked the Lil Amcer's Painting from the 2006 Chicago Convention.  It will be displayed at AMCSUPPORT convention's for years to come. 

Stephanie Powless is from Indiana where she has worked with kids for over 20 years.  She is the proud mother of two and also a very proud grandmother of an one year old.  She is a long time friend of Theresa and also an artist herself.  Stephanie made our beautiful AMC BARN!!!! 

Dana Switzer - Behavior Specialist - Eagle Mountain- Saginaw ISD
Dana Switzer has taught for 7 years in public schools and just completed her 3rd year as the Behavior Specialist for all the elemntary schools in the Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD.  She holds a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and is certified in Special Education, General Education, and English as a second language.  She works with children with all disabilities and their parents to help each student to have a successful learning environment.  She also works with ARD committees to develop an individual success plan for each student.

MaryBeth Eberhard - Proud Mommy to Gabe - Introduces the wonderful Dr. Van Bosse

Dr. Harold Van Bosse - NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases
Dr. Van Bosse has been practicing pediatric orthopedic surgery exclusively since completing his orthopedic residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1994, and his fellowship at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children in 1995.  Initially his practice was affiliated with Schneider Children's Hospital of Long Island Jewish Medical Center.  In 1998 he joined the staff at the NYU Hosptial for Joint Diseases.  Dr. Van Bosse enjoys treating the entire realm of pediatric orthopedic surgery, but has a special interest in limb deformity, neuromuscular diseases, and pediatric spine deformities. 

Formal Closing
Door Prizes
Presentation of the Bird of Hope
(Painting by Lil AMCers from the 2006 Chicago Convention - Tweeked by MK Watkins)
The Bird of Hope Painting was given to Suzanne and Rolland Peiper (Kaylin's Grandparents) for their generosity and work to help AMCSUPPORT establish our 501c(3) tax exempt status. 

Presentation of the Angel of Hope - Ani S. Vinson

"Hope Lifts Us Up"

Each Lil AMCer was given an Angel of Hope to take home as a keepsake to remember the AMCSupport Convention for years to come. 

Awards Ceremony

Jennifer Keeton - Member of the Year
Kaman for his Eloquent Words of Wisdom - we used one of his sayings throughout the convention
Wendy for being our First Official Member
Beverly for being our Most Verbose Member - She has many life experiences to share with us and for that we love her and thank her for always willing to share Bev's Perspective
Tracy for being our Most Influential member - for not only being an amazing young woman but one who is willing to be a wonderful example to not just other AMCers but everyone else as well.
Jen S for being such a Compassionate Member - she is always willing to reach out to any family with open arms and an open heart to provide as much love and support as needed.
Jeanne was recognized for being a Good Citizen Member - for always having a positive and kind word to say to everyone including sharing some of the best recipes.

"I'm Going Home" Photo Slideshow from weekend presented by Rosalinda Morales & Donna Carleton
Song - Home (Daughtry)

Special Thank You's!!

This wonderful event would not have been possible without fundraisers & the generous donations made by the following:

Valerie Pepe - Tupperware Fundraiser $650
Mary Samargian - Fundraiser $450
Adrienne Keller - Wristband Fundraiser - $200
The Moslah Shrine Temple
 Rolland & Suzanne Pieper
Lena Fanous
 Jay & Sandy Wacha
  Ed & Sheryl Schalk
Savanna Keeton & Brock Hamilton
 Deborah DeCan
The Italian American Community of New York
Maggie Howell
Ryan & MaryBeth Eberhard
Margaret (Design A Trophy Inc)
Donor's of the books : Arthrogryposis: A Text Atlas
& Many, Many, More

Thank you to The Crowne Plaza, Arlington for being so accommodating to our families especially Will & Norman. 

From the hearts of our attendees

WOW! Thank you so much to the 2007 Convention Committee who put together an amazing weekend. Some of you are probably just loading the cars to leave the hotel and travel back to your homes, but we are home now and I am missing seeing the beautiful children and their amazing smiles.
It was so nice to be with people who don't have to ask why you are crying, who you don't have to explain what the "funny things" on their legs are, who share the same hopes, dreams, rants and raves as you. Again, WOW to a great weekend! As I look as some of the pictures on the boards, it is great to finally put a name to the face. I am so thankful to have met in person some of our amc family and experience first hand that I am not alone in this journey with Kyle. I can not wait until Ohio 2008 and am just sad it is a year away.
Thank you again to everyone involved in making this a great weekend for all! Love to everyone, Katie

 It sadness me to be home and back to everyday life with no fellow amcer's running around with lil' Con-Man. I LOVED meeting everyone!!! I can not put into words the emotions and happiness that I felt during the convention and meeting everyone. The speakers were all excellent and really cared about our kids...even staying behind to answer questions and believe me there were lines too :-D . I hate that it will be another year before we can all be together again but just think how much more progress our kiddos will make and we will all be able to share and rejoice in that. Thank you to all who worked to make the convention a success and all who came. Amy

What a fabulous weekend it was! It was everything I hoped it would be and more. We took with us so much and I can't wait for next year. Everyone is so wonderful and the kids were amazing. This was the first time my daughter had been around disabled children (other than little Peyton) and she just blew me away - she didn't care she just said "Hey mom these kids look like brother!" and she took off making friends with all of them. She even tried to eat her lunch with her mouth so she could fit in.
I am so excited to have met so many of you! Kimberly

THANKS to all who put their blood, sweat, & tears into convention. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have had. Basia has decided she wants to move to Texas. She had soooo much fun. It was very hard to leave and we can't wait for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alicia

I can't put into words how amazing this weekend was. We are taking away so much and I hope that we gave just a little to others. It was so great to be around other moms and dads just like us. Many tears were shed this weekend, but I have to tell you that there were more happy tears than sad ones. All of the children, older children especially give Jonathan and I so much hope for the future! I don't like to fly, but I have a year to pump myself up to make it to Ohio and I know by then I won't have imagined how far all of us will have come--Jackson included. It was absolutely wonderful to hear that we really are on the "right" path for us! Thank you all a million times over. Doris

It really was a WONDERFUL Convention. Thanks Y'all for your hard work, sleepless nights, and all that you did.
I loved seeing everyone and am sad to be home. I am sorry I did not get a chance to actually talk to everyone, but your kiddos are all BEAUTIFUL! Can't wait to see you and connect in person again next year. The trip was worth it!  Michelle

AMCSupport's 3rd Annual Convention - Columbus OHIO ~ July 2008
Please email to be added to our Ohio database.
You will receive updates as they become available.
OHIO PAGE ~ Updates & Information will be posted here.
You will receive updates as they become available.
Your 2008 Convention Committee
Tracey Schalk, MaryBeth Eberhard, & Michele Schaffer

Check out our main page for Local Mini-Meetups coming to your area this year! 


Help Us Spread The Word!!
Invite people to this page or to 2006.htm to read all about our wonderful & successful 2006 & 2007 AMC Conventions. Or better yet, if you were there take along some of your convention pictures to show people exactly where their donation monies would be going, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to introduce another AMC’er to!!

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