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Cure JM Foundation 2016 Annual Conference Recap

The Experience of a First-Time Attendee

In February 2015, Billy and Laura Reece’s 8 year old¬†daughter, Katelyn, was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis, a form of Juvenile Myositis (JM).¬†The Reece family was in shock, and immediately started seeking support. Through internet searches they found Cure JM Foundation and were quickly connected to other JM families.

The Reece Family

The Reece Family


“We left the conference feeling more connected, informed, and hopeful...”


When they heard about the 2016 Cure JM National Conference and Fundraising Event, they knew they wanted to attend. The Cure JM conference offered Billy and Laura the chance to meet over 100 other parents and grandparents. The conference also meant that Katelyn could meet dozens of kids her age who are also fighting JM.

“I am so glad we attended, we left the conference feeling more connected, informed, and hopeful for the first time since Katelyn’s diagnosis,” Laura explained.

“It was nice hearing other families paths on this journey and sharing stories and experiences with one another,” said Billy.

At the Cure JM National Conference and Fundraising Event, Laura and Billy attended educational sessions about how to care for their JM child and family, including a session just for newly diagnosed families. Billy attended a special session just for dads and Laura attended a session for moms. They also attended the General Session and heard the latest research updates directly from the researchers.

“This weekend confirmed for us why raising funds for JM research is so important,” says Billy.

“I learned that researchers rely on the funds raised by Cure JM families.

Just a few months after Katelyn was diagnosed, Billy and Laura held an event at a local restaurant in their town and raised over $4,000 for JM Research. Meeting the researchers who would be using those funds for new studies inspired Billy and Laura to start thinking about what else they could do to make a difference.

“We’re just a regular family, but we’re going to make a difference however we can,” says Laura.

“Meeting the other families and physicians who are fighting for a cure was so uplifting.

“We plan on attending the 2017 Cure JM National Conference and Fundraising Event, and look forward to raising more money and awareness for Cure JM to help all those diagnosed with JM,” Laura said.