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Extra Zebras at the Zoo! IDF Family Conference Days Held at Local Zoos

This summer, there were a few extra zebras roaming around the zoos in Tulsa, OK and St. Paul, MN! Well, “zebras” from the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) to be specific. Members of the primary immunodeficiency community, who commonly identify with the zebra because of the rarity of their diseases, converged on the Tulsa Zoo and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul for IDF Family Conference Days, educational programs for individuals living with primary immunodeficiency disease and their family members.


Zebras graze at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, MN, where the Immune Deficiency Foundation welcomed their own “zebras” for an IDF Family Conference Day, August 18.

Tulsa Zoo opened its gates for 75 attendees Saturday, July 28, and the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory hosted 105 Saturday, August 18. Parents and children came to connect with others and learn about living with primary immunodeficiency diseases through information sessions and activities.

Tulsa sessions included:

Be Your Own Advocate with IDF
Colin Seal – Immune Deficiency Foundation

Immune System Basics
Terence L. Carey, MD - T.L. Carey & Associates, Inc.

Treatment Options for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases
Lodie G. Naimeh, MD - Allergy Clinic of Tulsa, Inc.

Health Insurance: Protecting Access to Care
Emma Berca - Grifols Inc.

Ask the Medical Experts
Terence L. Carey, MD - T.L. Carey & Associates, Inc.
Tina Hatley Merritt, MD – Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Northwest Arkansas
Iftikhar Hussain, MD – Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center, P.C.
Lodie G. Naimeh, MD – Allergy Clinic of Tulsa, Inc.

St. Paul sessions included:

Be Your Own Advocate with IDF
Katherine Antilla, MAEd – Immune Deficiency Foundation

I’ve been Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness – Now What?
Ralph Shapiro, MD – Midwest Immunology Clinic

Genetic Testing for Primary Immunodeficiencies
Roshini S. Abraham, PhD – Mayo Clinic
Avni Y. Joshi, MD – Mayo Clinic

What’s the Big Whoop about Pertusis?
Ralph Shapiro, MD – Midwest Immunology Clinic

Diagnosis and Treatment of PIDD: What’s on the Horizon
Avni Y. Joshi, MD & Roshini S. Abraham, PhD – Mayo Clinic
Ralph Shapiro, MD – Midwest Immunology Clinic

Ask the Medical Experts
Avni Y. Joshi, MD & Roshini S. Abraham, PhD – Mayo Clinic
Ralph Shapiro, MD – Midwest Immunology Clinic

While adults were at the information sessions, children, age 5 and older, enjoyed the Youth Program, during which they participated in fun activities and games to help them better understand living with or knowing someone with a primary immunodeficiency disease. And the zoo was the perfect setting for both Family Conferences!

The adults wrapped up the day with the always popular Person-to-Person Discussion Sessions, exclusively for families to talk about issues that they face.

Thanks to IDF volunteers who helped herd the “zebras” throughout the day! Tulsa volunteers included Cathy Palmer and Debbie Kloker as well as former Teen Council members Dustin Palmer, Courtney Palmer and Jordan Kloker. St. Paul volunteers were Frank Meuers, Patricia (Pixie) Pixler, Heidi Jensen, Alex Jensen, Cole Henjum and Joan Schwarz.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming IDF events.

 

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