Beth and I were fortunate to be able to attend the VHF Adult Retreat held March 24 – 25 in Virginia Beach. The first speaker on Saturday was Georgia Panopoulos, PhD, LP who presented wonderful information on pain, anxiety, and depression. So much good dialogue occurred that she altered her focus to the needs of those present. The next “session” was an hour of adaptive yoga which was challenging but also relaxing. Jayla Pricer, our yoga instructor, helped all attendees gain benefit regardless of their experience and limitations. I won’t say I was able to touch my toes but I got close! The evening began with a visit to The Skinny Dip for some frozen yogurt and to support the VHF Round-Up Campaign. Then it was on to Top Golf for a great session on fitness presented by Virginia’s own Don Regan of The Wingmen Foundation. Beth and Dan took each on for high score but wound up losing track of their scores, at least that’s the story they’re telling.

Sunday opened with a session on empowerment by Sue Cowell. This has been especially helpful to me this week as I’m battling PDL’s with my insurance company! But the highlight of the weekend was the last session, presented by Tim Ringgold on music therapy. He struck a great balance in explaining how music affects the brain and can diminish pain with hands on examples and exercises. I encourage everyone to check out his many videos on YouTube, especially his TEDxYouth talk on music therapy.

We are so blessed to have VHF and their amazing staff work to make events like this happen. Kelly and crew, along with all the event sponsors, Bioverativ, CSL Behring, DrugCo Health, Hemophilia Federation of America (HFA), National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF), Novo Nordisk, Shire, and the Wingmen Foundation, deserve a big “Thank You”! Go here to see photos from the event.

Don Smith | VHF Member