This past week on a beautiful, sunny, blue-sky afternoon, with a view of the San Francisco Bay in the background, we held our bi-monthly Para Peeps meet-up at Chevy’s in Emeryville, CA. Our little group has now grown to 15 and we were please to have 8 of these members in attendance this time! At one point we all realized that this was our first time ever being surrounded by so many with “peep” scars. We laughed as we all pointed and showed off ours, noting that they are nearly invisible. For some of us years have passed since we had our surgeries, others months, while one member just got back from traveling across the country for surgery less than a week ago. She was in good spirits and was feeling energetic, happy to be moving forward towards improved health.
We updated everyone as to our advocacy efforts to date and then turned it over to the group to tell us how we can further our mission of educating others. Within minutes ideas were generated. Several members volunteered to either share their stories as a guest blogger or to record a patient podcast with us. Those who had connections with active community groups offered to use their networks to help us book speaking engagements so that we can continue to educate the public. We are so grateful to have met all of these incredible women who are willing to go out of their comfort zones to share their stories publicly in the future to help others with their journeys. Stay tuned for more stories and events.
Barbara, Joyce and Sophie met virtually, so to speak, in a Parathyroid Disease online support group. Groups like this provide support and information for those who suspect they might have, or have been diagnosed with, parathyroid disease. Members share their personal stories and experiences from diagnosis to pre and post surgery. The administrators work hard to keep the group positive and on track.
On the page, noting from our posts that we all resided in the San Francisco Bay Area, and additionally discovering that each of us traveled across the country to Tampa, Florida to have our surgeries performed at the Norman Parathyroid Center, we were of course curious to meet and so we set a lunch date for 10/14/14 to do just that. There was an instant connection!
Our first meet-up on
Stories were shared, symptoms were compared, problems we experienced in trying to get diagnosed were discussed and before we knew it, we were enthusiastically hatching the idea to publicly share our stories to raise awareness of primary hyperparathyroid disease. This is the story of our beginning – we don’t yet know the end! We are open to possibilities as to where this journey may take us… AND YOU! Each of us brings a unique skill set to this endeavor and we are excited at the prospect of raising awareness and inspiring others to become educated. And of course, it has been wonderful actually meeting other Para Peeps “in the flesh”! We will keep you updated here as to our progress as we move forward. Please check out our website and share your thoughts. We will continue to add information to it. To be notified of new posts and updates consider following our blog and/or Facebook page. Please also note that we schedule a no-host monthly lunch meet-up. Please find additional information about these events on our Upcoming Events