March 8, 2023
Until Tuesday of last week, the only time I had been in a court room was in high school, competing in mock trial. While traveling to the St. Jude/PIDS Conference in Memphis, however, I stopped to appear in court to resolve the legal transfer of my mother’s estate, following her passing during the pandemic. The peculiar setting reminded me of the importance of my family – the sacrifices they made for me, the support they consistently provided – and my own finitude.
It is far too easy to be swept away by a busy schedule, grant submissions, lecture preparations, family responsibilities, and any other number of competing interests; but a clear understanding of who we are and why we are here creates intentionality and invigorates purpose. While our individual paths are different, we are bound together in our shared vision to advance the health of children, reducing the burden of infectious diseases worldwide.
Surrounded by St. Jude scientists, clinicians, and staff who are committed to their dream that ‘no child should die in the dawn of life,’ we heard remarkable lectures and presentations on new science, complicated cases, best clinical practice, and how to communicate our science more effectively. On behalf of PIDS, I offer our sincere gratitude to St. Jude for their partnership, and to Dr. Elaine Tuomanen for her vision nearly a quarter century ago to create this meeting.
Three observations from the meeting:
I could not be more excited about where PIDS is and where it is going. There is much to be done in our efforts to prevent and treat infectious diseases worldwide; however, I am convinced – especially after last week’s meeting – that our purpose is right and that we are exactly the ones to achieve it.
Onward and upward,