ANRF’s Annual ‘Meet The Scientists’ Exceeds Expectations

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The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) hosted their annual “Meet the Scientists” event at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach last Wednesday. The gathering nearly doubled in size this year, bringing in about 100 guests to meet some of the leading arthritis researchers from around the country.

Meet the Scientists

ANRF is an example of a friendly and professional team of individuals who strive to see the big picture

The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) hosted their annual “Meet the Scientists” event at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach last Wednesday. The gathering nearly doubled in size this year, bringing in about 100 guests to meet some of the leading arthritis researchers from around the country.

Every year the organization holds a reception to celebrate the scientists, researchers, and doctors making breakthroughs in arthritis research as they search for new treatments and cures. ANRF’s newest Advisory Board member, television personality Christine Schwab, addressed the crowd with a touching speech on her involvement with the organization and her own battle with rheumatoid arthritis.

All of the scientists in attendance had the opportunity to brief attendees on their current work and Executive Director, Helene Belisle, and Scientific Advisory Board Chairman, Carl F. Ware, Ph.D., also gave speeches on the foundation’s growth and work in research.

Guests mingled with friends and scientists and met new people working hard for the foundation’s mission to cure arthritis.

The event was a special evening as patients were also invited and were afforded the chance to speak with the researchers who are helping to fight their diseases in the research labs and clinics.

Britt Johnson, patient and author of the blog, The Hurt Blogger, which chronicles her arthritis battle, was in attendance just after returning from a two-day hospital stint due to her disease. She claimed that even though she was in pain, she was ignited by the conversation and presence by such dedicated individuals.

“The evening was precisely the room I had wanted to be in for years!” said Johnson. “It was a place to share my ideas from the patient perspective with people that wanted to listen and learn from those they are helping.”

Tiffany Westrich, another arthritis sufferer and CEO of the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement, claimed that anytime the doors are opened to allow the world of autoimmune arthritis to unite – from patient to doctor to researcher – it’s a win.

“ANRF is an example of a friendly and professional team of individuals who strive to see the big picture,” Westrich said. “They see opportunities and aren’t afraid of risk.”

One of the main benefits of the “Meet the Scientists” event is that it connects some of ANRF’s patient advocates with the leading arthritis research scientists. This allows both the patients and the scientists to see each others point of view as to what’s most important in the united fight against the different forms of arthritis and autoimmune diseases.

Meeting patients is a reminder for scientists that the work they are doing is attached to the faces, lives, and problems of real people. Patients enjoyed the event because it offered them a unique opportunity to become knowledgeable and more aware of new methods of treatment, giving them the latest information instead of feeling like just a number amongst many.

In addition, all of the ANRF scientists in attendance were given the opportunity to network and collaborate with their peers. They discussed each others’ exciting projects and kept future collaborations open in the effort to find new treatments and a cure.

Light hors d’oeuvres were served and because of the exceptional company and friendly atmosphere, it exuded the feeling of a more intimate cocktail party at home than a large-scale event.

The Arthritis National Research Foundation refers to this signature gathering as more of a “friend-raiser” than a fundraiser; an exchange of groundbreaking knowledge, good company, and great conversation with friends and colleagues, new and old.

To learn more about “Meet the Scientists” or to get involved with the Arthritis National Research Foundation please visit http://CureArthritis.org. To support the arthritis research of your choice please make a donation.

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Derek Belisle
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