Congenital Hyperinsulinism International

Monday July 30th, 2018
by Julie Raskin
Comments Off on A Texas Welcome for the #CHIFAM2018 Conference

A Texas Welcome for the #CHIFAM2018 Conference

The 2018 Congenital Hyperinsulinism Family Conference in Fort Worth, Texas organized by Cook Children’s and Congenital Hyperinsulinism International (CHI) took place over last weekend, July 27-29.

150 people gathered including kids with HI, their siblings, parents, physicians, researchers, and members of the Biotech industry.

“Everything I heard this weekend was of benefit and provided me with new knowledge,” said one participant.

Participants learned all about congenital hyperinsulinism through presentations from specialists, panel discussions, small group interactive sessions, speed dating with the specialists, the sharing of family stories, and informal time for getting to know each other. From reports on new innovative treatment projects to living with HI from the perspective of the young people who live with it, there was something for everyone.

The conference was made possible thanks to sponsorships from members of the biotech community including Sweetest Sponsor: Rezolute, Gold Sponsor: Zealand, Silver Sponsor: Crinetics, and Bronze Sponsors: AmideBio and Xeris.

One participant said the most meaningful part of the conference was “hearing from other families about the struggles they go through on a day-to-day basis and knowing we are not the only parents going through the stresses of living with HI.”

Jennifer Schmitt, CHI Program Manager, said “The best thing about the conference for me was seeing all the kids having a great time.”

Adjacent to the conference room was the kids’ activity room. A volunteer staff organized by Cook Children’s put together a day and a half of fun for the HI community children attending the conference.

CHI is indebted to Cook Children’s for partnering with us on an incredible two days, lending so much expertise to the conference faculty and all the volunteers for the kids’ program. Experts from around the world also traveled to Fort Worth to share their expertise with conference participants.

Participants left with a sense of hope that there will be an even better understanding of HI in the future, with better treatments and a small army of HI advocates to raise awareness of the condition to save lives and prevent brain damage.

Tuesday July 10th, 2018
by Julie Raskin
Comments Off on A Chance to Take a Breath

A Chance to Take a Breath

HI Mom Sara Bernstein stars in this short video about what it is like to be the parent of a child with hyperinsulinism (HI). In “Sugar Baby” she shares scenes from her life, taking care of her children and the struggles to balance life and fulfil her desire to have some time for herself, to further her career, all while being constantly vigilant of her daughter’s HI care. It is a moving and beautiful film and when Sara finally gets to “take a breath,” it is a true triumph. The video, in the Hebrew language with English subtitles, is produced by Tamar Poupko, Achinoam Hacohen-Kerner, and Ayala Dana. The film was directed by Sara’s niece for a school project. Watch the video at this link:

Monday May 21st, 2018
by Julie Raskin
Comments Off on Raring to Go for CHI in 2018!

Raring to Go for CHI in 2018!

Yesterday, Congenital Hyperinsulinism International (CHI) took part in The Million Dollar Bike Ride for Orphan Disease Research for the fifth consecutive year. Sunday, May 20, 2018 was another magical day! For those new to the event, it’s the day of the year when people living with rare diseases and their communities come together in Philadelphia for a bike ride. There are short and long rides, but all who are riding are raising awareness of rare diseases and funds for pilot projects that may lead to new treatments and cures.

Every year, CHI has a small but mighty team. Leo Brown has been the Raring to Go for CHI Team Captain for 5 years and has done a fantastic job of getting us to over $300,000 raised for hyperinsulinism research. Leo was with us again yesterday and had a great cheering squad of family and friends in Philly.

This year’s team included Dr. Charles A. Stanley, Founder of the Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center at CHOP. Dr. Stanley is the only person to ride all 5 years! I had hoped to share that distinction with him, but a sore knee kept me from riding this year. Dr. Stanley was joined by an enthusiastic crew of children and grandchildren on the ride.

Dr. Lisa States not only heads up the PET Scan hyperinsulinism study at CHOP that leads to cures for many babies and children with focal HI, she’s a dynamo on her bike, and rode 34 miles yesterday along with her husband.

This year, Dr. Amanda Ackermann, an attending physician and HI specialist at CHOP, joined the ride. She rode 72 miles! We are so impressed with her dedication to the cause.

Dr. Changhong Li, a research scientist at CHOP focusing on fuel metabolism in islets and regulation of insulin secretion in congenital hyperinsulinism also joined the team for the second year in a row.

My husband Mark not only rode the 34-mile course for the 4th year in a row, he drove 400 miles the day before so that our son Ben who was in Vermont, finishing up his junior year of college, could be “reunited for a cure” at the Million Dollar Bike Ride. Ben has not been able to master riding a bike because of challenges resulting from prolonged hypoglycemia due to HI, but Ben is “Raring to Go for CHI,” and he worked the CHI table at the event with Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator at CHOP, Susan Becker, and CHI Board Member, Sheila Bose — two of CHI’s most dedicated supporters and volunteers.

Chris Wilson, Director of the Orphan Disease Center at Penn Medicine, shared with the crowd that since the ride’s inception, over 6 million dollars has been raised for Rare Disease Research. Pretty Amazing!

Since we know that not everyone in our community can make it to Philadelphia, we have created an opportunity to create remote fundraising Crowdrise teams. There are currently five teams and there’s still time to create more: All the funds raised by these teams will contribute to the 2018 Raring to Go for CHI research award, and the funds raised by these teams will also be matched by the University of Pennsylvania. Funds can be donated to this cause through June 15, 2018. Choose any team you like or start your own! You can also donate on the CHI website for the cause: We are beyond grateful to all who have contributed to this year’s research funding cycle either by donating directly to this event or through any other donations to CHI.
[acx_slideshow name=”CHI Bike 2018″]

Thursday April 12th, 2018
by Julie Raskin
Comments Off on Fogo De Chão CHI Spring Dinner a Great Success!

Fogo De Chão CHI Spring Dinner a Great Success!

The CHI Spring Dinner at Fogo De Chão was such an enjoyable evening. We are so grateful to all who came out to support CHI and dine with us last night, and especially to Thaïs Stuart for making this event happen.

Thank you to Fogo de Chão for generously contributing to CHI and for serving such a delicious meal.

It was so nice to connect with HI families and the CHOP HI team. Below is a slideshow of images from this event.

[acx_slideshow name=”Fogo”]

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