On Sunday 20th May, 2018, I attended my first ever MNDA conference, and it surpassed my expectations: meeting inspiring and talented minds within the MNDA community.

As a new volunteer for the MND, Exeter and East Devon branch, I was thrilled to have the privilege to witness the impressive presentation skills of researchers, Dr. Brian Dickie and Dr. Emily Feneberg. Dr Feneberg’s innovative analogies and Dr Dickie’s insight and engagement did more than just enhance my understanding of the molecular processes involved in MND. Their words helped to galvanise support for those living with, or affected by, MND for now and for the future.

More than just a networking opportunity, meeting Rachael Martin- Smith and Jay Parker equipped us with the tools to launch our @MNDA_Exeter Facebook and Twitter accounts- to reach out to wider audiences.

The day’s varied and active talks, informative workshops and welcoming atmosphere of the Holiday Inn, Bristol Filton, were symbolic of the MDNA’s perseverance and dedication to the aim of living in a world free of Motor Neurone Disease.

It was more than just a conference. It was a matrimony of collaboration and commitment to a valuable cause. Researchers that never give up in the face of challenge: friends, family, carers and MND associates, all united by a team- spirit.

From anecdotes to potential antidotes, the MNDA South Regional Conference was a testament to the fact that here at the MNDA, we not only open up the world to Motor Neurone Disease, but open up those living with Motor Neurone Disease to the world.

Written by Scarlett Parr-Reid, Volunteer Newsletter Editor for the MNDA, Exeter and East Devon branch.