It is with great disappointment that we are announcing the postponement of the 2020 DSF Family & Professional Conference, in collaboration with Cook Children’s Medical Center, that was originally scheduled for June 16-18, 2020.

With the dramatic escalation of the spread of COVID-19 in the last few weeks, we believe the only responsible choice at this time is to postpone. DSF’s top priority is – and always will be – the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, partners, volunteers, and staff, as well as the community at large. We all need to do our part to protect our families and communities, and right now that means staying home, social distancing, and “flattening the curve.” Postponing the conference is therefore the only responsible choice.

We understand that our community looks forward to our biennial conference as a rare opportunity to connect in person with other families and community stakeholders, as well as to learn about the latest in research and caregiving strategies. We plan to bring our stakeholders together in person for our conference – safely – in 2021. In the meantime, we are working to put together virtual learning opportunities that will allow our patient community to continue to learn and grow together during this unprecedented time, but from the safety of our own homes.

Conference registrations will be refunded this week. We recognize the financial hardship that may result if you are unable to receive a refund for travel that you have already booked. Our staff is available to help you obtain the documentation that you need to request a refund, and we will have a travel reimbursement program in place to offset travel costs that are nonrefundable. Details on that program will be sent out to anyone who registered for the conference in the next few days. You may also reach out to our Executive Director with any questions at

Our community is filled with uncertainty and is hurting. We, as a community, have made amazing strides by working together for the benefit of those with Dravet syndrome. We want to reassure you of DSF’s ongoing commitment to our community and our promise that we will do all that we can to get through this difficult time together.

The DSF Board & Staff

Nicole Villas, Board President
Ted Odlaug, Board Vice-President
Tim Wood, Treasurer
Kate Hintz, Secretary
Nichelle Dominguez, Marketing & Web Consultant
Jenny Tischer, Bereavement & Grief Specialist

Mary Anne Meskis, Executive Director
Jamie Cohen, CPA & Program Director
Misty Ried, Campaign Director
Wendy Fry, Family & Caregiver Engagement Director
Jenny Gallo, Administrative Coordinator & Fundraising