Moving Forward at the 26th Congress of
the Polish Huntington Association

– Written by the Moving Forward Team on May 17th 2022

In April 2022, the Moving Forward team was invited by Danuta Lis (Photo 1 – third from the right), the President of the Polish Huntington Association, to present the project to the Polish HD community at the 26th Congress of the Polish Huntington Association/ Polskie Stowarzyszenie Choroby Huntingtona.

Filipa Júlio joined a group of 80 participants for this three-day Congress at the beautiful Moszna Castle in the Opole region of Poland (Photo 2). 

Photo 1. Courtesy of the Congress Organizers
Photo 2. Courtesy of Danuta Lis

These were intensive days, with different healthcare professionals giving interesting presentations about many different aspects of Huntington’s disease to the several HD families that attended the meeting (Photo 3).

Filipa Júlio had the chance to present the nature and goals of the project, the work done so far and what lies ahead, and the specific project resources available to the Polish community in their native language, such as the online library and forum sections of the Moving Forward webpage (Photo 4).

Photo 3. Courtesy of the Congress Organizers
Photo 4. Courtesy of the Congress Organizers

Families from different parts of Poland were able to meet and share their stories and experiences in a friendly and empathetic environment. There were two particularly inspiring and heartfelt moments during this weekend.

The Polish Huntington Association paid tribute to Wojtek Królikiewicz, a well-known Polish actor who was one of the founders of the Polish Association and died recently from Huntington’s Disease. The Congress organizers screened a poignant video with Wojtek’s images, while the duet Oliwia I Tomek played live Wojtek’s favourite song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

And then there was this moment where a spontaneous social network was created in a few seconds, when the Congress attendees decided to join all the tables from the Castle main living room to chat and laugh and be closer together (Photo 5).

Photo 5. Courtesy of Danuta Lis

After all the contact restrictions imposed by the pandemic, this meeting was a breath of fresh air and a very nice way to be back together with the HD Polish community!