The People You Meet…..

Back from Chicago, running crazy trying to get caught up.  Laundry, groceries, cleaning, cooking, catching up at work.  You all know the drill… takes two weeks to catch up on 5 days away.  I feel like I need a vacation.

I must admit, coming back from this conference was different.  I feel somewhat sad.  I loved having my TMR gang around along with all of the other awesome folks I met and connected with.  For a brief moment in time, I had my Autism Shangri La.  The hotel bar felt like Cheers….you could stroll in at any time of the day and grab a cocktail with one of your best buds and start talking shit (literally) without the bat of an eye.  It felt really good to be with people who get it.  I miss them terribly already 🙁


I had many moments of really strong emotion.  Although it was great to see everyone, I couldn’t help but become overwhelmed at the drop of a hat, having to slip away into a bathroom stall for a quick cry.  All of these people in one place….bonding….connecting….all because their children were harmed and extremely sick and we are fighting with every tooth and nail to get them healthy again.  I loved being surrounded by wonderful people, but I hate the reason we needed to be there.  It weighed heavily on my heart.

The names.  The faces.  The stories.  The hugs.  The tears.  They will stay with me forever.  So many fantastic people I could write for days….but I want to take some time and talk about a few people I met that truly made an impact on me.

I had the pleasure of meeting this gem.  Real Momma is an avid reader and comments on the blog regularly.  She has a son who is in his teens and she has been a tremendous voice in the community.  Tweeting, talking, Facebooking, and spreading the word to anyone who will listen.  We hugged and chatted a bit and I looked forward to learning more about her story.  If I have half the oomph this lady has after years fighting for her son, I will be in good shape.  We connected again Sunday afternoon and talked for a good while.  I’m looking forward to fighting this battle with her.

It was during my chat with Real Momma that I saw Jake Crosby walk in with his father.   I had my one stalker moment of the conference and HAD to say hello to him.  I love his work for Age of Autism and adore the fact that he can rattle Offit the way he does.  Any kid that can do that is a hero in my book.  Another blast of Hope and inspiration.


I got to finally meet my friend Mieko Perez in person.  You may remember Mieko.  I featured her story and organization in my “Freedom Of Choice” blog (  She flew in from California for a quick trip but made a huge impact and connected with so many parents.  Working a movement AND looking fierce in those high heels.   She is truly a force to be reckoned with.  Proud to know her.

Then there was The Super Sibling we met on the sundeck.  A young girl of 19 named Laura.  She was there for a “Mother/Daughter” weekend so they could learn ways to help her brother.  She gushed as she talked about him, so proud and loving.  We had a long discussion about the impact on siblings and how I believed that it would be the siblings of these children that would invoke change.  By the end of our chat, we were all in tears.  The good kind.  Again….another blast of Hope.  That young woman is going to do great things in this life.  Mark my words.

It was Sunday afternoon that really did it for me and made me remember why we are doing what we are doing with TMR.  I sat outside in the sun, having a cigarette and talking MMS with a lovely man from New Zealand.  There was a woman on her phone; I could hear what she was saying to her husband on the other end.  She rattled off names of tests and doctors and talked about immune issues.  I knew it.  It was her first conference.  You could hear the energy in her voice.  There was something she could do.  She had Hope again.

I called out to a friend that was leaving and said I’d see her in November at the National Autism Conference in Florida (  This girl came up to me and said, “I’m sorry if I was eavesdropping but did you say there was another conference?”  We started talking about NAA.  Her name was Kate.  She said this was her first and her boy was diagnosed about a month ago.  I applauded her tenacity and quick call to action.  We started talking….and talking….and talking.  We moved the convo into the bar for a drink.  Then another.  Then back out into the sun for another smoke.  She cried.  I cried.  We talked poop. We laughed. We hugged.  I felt like I was overloading her with information but she drank up every word.  Three hours later, she was on her way home with a determination to heal her boy.  She said she learned more from me in three hours over a few drinks and smoke breaks than she did all weekend.  She said I changed her life.  She has no idea how she changed mine.

It’s all about the people you meet.  Old friends.  New ones.  Connections.  Camaraderie.  Sharing information and experience.  Knowing we are not alone in this.   THIS is why I go to conferences.  THIS is why we blog.  THIS is why we started TMR.

We are not alone in this battle.  There’s an Army of us.  And we are growing fast.  And we will fight until the very end.  Together.

Start stashing your pennies.  See you at the beach in November!

PS – Can you tell I LOVE MY iPhone??   🙂

~Poppy <3

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29 Responses to The People You Meet…..

  1. Mindy Gould says:

    I’m brand new to this blog and looking for info. about getting started with MMS and where is the most reliable source. Can you help me?

  2. Happy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing as I couldn’t make it but love to hear all about it.
    I have never met anyone in person from this group but hope to one day.

  3. Diana Gonzales says:

    I hope one day to go…but until then I’m so grateful to have TMR in my life and I hope the coming days will be filled with posts of the wonderful things you all have learned. TMR has given me so much hope!

    • PoppyTMR says:

      Diana, thank you so much for reading and commenting and always supporting TMR. We may have given you hope, but reading comments from Thinkers like you is what gives ME hope. Never stop. xo

  4. Jan says:

    I’ve been meeting other Mom’s and dads at conferences since 1990 and it is always an amazing experience.
    I just came back from the Autism is treatable Conference in NJ. Seeing all the speakers and meeting a few parents I feel hopeful for the first time in over 10 years that I can make some changes that will help my sweet 26 year old son get some relief.
    Hoping to get to Autism One next year!! Maybe the NNA conference this year to meet more parents who are walking the walk!!

  5. Mamacita says:

    Beautiful post with tributes to some great people in our community. Thank you, Poppy for being a force full of hope, positive energy and love. It was wonderful to meet you and to spend some time with you (and with the Guilded Thinker…what a hoot the both of you are when you get together!).

    Can’t wait for the seaside meet up 🙂


  6. Lori Orrico says:

    Thank you for putting everything I’ve been feeling into the perfect words for me! It was my first year and I too am overwhelmed by emotion, hope, determination and pride. Pride at being part of a community of the strongest, fiercest women who WILL recover our children. Who WILL expose the lies. Who WILL be heard. Now….how to get to NAA…thanks Poppy & TMR!

  7. Monsters Mom says:

    This was also my first conference and I never expected so much acceptance from every single person I came into contact with! I left with so much information and I can still see the faces of parents that included me in conversations, offered advice or just took the time to hear about my little monster….I wish AO next conference was tomorrow! 🙂

    • PoppyTMR says:

      I am so glad you had a wonderful experience. It’s so nice to be with people that understand 🙂 Keep fighting for your little monster <3 xo

      PS - Love that BTW....

  8. Deborah Z. O'Leary (@REALMOMMA2155) says:

    Oh, baby, Poppy! You made the waterworks start and I’m at work for G-d sakes! I think I can safely say we all love Jake Crosby. For me, looking at Jake is a sign of good things to come for my dude. I got to meet Jake’s parents whose obvious loving care for their son has brought him so far.

    Meeting you all and hearing the stories reminded me of how far my Connor has come and gives me the energy to move forward. TMR is the glue which bonds us altogether. I see the circle growing larger as parents of children with other vax health issues join our ranks.

    • PoppyTMR says:

      No words, Lady….just super duper love! You need to change your handle to “Bad Ass Momma!!” 🙂 Looking forward to a long, wonderful friendship xoxo

  9. luvbugtmr says:

    It’s the parents. We get some direction from the docs – but we take it and run, and then guide the others. We could NOT do this without each other.
    I miss my Poppy and her bone crushing hugs. xoxo

    • PoppyTMR says:

      I wanna cry…I MISS YOU!!!!! One of the bestest.gals.EVER! I didn’t kiss your face nearly enough. 161 days until NAA (in case you were wondering) ;-P

  10. Ana Maria Abba says:

    AO was so amazing! It was so wonderful to meet all of you in person. Can’t wait for next year!

  11. Guilded Thinker says:

    Ah, Poppy! I miss you! I’m still pumped up from AO. And apparently it’s contagious. My husband is right on board. Going to AO was something I should have done a long time ago. I learned so much, but perhaps the most important thing I learned wasn’t in a lecture or even a treatment. It was the sense of belonging and camaraderie. It was meeting people who are all in this boat together and seeing how we all helped each other. It was stepping back and seeing the interconnectedness of it all. It was the way there were no “strangers”. One could overhear a conversation and jump right in and it was okay. I left with new friends, a full “Hope Bucket” and memories that will last a lifetime.

    • PoppyTMR says:

      Girl I don’t think I laughed harder with anyone more than I did with you! LOVE YOU!! When we get that damn compound up and running, I call dibs to the house next to yours xo Sista from another Mista <3

  12. Sugah says:

    Oh, Poppy! I just love this. I WILL be with you there next year!!

  13. Karen Seraphine says:

    So jealous that you met Jake Crosby! He really does rock. :-).
    My highlights in regards to meeting folks at A1 were all of you TMR gals! I had the chance to chat with you on Friday, and The Rev on Sunday. I love you all so much, and what you are doing.

    • PoppyTMR says:

      We love YOU and every single person that came up to us and showed such big love! Thank you thank you thank you!!

      And Jake was a doll….when I told him his ability to rattle Offit made my heart sing, he chuckled 🙂

    • Professor says:

      Um, yeah… WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THAT WAS JAKE CROSBY I was torturing in that silly game show?

  14. Alison MacNeil says:

    Momma Mac here and I say it all the time; It is the parents that will get you through. Poppy and I met at Autism One in 2011 and spent the next year connecting on facebook. When I grabbed her into a hug on Thursday at Autism One this year it was like I was reaching out to one of my oldest friends in the world. Maybe we knew each other in another lifetime? Maybe we were warriors in another battle together? Don’t know. But what I do know is that I have a fierce love and respect for Autism parents.

    • PoppyTMR says:

      It was like seeing my sister again……because I did see my sister again <3 LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! I'll never make it another year. If no NAA, then I'm planning a road trip xo

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