To the Fanconi anemia community,
I am writing to inform you that, due to the global health crisis, the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund (FARF) has made the very difficult decision to not move forward with the in-person 2020 Scientific Symposium and Meeting for Adults with Fanconi Anemia (FA), scheduled for September 16-20 in Austin, Texas.
After careful evaluation of available information surrounding COVID-19 both in the US and abroad, it has become clear that planning to hold these in-person meetings is not in the best interest of our community. However, because these events are cornerstones of our mission, we are committed to enabling opportunities to connect and learn by offering these meetings in a virtual format. While both events are still several months away, I have concluded it is necessary to act now in order to give the FARF team the time required to design virtual formats to facilitate the best experience.
The health, safety, and security of all attendees – especially individuals with FA – is FARF’s highest priority. While I believe that the decision to reformat the meeting is necessary to ensure the well-being of participants, I also understand that this is very disappointing to our stakeholders. There is always a great deal of energy around these events, especially following last year’s conference in Chicago, which brought together 372 attendees from 23 countries, including 57 adults with FA. We believe a virtual approach will help continue this momentum.
We recognize that the entire FA community highly values the presentation of new data, exchange of information, and opportunities to collaborate offered by these meetings. We will do our best to recreate these experiences virtually. Additional information regarding meeting agendas and logistics will be available this summer at www.fanconi.org, through email, and on our social media channels.
We thank all of our stakeholders for your understanding and support at this time. Yes, we’re in the middle of a storm – but we are also all in the same boat. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to everyone impacted by this global health crisis.