8th Advances Against Aspergillosis, Lisbon, Portugal

 8th Advances Against Aspergillosis took place 1-3rd February 2018 in the pleasant sunshine of Lisbon, Portugal, leaving the snow of Manchester 2016 far behind. This is the only conference focussing on this fungal disease and has been running since 2004, attracting 400 researchers from all over the world and since 2012 has also been holding a parallel meeting for patients with aspergillosis and their carers.

The Aspergillus Website has once again collected all 188 abstracts published at this conference and 19 slide presentations that you can browse here.

Video footage from AAA Conference Lisbon, Portugal from Goodwork on Vimeo.

The National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC) from Manchester, UK  ran a parallel meeting principally for patients & carers with the intention of promoting awareness of aspergillosis and NAC patient & carer support groups in Portugal but this was also an opportunity for non-specialist clinicians to get some information about the centre and its services that are available outside the UK as well as within UK. This meeting inspired much interest from patients, carers and it was good to see local clinicians interested in aspergillosis listen to several talks on the clinical and patients support services available at NAC.

1st February at the 8th AAA was the first World Aspergillosis Day, launched at the patients meeting. The first year aims to promote care and support for those people that everyone involved in aspergillosis depends on but rarely acknowledge: carers and families. 

In acknowledgement of the role and the work of those spouses, partners, children, parents and many more who care for chronically ill people we reproduce the words of Mike Chapman here:

We are so often ill, our breath coming in gasps,
We fear for ourselves, plead for mercy,
Those breaths we take fight us with wheeze and rasp,
Our plight is hard; our mood is hard and grouchy.

But wait a moment; pause a minute, look around, do you see?
Those that love us, care for us, nurse us and stay by our side,
Those loved ones, siblings, partners or spouse, standing closely,
Holding our hand, mopping a brow, hiding how they cried.

So while we suffer, puff and pant, do not grumble, do not rant,
There is strength beside us, a hand to support, an ear to listen,
Our loved ones who watch us suffer without showing a tear,
Our life is hard, full of despair, but do we see the eye that glistens?

My wife is my rock, my oxygen mask, my faithful nurse,
I am lucky, I’m not alone, I have someone who cares,
Suffer we do, often it’s true, but don’t moan, don’t curse,
One of us is ill but both feel the pain, the suffering we share.

Friend or family, brother or son, husband or wife,
We all must remember those who hide their tear, hide their pain,
They sacrifice their hearts, to accompany us in our plight,
So keep in your hearts a smile, for those who love us, with nothing to gain.

Copyright ©MichaelKChapman 2014