A laptop with multiple people attending a conference remotely on the screen.

Your Health Can Be Fun! Virtual Eczema Expo 2020

Education, support and fun! The description of the mission for the National Eczema Association (NEA) is to improve the health and quality of life for individuals with eczema through research, support and education.1 I would personally like to add the words community and fun to that mission, here’s why.

Finding joy in the NEA's Eczema Expo

I was thoroughly entertained and filled up by the participants at NEA’s Eczema Expo 2020 from the very first day to the last. Being entertained is a recurring theme and feeling at every expo that I have attended. It is the perfect balance to very heavy topics and feelings throughout one weekend. 

My first experiences at Eczema Expo

The first expositions that I attended in person were 2018 and 2019 and both kept me engaged and entertained just as much as educated. Because I was in the deep end of my eczema problems during these years my greatest focus was research and understanding for those years. I was blown away by the qualified doctors and information sharing, but also very pleased with the added fun like ECZ-traveganza and welcoming spirit of the community.

How 2020 Eczema Expo was different for me

This year’s Virtual Expo gave those exact same positive feelings and because I am in a different stage in my eczema healing I was able to receive and understand how important the “fun” aspect really is for an audience full of chronically ill people. I was given the opportunity to host the virtual ECZ-traveganza and seeing the joy and comments that I could catch at the Zoom party made me realize how important having a fun outlet is. Many expressed comments such as, “I didn’t know how much I needed this!”

An opportunity to have fun and be "normal" despite eczema

Eczema can be very sobering and overwhelming, but to have a planned night of forgetting about all of it and just be “normal” is such a gift to provide for the community. Although we need our rest and calm, I truly believe that we should not take for granted the joy that dancing in your house and sparking joy for you and your family can really bring. Don’t mention a few hours or more NOT thinking about eczema!

The Itch Factor allowed me to share in different ways

Before the Saturday night ECZ-traveganza was AtopicDermatitis.net writer, Linette Roungchun’s “The Itch Factor” event. This was such a special night full of talented, professional, and loving eczema warriors that all had the true value to share a part of their story through an expression of the arts. This opened up an entirely new way of getting the message across of the eczema experience and I was deeply moved. So inspired that I even shared a spoken word poem to the audience, which is something I’ve never done a day in my life! I am so glad that I took myself out of my comfort zone in that form of sharing and I feel like more eczema warriors should be encouraged to share in the form of artistic expression.

Learning more about eczema can be fun

Sharing scientific research and awakenings for eczema is so important and I will be sharing more things that I have learned this year in the future, but I truly believe there deserved to be an article based on the power of fun and inspiration in different forms when it comes to such a very serious subject. Let me know in the comments how you cope with eczema and the suppressed feelings that come with the battle.

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