Inishowen speakers for conference

Sharon Thompson.

Sharon Thompson.

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An Inishowen woman is to speak at a major cross-border conference focusing on birth defects and rare disease.

Sharon Thompson from Moville will speak at the event, which will be held today at Lough Erne Resort in support of Rare Disease Day and World Birth Defect day.

Sharon and her husband Brian’s little girl, Victoria, passed away at the age of just nine-months-old.

The conference is being organised by The Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership (NIRDP) and patients, carers, clinicians and health and social care professionals, as well as charities and other organisations, will take part, supporting their ethos of “Stronger Together”.

A second Inishowen person, Donall Henderson, the CEO of the Foyle Hospice, will also speak at the event.

The morning session will focus on birth defects and the afternoon session on rare disease.

The organisers say the day as a whole will bring together families, carers, patient representative organisations, industry representatives, and clinicians and other health and social care professionals, with policy makers and advisers.

Sharon Thompson will speak on ‘Losing a Child and Palliative Care.’

Sharon is also part of the group of mothers who call themselves ‘Our Children’s Voice,’ who are calling for greater palliative care services, cross-border and respite care in Donegal.

It was recently confirmed that a children’s outreach nurse will be appointed in Donegal but the group have said they will also continue to fight on for other issues such as cross-border care.

Other speakers at today’s conference include Dr. Frank Casey: Consultant paediatric cardiologist, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Donna Lynch: Down’s Syndrome Association.