The St. Jude Cancer Predisposition Program hosted its inaugural family conference in June with a focus on Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a condition that makes a person more likely to develop one or more cancers in various parts of the body.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome is caused by changes in a gene known as TP53, which controls how cells grow and divide and prevents cancers from forming.
The conference was created to bring together families with hereditary predisposition to cancer for a weekend of education and relaxation. Families living with Li-Fraumeni syndrome attended the conference to learn about the latest scientific advances and other important topics such as cancer screening, coping and communication. Young adults learned how to navigate the medical system and take responsibility for their own health care.
Families attended a Memphis Redbirds baseball game Friday night before the conference began Saturday at St. Jude with speakers, interactive sessions and a panel discussion. The weekend event concluded Sunday morning with a group photo and an opportunity for attendees to share their thoughts and deepen their connections with each other.
“Every aspect of the weekend was wonderful. It was great to meet other families affected by LFS. Until this conference, we had never met anyone outside our family who was affected. We learned a lot about the latest research. It was amazing to meet and have access to the top people working on this genetic mutation. It was a positive and enjoyable experience. St. Jude is a very special place.”
— Family member in attendance