Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Falling for Switzerland

I still have to pinch myself when I think about having international colleagues and friends because of my Daddy's work!  The fact that the medical research of a son of the Mississippi Delta, born in Louise, MS in 1929, is being continued by a team of researchers all over the world, still excites me! Ever since first learning about this research on Upshaw Schulman Syndrome (read more here) and my first visit to Switzerland in 2014 (read more here) I have stayed in touch with the team of researchers.

The Bern team: Johanna, Magdelena, Monica, Irmela, Isabella
I always thought that my 2014 trip to Switzerland was a "once in a lifetime" trip. But, low and behold, I was wrong! Thanks to Johanna I had my second trip of a lifetime to Switzerland in February to attend the 61st Annual Meeting of the Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis Society. Johanna served as President of the congress (as they call the meeting) which was taking place 20 years after the ADAMTS13 and TTP ADAMTS13 deficiency, both related to Upshaw Schulman Syndrome! And this time I, literally, fell for Switzerland and all the researchers not only focused on Upshaw Schulman Syndrome, but other blood disorders as well.

Just so you know, I had some official duties at the congress; photographer and celebrity (LOL).
Celebrity shot with Reinhard (Germany) and Gyorgy (Hungary)
It was surprising to me how many people wanted their picture taken with the daughter of Jefferson Davis Upshaw, MD! That took me by surprise, but I was especially glad that so many of them were young researchers. Daddy's work is being continued by a special group of people and I am blessed to have met them.

Here are some pictures from my time at the meeting and then the trip Johanna and I took to the Netherlands after the congress. Oh, and by the way, I did literally fall while at the Basel Munster. Broke my wrist; experienced the Swiss health care system; continued on to the Netherlands; came back to Memphis and had surgery with a plate and screws. But, that all pales in comparison to my trip and I am so glad I stayed and had the "second trip of a lifetime".

I spent my first night in a small hotel not far from the Limmat River in Zurich, Switzerland
Padlock bridges are numerous in Europe, including the Muhlesteg Bridge over the Limmat River in Zurich. Lovers secure a padlock engraved with their initials, names, or wedding date. Tradition has it that they then throw the key into the river symbolizing that their love is forever and can never be unlocked.
Lunch on the Rhine in Basel, Switzerland

The Rhine at Basel, Switzerland
Wooden ferry pulled across the Rhine by the current. Runs to the Basel Munster

Approach to the Basel Munster, Basel, Switzerland
The Basel Munster, Basel, Switzerland

Basel Munster window that distracted me enough to fall and, well, the rest is history

Headed to Amsterdam, with a little extra padding to protect my arm
We took a boat tour on the canals upon arriving in Amsterdam

Johanna and I stayed on a houseboat on the Waalseilands canal in Amsterdam

View looking out the living room window on the houseboat
Beautiful, old shopping arcades line the canals. And yes, we traveled through the red-light district and
noticed wafts of marijuana as we walked through the streets of Amsterdam

Sheep dot the Dutch countryside, especially on our ride to windmill country

Headed to windmill country on a misty Dutch morning

Kinderdijk, Holland

Kinderdijk, Holland

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