Julie Flygare Gives Keynote Presentation to Southern Sleep Society

Keynote Presentation at the Southern Sleep Society's Founders Awards Banquet (March 31, 2012)

This spring, I was so honored to give the Keynote Presentation at the Southern Sleep Society’s 34th Annual Meeting’s Founders Awards Banquet in San Destin, FL. 

The Southern Sleep Society is the oldest regional sleep society in America. Their 34th Annual Meeting attracted over two hundred participants including sleep doctors, researchers and technicians. As a speaker, I was invited to sit-in on all conference sessions which I enjoyed immensely. 

I prepared my speech carefully, but I felt a bit sheepish surrounded by so many experts.  They talk to patients constantly – what could I possibly offer? Would I put them to sleep?

A ball of nerves sat heavy in my stomach as I entered the Grand San Destin Resort on on Saturday night for the Founders Awards Banquet.  After dinner and dessert, it was my turn to take the podium. 

For 15 seconds, I felt like a deer in headlights. Perhaps this was a big mistake. Then, I took off. My stories flowed easily, as I weaved through the “hightlights” tour of my experience with narcolepsy. Surprisingly, my subtle jokes were so well received that I added a few extra. I was 100% myself. 

Everyone’s eyes were pealed.  When I described my worst cataplexy before treatment, I noticed a few tears in the audience. 

When I finished, everyone stood and clapped. I got a standing ovation!

Many sleep doctors, researchers and technicians introduced themselves afterwards. Each expressed incredible passion for helping their patients with sleep disorders like narcolepsy.  I met doctors who care. I don’t know if it’s a southern thing or what, but I returned from Florida more hopeful than ever!

Thank you, Southern Sleep Society for this incredible opportunity of a lifetime. 


  1. tricia on May 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Way to go Julie! I wish I could have been there to shoulder some of the cataplexy.

    • julie on May 31, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you, Tricia! Your on-going support means the world to me.

  2. Trinity on May 30, 2012 at 7:41 am

    I second Tricia’s comment! Noone else I would rather see out there, representing all of us and educating people. So proud to be your friend!

    • julie on May 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you, Trinity! Your positive attitude is an inspiration to me!

  3. Debbie on May 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    🙂 You are one busy lady! It sounds like it was a great experience! Keep up your good works!

    • julie on May 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you, Debbie! I like to keep myself busy. It was a wonderful experience. As much as I love the Northeast, I met some really amazing people in the South! 🙂

  4. Keith on June 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Can I read a transcript of your speech? I’m sure it was eye opening! Congrats as always!

    • julie on June 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Keith. Unfortunately, I don’t have a transcipt, just an outline. Most came from my memoir, which I hope will be available soon!

  5. 2012: Year in Review on December 27, 2012 at 4:49 am

    […] Giving 12 narcolepsy presentations across the country – from California to Cleveland; from Florida to Boston.3. Launching my video series.4. Running Mt Washington Road Race in honor of my father […]

  6. […] perfected my “personal story” presentation which I’ve given many times, including last year’s SSS Meeting.  Although I was well-prepared and confident this year, it was still new territory. I enjoyed […]

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