The MDF Annual Conference – which many think of as a DM family reunion – ranks among the Foundation’s oldest and most beloved traditions – and for good reason! Individuals with DM of all types and ages, their families, their providers, and the scientists studying the condition’s possible paths to treatment – all gather in one place and time to explore the latest research, discuss strategies for better living, and to end isolation through community.

The MDF Annual Conference Scholarship Program aims to provide financial support for a person living with DM and a caregiver to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience learning about research, sharing tips for maximizing daily life, and being empowered by community. Caregivers – parents, spouses, etc. – are welcome to apply on behalf of their loved one living with DM.

  • Living with DM. Scholarships may also cover one caregiver upon request.
  • First-time in-person conference attendee. Priority will be given to first-time attendees. This allows MDF to ensure as many people as possible are able to attend at least once. This refers to first time attending in person, not virtually. 
  • Financial need. Household income and member information will not be saved, stored, or shared but will be used to determine financial need.
  • Previous conference attendee. For those who have previously attended an MDF conference in person, MDF will review applications after all of the first-time attendee scholarships have been awarded. 

A MDF Annual Conference Scholarship Award includes:
  • Registration for 1 person living with DM and up to 1 caregiver upon request.
  • Three or four nights’ stay at the conference hotel from Wednesday through Sunday – up to an $800 value!
    • Domestic scholarship applicants requesting four nights (Wednesday through Sunday) must attend Thursday's MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on September 7th.
    • Domestic scholarship applicants not attending MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill will receive three nights' hotel stay (Thursday through Sunday).
    • International scholarship applicants may request four nights in order to accommodate long travel times (Wednesday through Sunday).
  • Most meals will be covered during your stay at the hotel
  • Total domestic travel reimbursement up to $350
  • Total international travel reimbursement up to $500
    Applications will be received until midnight on Thursday, June 1st. Determinations will be made by June 3rd. Early bird registration rates are available until June 19th so even those who do not receive a scholarship will still be able to register at a discounted rate.

    Join us for MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill 
    The myotonic dystrophy community must raise our voices to make a change! When we speak up, we influence research funding budgets, the development of new therapies, clinical trial efforts, and initiatives to improve the quality and cost of care. To take advantage of the Washington, DC location this year, MDF will be hosting MDF Advocacy Day at the US Capitol to meet with legislators to further advance our advocacy goals. Special thanks to our Lead Conference Sponsor, Avidity Biosciences, for sponsoring the MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill Community Breakfast & Advocate Training.

    The deadline to add MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill to your registration is June 3rd. In preparation of MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, attendees will be connected with members of the MDF National Advocacy Committee, who will help coordinate our meeting requests to ensure there is only one MDF meeting request per congressional office.

    Please note, prior to departing for Capitol Hill participants must attend the Community Breakfast & Advocate Training, sponsored by Avidity Biosciences.

    Scholarship Rules: 
    • Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis, awarded each Friday on a first come, first served basis.
    • Awardees must accept an offered scholarship within two weeks from the date of award by registering for the conference.
    • Awardees who do not accept the award within the stated two-week time frame, may risk loss of the award.
    • Awardees who accept the scholarship, have travel and rooms booked, but who do not attend the MDF Annual Conference without an approved excusal will be ineligible to apply for future scholarships of any type for a period of up to five-years.
    • Awardees who miss their scheduled transportation unrelated to weather, or system delays, will be responsible for the resulting difference in transportation ticket prices. 
    • Attendance at MDF Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill is required for awardees who secure a fourth night at the hotel under the MDF scholarship program.  

    Thank you to our Lead Sponsor, Avidity Biosciences, for helping fund this initiative.

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