Welcome to the Twenty-First Biannual Henderson Family Reunion!
Our Planning Committee has been working nonstop for the last two years to put together what is sure to be an action-packed, fun-filled weekend—for the whole family! Ha, ha! This handy guide will allow you to take full advantage.
- Start at the Welcome Table where you’ll get your schedule of events and your nametag. For those Hendersons with a common first name, we’ve tried to provide a fun differentiating detail on each tag—other than your last initial!
- For the approximately fifteen percent of Hendersons who suffer from the genetic mutation that causes Henderson Syndrome, your nametag has been affixed with a red biohazard sticker.
- Please keep in mind that we Hendersons are guests at this facility—and what a beautiful facility it is! Enjoy the fields, trees, picnic areas, and rustic cabins, but take care to clean up after yourselves, and, for those with Henderson Syndrome, your assistance dogs.
- We hope you came hungry, because the BBQ area is stocked with every imaginable culinary delight. Don’t miss the “Around the World” Table, which features foods from the thirteen countries in which Hendersons currently live—plus a few more!
- Feeding tubes are available for those with Henderson Syndrome.
- No family reunion would be complete without a bit of family lore! So on Sunday at 2pm, join Professor Felix R. Henderson, of Johns Hopkins University, for his lecture on “The Henderson Family Experience in America: 1700-Present.”
- The lecture by Professor Murray L. Henderson, who is living testimony to what those of us with Henderson Syndrome can achieve, entitled “Fighting Against All Odds: Our Extremely Rare Genetic Mutation and How It Can Be Overcome,” has been canceled, due to his coma.
- Marco! Polo! It’s pool-games time at 1pm—bring your goggles!
- Joking aside, Henderson Syndromers should of course wear their goggles at all times, as well as their full-body germ suits.
- Those tents out on the field—all sixteen!—are full of fun activities to try! Maybe you’re in the mood for a magic show (Tent 3), an astrological forecast (Tent 9), or a caricature (Tent 4)—although don’t get offended if that classic Henderson nose ends up slightly exaggerated!
- Please note that tent marked “FITS” has been reserved for those family members with Henderson Syndrome. THERE IS NO SCHEDULED ACTIVITY IN THIS TENT AND IF YOU DO NOT HAVE HENDERSON SYNDROME YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO AVOID THIS AREA FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.
- A quick addition to the schedule of events: at 8:30pm on Sunday, we’ll slow the action and observe a moment of silence for Martin L. Henderson, the Henderson for whom Henderson Syndrome is named, commemorating exactly ninety years since the April day when his pancreas exploded.
- Make sure you save enough energy to stay up Saturday night for the fireworks! We had many questions on this last time, so please note in advance that the purple and yellow represent the colors of the original Henderson family crest and are not poking fun at Henderson Syndrome bruises.
- We’ve hired a professional photographer to document this historic gathering, so if she stops you and asks you to pose, be sure to give her that famous Henderson smile! (If you have Henderson Syndrome, she understands that you will have to continue screaming.)
- Don’t forget to bring the kids over to the Fun and Games area, where they can enjoy kickball, relay races—and a Slip N’ Slide!
- Henderson Syndromers, please note: the Slip N’ Slide has not been hemophiliac-certified. However, Henderson Syndrome kids are welcome to pass the time with our balloon-animal professional, who has been specially trained to create balloon models of the unique pattern formed by your intestines.
- On Sunday evening, we’ll say our goodbyes with a special gathering on the north side of the field, and bury those Hendersons we lost over the weekend to Henderson Syndrome.
Illustration by Christina Song
This article was originally published November 2013