Chromosome 18 Decoded – Annual Conference

Join us in celebrating the 25th Annual 2018 Chromosome 18 Decoded!

Location: Baltimore, MD

  Dates: Monday, July 2nd to Wednesday, July 4th.  

Hotel: Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel

Check-In: Afternoon of Sunday, July 1st

Below are all the details we currently have available.

There will be NO on-site registration this year. All attendees must register by June 18, 2018.

We will release additional details as they become available to us.

Sponsorship Information now available! Click here for more information.

General Information

New name – nothing’s changed! We are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Chromosome 18 Annual Conference this year under the new name Chromosome 18 Decoded.  The 2018 Chromosome 18 Decoded will be held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel  from Monday, July 2nd through Wednesday, July 4th in Baltimore, Maryland.

Baltimore is located just an hour outside of Washington, DC and is easily accessible by all methods of travel. Come and join us in what is sure to be a great conference where you’ll get to see some old friends and meet many new friends. If this is your first time, we strongly encourage you to come with the whole family as we have lots of different programs and fun events for everybody.

Over the course of the three days many different speakers and events are available including four tracks of presentations for: the families of young children, the families of adolescents/young adults, siblings and self-advocates.  The sibling track is planned and run by our adult siblings trained in child development and facilitation.  The self-advocate track is for those affected individuals over the age of 16 who can function independently within the conference environment. There will be breakout discussion sessions for each syndrome group as well as for regional groups. 

The conference culminates on Wednesday evening with the Starfish Dinner and Dance and can guarantee that you will have so much fun, making it hard to say goodnight and goodbye to your Chromosome 18 family.  The Starfish Dinner & Dance is open to all (registered conference attendees, family, friends, community partners and sponsors). Tickets for unreserved seating are included in the conference registration.  All others may purchase tickets once registration opens. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who is not attending the conference to be part of our special event. The evening will end with Fourth of July Fireworks over the Baltimore Harbor – it will definitely be a night to remember!

Registration for Men’s Night, Ladies’ Night, Self-Advocate Outings, and Sibling Outings will be available soon through a different registration page. There will be NO on-site registration for activities this year.

Tentative Schedule:

We are excited that this year’s conference will have a wide range of speakers and topics.  There is definitely something for everyone!  Our schedule is not final and is subject to change.  We will keep you updated.

For a tentative schedule, please click here. The schedule is subject to change, as we build the best experience we can for you!

2017 Conference Committee

Conference Chair – Nichole McVicker,


Registration is now open!

This year there will be one registration price for all participants and you have the option to choose a stipend from Chromosome 18 or purchase a ticket at regular price.  Stipends are generated from funds raised throughout the year and distributed to help offset the price of conference fees.  Upon registering, you will notice the regular participant conference fees is $325 and you can choose to use the $125 stipend, bringing the conference fee to $200 per participant.  For those participants needing supervised care (baby, child, and teen childcare by childcare professionals) you will also find two registration options.  You can choose to register these participants with the stipend of $300, reducing your cost to $250 or at the full conference price with childcare fees at $550. Everyone must pre-register online. There will be no on-site registration

Register Now!


Book your room with the Chromosome 18 Discounted Rate Here!

The conference will be held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel and rooms are now available at a special rate of $159 per night (excluding tax). More information on hotel accommodations coming soon! This rate will be available until mid-June 2018, so please book your room in advance.

Book your room online or call +1-410-547-1200 to make your reservations directly with the hotel or you can also call the Marriott Toll-Free Reservation Center at +1-877-212-5752Please be sure to mention that you are with The Chromosome 18 Conference in order to receive the discount. Families often comment that staying in the same hotel as the conference, and with the other families, is critical for the full “Conference Experience”.  Please reserve your accommodations early.  Once the Chromosome 18’s block of rooms are fully booked, our members are not guaranteed a room in this hotel.  Your reservation is your responsibility. First come, first served!

Parking is $33 per day and Valet Parking is available for $43 per day.  There are many restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. No shuttle service is available from Baltimore/Washington Inernational Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI – 8 miles) or Martin State Airport (MTN – 10 miles).  More details can be found here.

Are you planning to extend your stay in Baltimore before or after the conference?  Check out this list of area activities.  

Starfish Dinner & Dance 

Everybody will be enjoying a wonderful night to include a three-course meal, awards presentation and silent and live auctions and lots of dancing as the culmination of a fantastic few days as the annual conference draws to a close at our Starfish Dinner & Dance that will take place on the evening of Wednesday, July 4th.

The Starfish Dinner & Dance is open to all (registered conference attendees, family, friends, community partners and sponsors). Tickets for unreserved seating are included in the conference registration.  All others may purchase tickets once registration opens. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who is not attending the conference to be part of our special event. 

VIP Reserved Table Fundraiser 

Raise at least $1,500 and you’ll be able to pick your choice of table (that seats 10) in the Ballroom for the Starfish Dinner & Dance and choose how you would like to be recognized by selecting your table name along with reserved seating. This sponsorship allows you to have up to 9 guests join you for the evening at no additional cost. These could be guests who are not attending the conference and who would like to attend the Starfish Dinner & Dance; they would not need to pay the ticket fee of $100 per person. You can also invite families from the conference to join you at your table!

Want to be right in the front, up close and in the center of the action? Prefer to be at the back to take it all in?  You decide…..

Learn more about the VIP Reserved Table Fundraiser!

 Important Information from the Chromosome 18 Clinical Research Center

If you are thinking about coming to the 2018 Chromosome 18 Decoded Family Conference in Baltimore, the Chromosome 18 Clinical Research Center will be offering several research projects to research participants. There will be NO blood draws to enroll new participants at this conference.

The first activity is a video recording of participants’ faces as they perform tasks such as smiling, puckering their lips, and reciting some words. These recordings will be analyzed for neuromuscular changes and speech quality. Participants must be over the age of eight who have an 18p or 18q deletion.

The second activity will be a short developmental evaluation that measures executive function skills and a second that measures finger-tapping speed. This activity is open to study participants over the age of 18 who can identify and verbally read names of colors.

Study participants can schedule either or both of these assessments for anytime on Sunday July 1 or throughout the conference. It is best to schedule an appointment in advance. For more information or to schedule an appointment email Annice Hill at

Frequently Asked Questions

Attendees frequently have questions about what to expect at the conference and how registration works.  We invite you to read our FAQ’s to learn more about the conference and contact us with any additional questions!  Feel free to contact the Registry office for registration assistance and / or questions at or call 210.657.4968


Childcare will be provided by a professional service for this year’s Chromosome 18 Decoded.  In addition, we will be offering program tracks for Self-Advocates and Siblings.  We will have a lounge and hang-out space for kids in each of these groups. It will be a place where the kids can sign themselves in and out (with their parent’s permission).
Schedules will be available for CK childcare activities closer to the date of the conference!

Schedule Information

For a tentative schedule, please click here. The schedule is subject to change, as we build the best experience we can for you!

Registration Forms:

More information coming soon!

Topics and Speakers

More information coming soon!

Event Sponsorship

By being part of the 25th Annual Chromosome 18 – Decoded your organization can make a difference to the lives of these individuals and families affected by chromosome 18 abnormalities. View the 2018 Chromosome 18 Decoded Sponsorship Packet now! Contact with any questions!

Our 2017 Annual Conference was held in Naperville, IL from July 12-15th.  

Naperville 2017 Annual Conference Review

It wouldn’t be July without the Chromosome 18 Annual Conference! This year was no different, as we celebrated our 24th Annual Conference at the Chicago Naperville Marriott in Naperville, Illinois. Our wonderful conference chairs Kathy Borello and Ivette Ruiz Cohen spent countless hours during the year to make this conference a memorable experience for the attendees, and all that hard work and effort really paid off! We had 436 people in attendance making this year’s conference one of the largest gatherings the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society has had in the conference’s 24 year history. Over 600 hotel rooms were booked, 97 people attend the conference for the first time, numerous individuals registered for the Chromosome 18 Clinical Research Center’s study for the first time, and we had a wonderful keynote speech by Chris Ulmer.

A wide variety of topics were covered by our amazing speakers who all donated their time and expertise to help all the families.  We had so many wonderful family members that helped with everything from registration, merchandise, room hosting, speaker listing, AV, DJ, and the silent auction to name just a few. As our conference gets bigger, we have to thank the amazing dedication of everybody that donates their time to give the attendees such a high quality of experience at a primarily volunteer organized conference.

Several different events were organized for the self advocates this year including a meal at the Pour House, fun and games at the Naperville Yard, and throwing a ten pin strike at Bowlero.  The siblings had lots happening as well and joined in with many fun events at the hotel and their own trips to Naperville Yard and the Pour House.  The Men’s Night saw a large group head off on the Trolley (Ding, Ding) to Top Golf and the Ladies Night hosted a Bunco Party with some traditional Chicago Pizza being delivered.

Our final night had a packed ballroom for the Starfish Dinner & Dance, and as always, this night didn’t disappoint with a full dance floor with everybody joining in the fun for hours.  Helping offset some of the costs for the Conference, we sold a lot of amazing new merchandise plus the silent and live auctions were a huge success.  Thanks to everybody who made donations to the auctions and over $9,000 was raised for the Registry!

Everybody is excited about our 25th Annual Conference in 2018, and we will be at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore Harbor from July 2-4th. This will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display that we will be able to view from the comfort of the hotel after the conclusion of the Starfish Dinner & Dance.  Get your dancing shoes ready for Baltimore it’s going to be a blast!


Past Conference Locations

  • 2017- Naperville, Illinois
  • 2016- San Antonio, Texas
  • 2015- Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 2014- Stamford, Connecticut
  • 2013- Savannah, Georgia
  • 2012- San Antonio, Texas
  • 2011- Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2010- Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 2009- Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 2008- San Antonio, Texas
  • 2007- Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • 2006- Anaheim, California
  • 2005- Estes Park, Colorado
  • 2004- San Antonio, Texas
  • 2003- Hershey Pennsylvania
  • 2002- Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
  • 2001- Midway, Utah
  • 2000- Boerne, Texas
  • 1999- Arlington, Virginia
  • 1998- Winter Park, Colorado
  • 1997- Oakbrook, Illinois
  • 1996- Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1995- San Antonio, Texas
  • 1994- Schaumburg, Illinois