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Late Summer Recap -- "Friends for Life" Children with Diabetes Conference

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:14pm
Another entry from my hiatus midsummer.  Enjoy!

"Friends for Life" Conference
One of the best parts of the year for me is July. Why?  Because that means it's time for the Children with Diabetes conference in Florida.  CWD was started in the 90's by Jeff Hitchcock when he and a couple of other parents began chatting about their diabetic kids over the internet.  When a trip to Disney was mentioned, many of the families decided to meet... and from there CWD is now an international diabetes outreach organization.  The Friends for Life conference is held in Florida each summer and now has attendance numbers over 1500 each year -- ages cover the gammut from newborns to adults w/ diabetes.

The conference has programming for preschool through adult, even including grandparents for almost a week solid.  There's always a great exhibit hall with the newest & best products on the market.  The week is capped off with the Friends Banquet and the farewell breakfast. 

I have helped for the last 3 years at Sports Central with other DESA (Diabetes Exercise and Sports Assoc) members and athletes. During the programming for each of the groups of kids, they rotate through educational sessions, play sessions, etc.  They also get to come into Sports Central for at least one session to hear from d-athletes and play games with all of them. It gives me a chance to catch up with folks like Judith & Danny Ambrosini, Rick Philbin, Bill King, Doug Burns, Chris McGee, Jen Alexander, Joe Eldridge, Missy Foy, Monique Hanley, Sebastian Sasserville, and many others! 

It's hard to put it all into words.  It's an amazing time and one I would very highly suggest everyone attend! Enjoy the pictures from this year's conference @ Disney!

Playing volleyball with the teens.

We get the chance to talk to the kids. It's so much fun to talk and play with kids... especially this preschool age group!  (left to rt: Judith, Jen, Chris, me, Danny, and Bill)

The view from the dinner restaurant @ Animal Kingdom.

Doug and Michelle with Snow White & Prince Charming @ the Farewell Breakfast

Liz & I w/ Cinderella and her Prince Charming @ Breakfast

CWD families getting ready to enjoy the afternoon parade @ Magic Kingdom
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