Back to CWD Conferences Anaheim 2017 Report

Friends for Life Anaheim 2017

CWD's Friends for Life Anaheim conference returned to the Disneyland Hotel for a fourth year, and it was another fabulous weekend for all involved! The conference, held May 5-7, drew about 300 participants primarily from California and the western states, but also from Canada and the UK.

Many thanks to our wonderful presenters and discussion facilitators - your expertise is unmatched, and you have a real talent for helping families and individuals with type 1 understand the most challenging concepts. The conference featured two keynote presenters, Korey Hood and Mike Avery. Korey, a psychologist with type 1, focused Saturday morning on a topic which is on many minds in his opening keynote, “The Psychological Side of an Artificial Pancreas.” Stunt man Mike Avery closed the conference Sunday afternoon on an upbeat note, describing his life and challenges with type 1 as he jumps from bridges, helicopters, and airplanes while pretending to be some of Hollywood’s biggest names. In between? Lots of information-packed sessions by Gary Scheiner, Jamie Wood, Diana Naranjo, and Jen Block, as well as a “Meet the Experts” panel discussion led by the PADRE Foundation.

The conference included an advocacy track on Saturday, with the topics “Affordable Access to Insulin,” “The FDA’s Role in Device Innovation and What You Can Do to Help,” and “Diabetes Advocacy in Your Own Backyard.” Many thanks to Christel Marchand Aprigliano for pulling together these sessions, which also included George Huntley, Stewart Perry, Alain Silk, Bruce Taylor, and Reese Isbell.

On Saturday evening, the PADRE Foundation sponsored ‘Wild World,’ a dessert reception featuring visits from some wonderful friends from the animal world. The animal handler talked about the animals’ habitats and adaptations, and then kids got to meet and take photos with their favorites. It was a very fun and educational evening for all.

To the Youth Program leaders and staff - thank you for your enthusiasm, energy, and talent. Your commitment is appreciated by all. The kids had such a great time and learned so much from you and from each other. There were many FFLs made this weekend!

To our wonderful sponsors: Lilly Diabetes, Tandem Diabetes Care, Dexcom, Inc., Animas, BD, Novo Nordisk, Beta Bionics,, Insulet Corporation, the American Diabetes Association, JDRF, and the PADRE Foundation — thanks for continuing to believe in CWD and for supporting our mission to reach ever more families with life-changing conferences. You make a difference.

Jo Stroud and Kristen Seiz — thanks for all of your hard work with the food and beverage, including all of the carb counts, portion sizes, and attention to food allergies. Everything went like clockwork, and the food was yummy. Well done. Chef Joven – thank you for the many hours you spent on our menus with Kristen and Jo, and for being available all weekend to answer questions.

Scott Kyllo, Chad Kyllo, and Jim Stroud — Great job on ‘everything IT.’ Donna Cope, thanks for heading up the FFL Support Team, and – as always – for your watchful eyes the entire weekend.

To everyone else behind the scenes - you work so tirelessly, with the goal of a seamless conference. Most people don't know how much elbow grease goes into a weekend event. And that's the beauty of it. You have our most humble thanks. Now, it's time to get started on next year – FFL Anaheim 2018, which will be May 4-6, right back at the Disneyland Hotel!

And with that, the weekend in photos ...

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