- How do I register for the conference?
FFL Canada sold out in an incredible three hours. We are working hard to make more space available for 2019. If you are joining us for the Mix-n-Mingle on Saturday evening and would like to stay at the Marriott, please call them to check on availability. The conference room block is now closed.
- How do I register for childcare at the conference? What do the kids do in childcare? How will the staff take care of my child's diabetes?
To register for childcare, choose ‘child’ when registering for FFL Canada. Childcare is limited to the first 20 children who apply because of space limitations, so register as early as possible. Childcare is for full days only and for children age 5 and under. Childcare is coordinated by Erin Randall, RN, CDE and staffed by a team specifically chosen based on their experience with this age group.
- Can my child participate in childcare for partial days?
Childcare is for full days only. We need to do this for staffing reasons. Childcare will open at 8:45am on Saturday and Sunday. Parents need to pick up their child right after morning sessions for lunch (60 minute lunch break). Childcare will close at 4:15 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
- What do I do about snacks in childcare?
You may leave a snack at childcare, in a container marked with your child's name on it. Otherwise, child-friendly snacks will be available in the refreshment area outside the childcare rooms. When you come to check on your child during the break times, you will need to get them snack (we will not allow them to graze in the snack area without you being there!) and bring it into the childcare room. We will have beverages with and without sugar, as well as water. We'll also have a supply of glucose tabs and juice boxes in each room to treat lows. If you bring a snack, please, NO NUTS of any kind.
- Can you accommodate special dietary needs, such as celiac or peanut allergies?
Yes. As with past Friends for Life® conferences, we take great care in trying to accommodate the special dietary needs of our conference participants. Please note that all food served at our conference will have portion size and carb counts listed in tent cards on the buffet tables (including the snack area by childcare). If you need special dietary accommodations (food allergies, kosher, gluten-free, etc.), there is a place on the registration form for you to note that. Note that you must alert us to allergies prior to the conference in order for us to ensure meals and snacks that work for you. Please note that all meals and snacks at FFL are nut-free.
- Will my kids who don't have diabetes participate?
Friends for Life® is for your entire family. Kids who don't have diabetes, whether they have a sibling or parent with type 1, participate in their age group sessions. There's much to learn and share for them too.
- What is the dress code?
Niagara in November can be cool, windy, wet, or snowy - Come prepared for fall in Canada! Dress comfortably. For most people, this means jeans, t-shirt, and a warm layer. If you are attending the Saturday evening social for Adults with Type 1 (as well as partners and friends - sorry, no parents allowed!), you may like to bring something a bit dressier. The youth program includes sessions which can be quite active. Please make sure your kids wear appropriate shoes for these activities.
- I want to volunteer. How do I sign up to help?
Heather Gomez is in charge of the volunteer schedule. We have over 40 volunteers at FFL Canada. We couldn't put on a conference without the help of these folks! Some jobs are quite big (coordinators of different areas, such as AV or room moderators), others require less time (such a room captains, or check-in for the movie night.) Although most spots are already filled, feel free to email Heather if you have a special interest in being involved. Please note, all staff working with youth are required to have a Vulnerable Sectors Check completed.
- My child has special needs. Will she be able to participate in the regular youth programming?
Our Youth Staff are skilled at type 1 diabetes care, but are not trained to take care of a child with special needs. If your child has special needs, please contact Laura Billetdeaux via email ([email protected]) before you register to ensure that your child will be able to join in their age group programming.
- I read about the Tween Program. My son is 13. Will he be a Tween or a Teen?
We must be very strict about kids staying within their particular age groups. This year we will have childcare (ages 0-5), elementary group (ages 6-8), a tween group (ages 9-12), and a teen group (ages 13-17). Those who are 18 are part of the adult group, not teens.
- I see that the teens are scheduled to go off-site on Sunday. Will other age groups be doing this as well?
This is a special event just for the teens. Note that teens must participate in all six sessions on Saturday and Sunday in order to participate in the off-site event on Sunday.
- Can children come into the adult sessions?
Unless otherwise noted, they may, although we strongly encourage kids to be in their age-appropriate sessions. The material presented in adult sessions is on an adult level. Often, some of these same topics are discussed with the children within the context of some of their other learning activities - and the material is at an age-appropriate level for their group. Be aware that some adult and parents sessions include topics that are not appropriate for kids and kids will not be permitted in those sessions.
- Can you share any tips for traveling with diabetes?
See our page about Traveling with Diabetes and Flying with Diabetes for suggestions.
- I'm confused about where all the meals and sessions are. Can you please explain?
All of the sessions and all of the meals are held right on site. The main meals will be held in the Oakes Ballroom, with additional seating in Milestone’s on the same level of the hotel as the Oakes Ballroom.
- I received a registration confirmation form. Do I need to keep this?
The confirmation form verifies what you paid for. You should have received this from RegOnline right after you completed payment. Please print out your registration confirmation and bring it with you to the conference. When you pick up your registration materials on Friday evening, you can double check that everything is correct. At the registration desk (2nd Floor - Oakes Foyer) we will hand you name badges, conference t-shirts (the sizes you indicated on the registration form), and the printed program. Nothing is mailed ahead of time.
- Our family is planning to arrive a few days early, stay at the hotel, and visit some local theme parks. Is there a way for us to hook up with other CWD families ahead of time?
There are usually hundreds of FFL participants at the hotel from Sunday on. CWD families are pretty easy to recognize pool-side: we're the ones with the diabetes t-shirts, the glucose tabs and juice sitting out, the blood glucose meters on the pool chairs, and pump tubing hanging out of swim trunks! Also, there is an email list for all families participating in the conference. When you provide an email address on your registration form, you are automatically added to the list. As a list member, you may send a message to all other participants. You might ask, for instance, if other families with a 7 year old would like to go to a theme park with you on Monday. Or if anyone with preschoolers would like to meet at the kiddie pool at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Note that this year, we have organized >Meet Ups for moms, dads, adults with type 1, and significant others.
- Is there a Facebook Group for Friends for Life Canada
Yes, we have a private Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/FFLCanada. You must ask to be admitted to the group. If your Facebook profile doesn't immediately convey that you are part of the type 1 diabetes community, please email Jeff Hitchcock ([email protected]) and ask him to approve your request to join the group.
- We cannot afford the conference. Are there scholarships available?
Because the Friends for Life Conference is already so heavily subsidized, there are not additional subsidies available through Connected in Motion or Children with Diabetes. If we are made aware of external scholarship opportunities, we will post them here.
- Do I sign up ahead of time for the sessions on Saturday and Sunday?
No, you do not sign up for the Saturday and Sunday sessions. Just go to them. Please be on time, as the seats do fill up
- I'm coming from outside the US. Can CIM help me get a visa?
CIM is unable to provide any assistance with obtaining a visa. Visitors from outside Canada are encouraged to submit a visa application well in advance of their anticipated travel date. Note that you will also need to make your own hotel reservations using a credit card. CIM cannot help with that either. Please note, if you are traveling from outside of the country, you will need your own travel health insurance. Please be sure you have obtained this before crossing the border so you can access emergency medical services, should they be required.
- I work with a non-profit diabetes organization in my community and was wondering if it's ok for me to hand out information about it at the conference.
CIM and CWD receive hundreds of requests from organizations such as yours. The only companies and organizations which are allowed to hand out literature and demonstrate their products at FFL conferences are the ones who are in the Exhibit Hall or at our Community Mix & Mingle. Thank you for respecting this!
- Are we required to stay at the conference hotel?
You are not required to stay at the Marriott on the Falls, although most people choose to do so for convenience and the sense of community, which often extends into the evenings and down time, by the pool and in the common areas.
- May I bring my diabetes alert dog to Friends for Life?
The staff at FFL is well aware of the positive impact Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs) have on children and adults who live with type 1 diabetes. While we do not want to disturb these relationships, we want to ensure that the presence of DADs does not interfere with the positive experiences of all our attendees. While DADs are welcome, we discourage conference participants from bringing their DADs to FFL. We have learned from past experience that DADs have a tendency to become overwhelmed and stressed by being in a closed environment for several days with hundreds of individuals who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We have seen DADs become overly aggressive and exhibit signs of anxiety because of their situation at FFL.
- I’m not registered for the conference, but heard that I can still attend the Saturday evening social and the Community Mix & Mingle.
That’s correct - The Saturday evening events are for the wider diabetes community. We are offering them as a way to connect, even if you weren’t able to register for the conference. Please note, pre-registration for these events is required. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased here: register.connectedinmotion.ca/event/type-1-community-mix-n-mingle-and-adult-social-friends-for-life-canada/e203111
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