Back to Activities Chicago 2006 Conference

Children with Diabetes: Focus on Pumping

A Regional Conference and Expo
September 29 - October 1, 2006
Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Even little kids pump

Bolusing is easy

Rachel named her pump "Blossom"

Learn about site rotation -- using magic markers

CWD kids received the first two Cozmo pumps shipped!

CWD kids proudly wear their pumps

Share pump stories with other kids

Learn important skills like matching pump covers ...

... and hiding pumps under formal dresses

Why Focus on Pumping?

Meet the Gordon Twins
Photo Meet Erin and Caitlin Gordon, featured in ACCU-CHEK television ads, on Saturday, September 30th.

Try an Insulin Pump

Come to the conference and try a pump! Several pump companies -- Animas, Medtronic MiniMed, and Smiths Medical -- will be offering this great opportunity for potential would-be pumpers to try a pump using saline. Anyone interested in wearing a pump (with saline) may do so Friday, Saturday, or Sunday at the conference. A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline."

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information and to schedule an appointment with a specific pump company, contact the following individuals:

Val Valentino at 1-877-YES PUMP, extension 1225 or via e-mail at

Smiths Medical:
Marilyn Graff at 1-800-544-4734 extension 7201 or via e-mail at

Medtronic MiniMed
Julie Sweidan at 1-800-999-9859 x 4514 or via e-mail at

Efficacy research has shown that using an insulin pump is one of the best ways to manage type 1 diabetes. At Children with Diabetes, many of our children (and parents) are pumpers already, while many more are simply curious about pumping, and still manage diabetes via multiple daily injections (MDI). It is our intent with this conference to offer basic pumping information to those people who are brand new to insulin pumps, and to offer more cutting-edge research information to those people who already know quite a bit about insulin pumps, perhaps wear one, and want to improve their diabetes management.

We hope that the Focus on Pumping conference will help you and your family gain a better understanding of how insulin pumps work, the current technology in pumps now available to people with diabetes, and the exciting new technology coming down the road both short and long-term. And we hope to motivate you to try a pump if you never have! Insulin pump companies will be on site providing saline pump starts to those who wish to wear a pump (or more than one) to experience what it feels like and how a pump works up close and personal. Please note that a physician's prescription is necessary for this, and details are available in the sidebar on this page.

Some very exciting faculty will be joining us! Pediatric endocrinologist Bruce Buckingham will open the conference with an exploration of "Why Pump Insulin?" and later in the conference will take a look into the future of pumping with a discussion of sensor technology and closed loop systems. Gary Scheiner, author of Think Like A Pancreas, will cover two areas of great concern to pumpers: Strike the Spike (Managing Post-Prandial Highs) and Preventing and Managing Hypoglycemia.

John Walsh, author of Pumping Insulin, a text considered one of the best overall resources for pumpers, will present a session on The Basics of Pumping, which is a must for anyone considering switching from MDI to an insulin pump. Additionally, for those who have been pumping successfully for awhile and would like to address some of the more difficult or advanced concepts of pumping, John will offer a second session called Advanced Pumping Concepts.

Have you or your child thought about getting an insulin pump, but you are nervous about 'being attached to something every day, all day?' You're not alone. Are you afraid a younger child might play with the pump buttons or mistakenly bolus in the middle of the night? Afraid an infusion set will hurt or will fall out? These are all things that pumpers think about at first. Jeff Hitchcock, along with a panel of CWD kids and teen pumpers, will share their thoughts with you and answer your questions.

Confused by all the infusion sets on the market? What's the difference between a Quick-Set vs. an Inset vs. a Silhouette? And how do you know which one will work best for your child or yourself? Diabetes Educator Natalie Bellini can help you figure this out in a fun and hands-on session. Also, the pump companies will have their infusion sets available for you to look at and ask questions about -- it's a great opportunity to compare, gather information, and decide what is best for you!

What about the athletic insulin pumper? Is it ok to wear an insulin pump when you are participating in an active sport like hockey, football, or basketball? And what are you supposed to do if you are a dancer or participate in gymnastics and there just doesn't seem to be a place to even put the insulin pump? Athletic trainer and pumper Rick Philbin will discuss this, and more! Rick will also be available by appointment on Saturday and Sunday for individual kids and their parents to discuss specific sports-related challenges with diabetes management.

Finally, ADA's Crystal Jackson will talk with parents about how to make insulin pumping in school be a positive and healthy experience for kids, families, and the school professionals. It may seem like an easy thing to accomplish, but there are so many pieces involved with successful pumping in a school environment, that it is really helpful to walk through the steps with Crystal. On Sunday, Crystal will work on specific problem-solving with families who are currently experiencing challenges with pumping in their school districts. Even if things are going smoothly for your child and your school, it is helpful to hear others' experiences so that you have ideas for problem-solving strategies down the road ... just in case.

Experts Who Can Help

CWD has invited some of the top experts in the diabetes industry to share their ideas with you. In addition to the scheduled presentations, the conference faculty will be available during meals and breaks for more personalized discussion with moms and dads. Our faculty are very approachable - don't be shy about asking questions! This is a time to discuss anything on your mind relating to diabetes management. It's a great opportunity to network and share ideas, and interact with several of CWD's most wonderful and caring professionals!

In addition, for kids, tweeners, and teens, there will be special sessions just for you all day both Saturday and Sunday. One area in the conference center is for kids ages 6-9, one area is designated for kids ages 10-12, and a third area is designated for teens. These sessions are fun and activity based - they will not focus on 'just diabetes,' so they are fine for sisters, brothers, and friends to attend!

Teens will likely start in discussion groups in the morning (topics to be determined by the teens, of course!) and will head offsite for the afternoons after lunch. These excursions will be led by Natalie Bellini, Rick Philbin, Chris Tull, Jim Vail, and Neal Billetdeaux, all veteran CWD faculty. Parents are welcome as chaperones if you'd like to come along. Some pocket money for incidentals or snacks should be provided by parents.

Any teen with diabetes going off-site must have a meter, insulin, and glucose along with them! Also, parents must sign a release that it is OK for the teen to go offsite with CWD staff.

Please note that elementary and tweener sessions are for all children, not just those with diabetes. Sessions will include games, a Scavenger Hunt, arts-n-crafts projects, and some outdoor activities (sitting in one place all day simply is not fun). There will be some discussion about taking care of diabetes and some discussion about insulin pumps. We try to 'play it by ear' with our younger group, and follow their lead as far as what is interesting and exciting for them to do at any given time of the day. Again, our faculty - Lauren Lanning, Michelle Rago, and Mike Schurig - have experience with this age group and have worked for years with school-aged kids in CWD conferences. Parents are welcome to help or observe at any time!

We will have childcare for potty trained children ages 3-5. No separate child care registration is required.

The Program

The program is designed to run 4 sessions simultaneously during most of the weekend. There will be two-day educational tracks for adults and parents of children with diabetes, school-age children (ages 6-9), tweeners (ages 10-12), and teens (ages 13+). Sessions will end on Sunday late afternoon. Participants who would like to continue to visit and interact with other CWD families are encouraged to stay over Sunday night and relax poolside or enjoy the many attractions that Chicago has to offer. Please note that all conference participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or adult guardian with them during the entire conference (i.e., teens and children should not be dropped off to participate while parents go elsewhere). This is for health and liability reasons, and there will be no exceptions.

The Conference Venue

The Renaissance Chicago North Shore is located about 17 miles from the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Single and double room rates are $94 per night plus tax. Rollaways are extra. Each room offers wireless high speed Internet, a 2-line phone with voice mail, cable TV, and a coffee maker with complimentary coffee. In addition, the hotel has an indoor heated pool and fully-equipped fitness center. Free shuttle service is offered within a 5-mile radius.

To make your room reservation, please call 800-468-3571. Identify yourself as being with the Children with Diabetes conferences. Reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The room block will be held for CWD until August 25, 2006. Note that there is a conference registration fee per family and that reserving a room does not register you for the conference. Rates vary according to the date of registration. Please refer to the website for details.

Fun Things To Do

The Focus on Pumping conference will kick-off Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. with an Exhibitor's Reception. This is a great opportunity for all conference participants (kids and teens, too) to meet each other, browse the exhibits, have some great conversation, and enjoy some yummy hors d'oeuvres. The exhibitors will all be set up right outside the main conference ballroom - very accessible for everyone! Afterwards, take the kids poolside and enjoy a fun evening (and let the kids get some energy out)!

Saturday and Sunday mornings, breakfast will be served in the conference ballroom from 8:00-9:00. Exhibits will be open to browse while you sip that second cup of coffee. Sessions will begin promptly at 9:00. Healthy snack breaks will be offered mid-morning and mid-afternoon in the exhibit area.

Saturday and Sunday at lunch, all conference participants will enjoy a healthy buffet in the ballroom. Again, this is a great time to finish up with your lunch and head back to the exhibitors to have discussion and look at some pump technology after learning new information that morning. The lunch break is 60 minutes; plenty of time to eat, share some great conversation, perhaps get a short walk and fresh air, and come back for an afternoon of exciting breakout sessions. Teens likely will head offsite after lunch with the teen leaders, while the kids will regroup for their afternoon activities at 1:00. The exhibit area will close after lunch on Sunday.

Dinner for all participants begins on Saturday night at 6 pm in the main ballroom.

While the hotel is situated in the suburbs, downtown Chicago is easily accessible by car or train (the train station is a very short walk from the hotel). For those who wish to stay an extra day or so to sightsee, downtown attractions include the Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, and Shedd Aquarium. Chicago also offers wonderful shopping. There are several malls within a short drive of the hotel. In addition, Michigan Avenue is the home of Water Tower Place (a 10 story shopping mall), Niketown, and many other famous stores. If the weather is warm, exploring the shore of Lake Michigan is a wonderful option.

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations prior to September 15 will be refunded minus a $25 processing fee. After September 15, no refunds are available.

Chicago 2006: Focus on Pumping
Conference - Registration - Program - Youth program
Faculty - Sponsors - Exhibitor Information
Report from the Conference - More Photos

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