Jeff Hitchcock is the Founder, President, creator, editor, and webmaster of Children with Diabetes. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff worked in high tech and traveled the world, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. He worked in defense related industries until 1995, when he started a small Internet company and launched Children with Diabetes. He subsequently worked at LEXIS-NEXIS and Pearson plc on Internet initiatives, and now works full time bringing Children with Diabetes to you.
A finicky connoisseur of hotel meeting space, cappuccino, and kid-friendly cheese and fruit platters, Laura Billetdeaux is CWD's VP of Education and Programs. Since 2000, Laura has organized every single Friends for Life® conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of Children with Diabetes® — education and support of families with type 1, and always keeping in mind why it all works – the efforts of so many dedicated individuals. Laura lives in Manchester, Michigan with her husband Neal. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as faculty at Children with Diabetes® conferences as time allows.
Carolyn Billetdeaux, MBA, has worn almost every 'hat' in her 18 years with CWD – from youth attendee to volunteer to staff to Tween & Siblings program leader – and played a key role in developing the Siblings youth programming track. She most recently took a year off to pursue her MBA at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, where she focused on strategy and entrepreneurship while mastering her Spanish. Carolyn is extremely excited to be back with her CWD family this year. She looks forward to putting her new skills to use in acting as a mentor for new program leaders and working behind the scenes to help CWD continue to grow and thrive for the next generation.
Liz Dodson loves running, lifting, sweating, and playing outside. Since becoming a part of the type 1 family nine years ago through her husband Jimmy, she has made exercise and activity a habit in her life, and is constantly inspired by her amazing diabetes family. She has completed a few half marathons, obstacle races, one triathlon, and charity cycling events. She is excited about actively working with all of the families at this year's Friends for Life conference.
Jimmy Fickling, also affectionately known as Jimbo, is the dad to rambunctious twins, Ava and Davis. Ava was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was three years old. When he's not serving juice boxes or replacing insulin pump batteries, Jimmy enjoys playing golf and coaching Davis's baseball team. Jimmy served for 20 years as a Deputy Sheriff in Charleston, South Carolina in the Special Operations Unit before moving with his wife, Leigh, to Durham, North Carolina in 2010. Jimmy is currently a Criminal Investigator with the Duke University Police Department where he specializes in threat assessment, threat management, and pharmaceutical drug diversion.
Rob Freund, RN, EMT-P, is a career EMS lieutenant/paramedic for the Baltimore County Fire Department. He has also been in the field of emergency medical care for almost 20 years as an ER nurse. He attended his first Friends for Life Orlando conference in 2012 and was greatly impressed with the educational programs offered.
Brenda Hitchcock is mom to Marissa (dx’d at 24 months), Kathryn, and Tim. She’s worked side by side with her husband Jeff on Children with Diabetes® since it began in 1995. Brenda brings a mom’s perspective to diabetes care, is editor of the “Ask the Diabetes Team” section of the Children with Diabetes® website, helps to manage the Children with Diabetes® Forums, and helps out in countless ways at Friends for Life® conferences.
Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two adult children, Alyssa and Chad. Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when his son, Chad, then age two, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were residing in Bahrain in the Middle East. The World Wide Web had just arrived in Bahrain and it brought to the Kyllo’s the safety of the Children with Diabetes® family. Two years later, when life was becoming somewhat comfortable and routine, Alyssa, then age 7, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Chad was also diagnosed with celiac disease in 2001. The family attended their first Friends For Life® conference in 2002. Getting to meet the CWDers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is a Chief Information Officer by day and an Aircraft Engineer by night maintaining a Piper Cherokee and a Mooney. These skills and his “MacGyver” qualities keep him running at the Friends For Life® conferences as its Information Technology and Audio/Visual support person. He is a strong advocate of Friends For Life® conferences and believes anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one... although warns that the conferences are much like potato chips—it’s hard to stop at just one!
Julia Mattingly is mom to 22 year old Hannah and 20 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was three. Julia has been to every Friends for Life® conference and most of the regionals as well. Julia coordinates registration at each conference, and you can always find her when you need a smile and a “Hi Y’All!” Julia loves coordinating registration and being able to meet and talk to everyone who walks in the door. Her best Friends for Life® memory is from 2000 when she met all of her CWD email moms in Orlando for the first time. She also loves to see the smiles on her children’s faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.
Carolyn Meredith is mom to Chelsea, Jeremy, and Bailey and wife to Rich. Jeremy was diagnosed with diabetes in May 2000 at the age of six. He started on an insulin pump in October 2002. Carolyn and her family attended their first Friends for Life conference in 2003 and have been involved with CWD ever since. They have also attended several regional conferences. When not running mom's taxi service, Carolyn works in the office at an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida. She enjoys meeting and sharing with other CWD families.
Rich Meredith is dad to Jeremy (dx'd 2000), Bailey, and Chelsea. He has been involved in CWD since the family attended their first conference in 2003. His day job is working in IT but on the side he makes "big bowls," hand thrown pottery pieces which have been found at diabetes and community art related fund raising auctions. Rich can often be found snapping photos at the conferences and now helps coordinate load in, load out, and the Exhibit Hall volunteer staff.
Kristen O'Dell, MS, RD, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. Managing this untamable disease initiated a career in healthcare for her. She earned her Masters degree in Dietetics at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Kristen’s first CWD conference was in 2011. She fell in love with the people and relationships she formed. In 2015, Kristen became the dietitian for the conferences and has loved it ever since. Between menu planning, carbohydrate counting and allergy accommodations, she is looking forward to tasting all the food, working with the kids, seeing old friends and making many more!
Harold Sanco, CPT, is a former National Aerobic Champion and two time bronze medalist at the National Step Challenge Competition. He has been voted Washington, DC's "Best Instructor" by Washingtonian magazine and The Washington Post. With more than 20 years of experience in youth physical education and coaching, he is an internationally acclaimed instructor and trainer who teaches across the United States, Canada and 15 countries for some of the top fitness conferences in the world. His popular "Urban Funk" class has been featured in People, Allure and W magazines. He is AFAA certified and a Master Trainer for Lebert Training Systems. He is currently Director of Group Exercise at Sport & Health Club in Washington, DC.
Jim Stroud, CRNA, MSNA, is first and foremost a servant of his wife, Joanne. He is also Dad to Ben, diagnosed at age 10 in 1998. Jim was thrilled to coach the CWD Western Hemisphere Soccer Team on its tour of Italy in 2004. When not doing whatever Joanne, Jeff, Laura, and everyone else listed above tell him to do, Jim gives anesthesia and is an adjunct professor of Nurse Anesthesia in San Diego, California.
Joanne Stroud, MHA, FACHE, is first and foremost a CWD Mom. Her son Ben was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 10 and Children with Diabetes quickly became their lifeline. She attended her first Friends for Life conference in 2003 and instantly became hooked, telling Laura she’d do anything (within reason of course!) she could to assist Children with Diabetes. Both Ben and his brother James are now ‘giving back’ as Friends for Life staff. When not hanging with her FFLs, Joanne is a Product Training Specialist for WellSky. She and Jim, a CRNA, have one other son, Kyle who lives in Portland, with his wife Sarah.
Chris Tull became involved with CWD shortly after his son's diagnosis in 2002. He has served as a Legislative Chair for his local JDRF chapter and has been involved with Teen Program and security matters for CWD since his first conference. His son, Trevor, moved through the CWD teen program and is now a successful adult managing his own diabetes. Chris credits CWD with helping his son and his family better manage and live with his diagnosis. Chris is a police sergeant in Virginia Beach and a former Marine.
Trevor Tull was diagnosed at age 13, and his family quickly jumped with both feet right into Children with Diabetes and Friends for Life. Trevor has served on teen discussion panels, Sports Central, and the FFL Support Team. He races motocross, plays ice hockey, surfs, and snowboards. Previously a railroad worker, Trevor now works as a machinist/welder on submarines around the United States. He currently works in Seattle, but calls Virginia Beach 'home.' Trevor states, "I have never let diabetes make me someone different."
Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes
Friends for Life® Falls Church 2018 Conference Introduction - Registration - Sponsors Program - Youth Program - Faculty - Youth Faculty - CWD Staff FFL Falls Church Reports from 2017 - 2016
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