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  Friends for Life Conference and Expo
July 3-8, 2012
Orlando World Center Marriott
Orlando, Florida

  Register Here  

Brenda, Maryam and Kara want you to come to FFL 2012

in 2011, CWD dad Oliver Double shared his amusing version of "Think Like a Pancreas"

The green bracelet of belonging

The Quilt for Life celebrates our families

Meet diabetes community VIPs like Crystal Bowersox ...

... and former NFL star Kendall Simmons

While grown ups with type 1 enjoyed an evening with chef Sam Talbot, ...

... teens enjoyed their annual dinner dance, and ...

... tweens had a blast with DJ Miles and his tricked out Honda Element

Friends for Life is for kids of all ages

Kids enjoy finding their photo in our collages

You won't want to miss the Grand Opening of the Exhibit hall

Get your eyes screened using state-of-the-art equipment

Everyone enjoys meeting PJ, the dog with diabetes


I have never seen my teen so happy, although I only saw him five minutes before bed and five minutes for a few minutes after waking....he said mom I see you everyday, but these guys are my friends for life!
Incredible! It does not matter how long you have been diagnosed, I learn more and more each time I go; even when I think I know what I need to be to successful in supporting Rachel; I always learn more, and better ways to help her. I wish everyone could make the trip!

Conference Information

Children with Diabetes presents our 13th annual family conference! Join our international group of world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians, adults, children, and families with diabetes to learn the most current information in diabetes care. Attend educational sessions and get cutting-edge ideas for your family's diabetes management. Participate in parent discussion groups and find new, creative ways to help and motivate your children. Watch toddlers and teens, young parents and grandparents, new diabetes professionals and practiced clinicians make new and lifelong friendships. This is a conference you won't ever forget!

Who Should Attend the 2012 Event?

  • Families and individuals with type 1 diabetes
  • Young adults, teens, school-age children, and younger children
  • Grandparents
  • Kids with type 1 diabetes and their siblings and their best buddies
  • Their parents
  • College aged young people with type 1 diabetes
  • Adults with type 1 diabetes and their spouses or partners
  • Health care professionals who work with type 1 diabetes (note, CEUs are not provided)

The Conference Schedule in a Nutshell

  • Tuesday, July 3:
    Informal getting-to-know-you by the CWD cabana at the pool; registration opens 9 a.m. at the Cypress Registration area; Sports Central opens; Teen Driving Clinic
  • Wednesday, July 4:
    Registration open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sports Central open for pick-up basketball and volleyball; Drop-in Diabetes Art (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.); First Timers Reception; Staff training sessions; Discussion groups (topics to be published in 2012)
  • Thursday, July 5:
    Opening Keynote and breakfast; Sessions for adults and children all day (including grandparents track); Family and Friends Banquet; Sports Central
  • Friday, July 6:
    Grand opening of Exhibit Hall during extended lunch (hall is open noon to 6 p.m.); Sessions for adults and children all day (including grandparents track); Teens offsite at Sea World; Teen Dinner Dance; Young Adult (College Age) Social; Adults with Type 1 Social; Tween Karaoke Social; Dessert with the Faculty; Sports Central; Quilt for Life (Noon - 6 p.m.)
  • Saturday, July 7:
    Exhibit Hall open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sports Central open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; DJ and activities by the main pool; Quilt for Life (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.), Quilt for Life Scavenger Hunt; Diabetes Scholars Foundation Fundraiser (7:00 pm)
  • Sunday, July 8:
    Farewell Breakfast; tearful good-byes
Pump Trials, Screenings & Studies

Insulin Pump Trials

Come to the conference and try an insulin pump. Pump companies offer would-be pumpers a chance to try their products using saline. And if you already use a pump, here's a chance to try out a new one. A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline." If you plan to try more than one pump, be sure to bring a prescription for each.

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information, contact:

  • Animas
    Val Trego at 484-568-1225 or
  • Tandem Diabetes Care
    Call 1-858-255-6290 to schedule your t:slim pump trial. No prescription required. Limited to children 12 and over.

TrialNet Screening

A TrialNet team will be on site performing screenings Friday at the Palms Registration Office on Thursday and Friday. Sign up sheets will be available at registration.

Retinal Screening

Once again this year, a team of eye care specialists from the Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science from the New Jersey Medical School will be on site performing free retinal screenings in Crystal Q to kids and adults with type 1 diabetes, beginning on Tuesday and continuing through Friday. Please use the Online Retinal Screening Signup Form to request the time slot that works best for you.

Teen Driving Clinic

Children with Diabetes has partnered with the Teen Driver Safety Foundation to bring a special Teen Driver Clinic to Friends for Life: Orlando 2012. The clinic will be held on Tuesday, July 3rd. Teens new to driving are highly encouraged to participate. Note that one parent must accompany the teen driver and participate in the entire day's program. The cost of the clinic is $179 if you will be driving your own vehicle. There is an additional charge of $28 if you need to have a vehicle provided.

The Conference Venue and Reservations

The Orlando World Center Marriott is one of the largest Marriott properties in the world. This venue, convenient to the Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios theme parks, offers plenty of convention meeting space for Friends for Life as well as tremendous vacation and recreational opportunities for families who wish to 'stay and play' for a few days before or after the conference. The resort boasts six swimming pools and a 106' water slide at the main pool. There are outdoor basketball and sand volleyball courts as well as tennis courts. The Orlando World Center Resort Spa offers a wide variety of treatments and services as well as a quiet spa pool; it is adjacent to the state of the art fitness center. For those who enjoy golf, the Hawks Landing Golf Club is right on site.

The Marriott World Center's luxurious hotel rooms include 2 double beds or a king bed (some rooms have pull-out sofas), high speed internet (fee for service), mini-bar, coffee maker, and cable with pay per view movies. There are several restaurants on site as well as a Pavilion Pool Bar which is open for lunch and dinner. There is also a Starbucks in the lobby.

Room rates are $159 + tax. This rate is available 3 days before and after the conference for those families who might want to extend their vacation.

Larger Suites may be reserved for hospitality events or entertaining, subject to availability. Suites are also available for larger families, again subject to availability. There are different types of suites and they have different prices; please contact the hotel directly for availability and pricing.

For housing reservations, call Marriott reservations directly at 800-266-9432 or 506-474-2009, or use the Marriott's Online Reservation System. If you are calling, be sure to say you are with the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference. The Children with Diabetes room block is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that you are only in the CWD room block – and only have the perks of being in the room block - if you make reservations through these phone numbers or website. Perks for the CWD group include:

  • Free self-parking at the hotel
  • 20% off all spa treatments
  • 20% off golf green fees
  • 15% off the in-hotel restaurants Hawks Landing, Tuscany, and Mikado (alcohol not included)

Also, please note that this year's conference week includes the busy July 4 holiday. The Marriott World Center Resort will be quite crowded and will likely sell out for both weekends. If you plan to vacation for a few days around the conference, please make your reservations as soon as possible.

The Program

The adult program is designed to run 4-6 sessions simultaneously during Thursday and Friday. There will also be one room on Thursday and Friday with sessions of special interest to adults with type 1, and one room featuring sessions for young adults with type 1 (e.g., college age). Please refer to the schedule for details; this will be available in January. There will also be two-day programming for school-age children (ages 6-9), tweens (ages 10-12), and teens (ages 13+). Full-day childcare is available for children under age 6, by pre-registration only. This includes activities at the Kindergarten level, Pre-K level, and 'toddler and younger' level. 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.

Youth Program Note

Please note that all children must be with their appropriate age group during sessions. The elementary program is for children ages 6-9; the tween program is for children ages 10-12, and the teen program is for ages 13-18. There is no 'skipping up' or 'skipping down.' This is per our insurance guidelines. No exceptions are allowed.

Teen Program Note

As in past years, the Teen Program will include sessions all day Thursday, and a chance to put into practice what has been learned on an offsite trip on Friday. The teens will be going to Sea World this year on Friday, July 6. In order to participate in the Sea World trip, teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday. This is mandatory. Tickets, lunch, and snack money will be provided to each teen participating. Teens will be traveling to Sea World via chartered bus, leaving at 8:45 and returning at approximately 4:30.

Not A Teen Anymore?

This year, we are happy to feature programming especially for the college-age group, sponsored by Insulet. Sessions will be offered in the Atlanta breakout room all day Thursday and Friday. Attend all of them, or mix and match with sessions featured in the other adult program ballrooms and breakouts. These sessions are JUST for college-age (ages 18-early 20s), not for parents or interested others. On Friday evening, please join us for a Young Adult Dinner (again, ages 18-early 20s) in Canary 3-4, sponsored by Tandem Diabetes. The dinner and entertainment is from 7-10; RSVP is requested by June 1 to

Adults with Type 1?

Again this year, we are pleased to offer programming for adults with type 1. Sponsored by Insulet, these sessions will be held on Thursday and Friday in the Anaheim breakout room. On Friday evening from 8:00 to midnight, join hosts Tandem Diabetes in Crystal Ballroom G for a fun adults-only social event (more info on this soon!).

It’s A Beach Party!

Join us Thursday evening for the CWD Family and Friends Banquet, from 6:30-8:30, followed by the CWD Beach Party! The Banquet will feature a performance by Crystal Bowersox, a wonderful buffet dinner, and some great interaction and fun with 2,000 of your new best friends. From 8:30-10:30, enjoy the Beach Party with dancing to your favorite beach tunes by DJ Miles, who has provided the entertainment for our Family and Friends Banquet events for a decade! Tickets are required for dinner, and may be purchased with or after your registration. They will not be available on site, and the Beach Party is expected to sell out. We will open the doors for dancing at 8:30; tickets are not required but you must be wearing your CWD bracelet for entry. Many thanks to Novo Nordisk and LifeScan for once again sponsoring this incredible evening!

New Hours for the Exhibit Hall

We are trying something new and different with Exhibit Hall hours this year. The Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall, sponsored by Roche, will be held in conjunction with an extended lunch on Friday. The Exhibit Hall will open at noon and stay open on Friday until 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Exhibit Hall will be open from 10-4. This will allow you time to explore all of the wonderful exhibits at your leisure without having to rush off to a session or meal. Take time to walk through the Quilt for Life – to really look at each and every one of the quilt squares and appreciate the child and family featured on that square.

What’s Up on Saturday?

There’s a lot going on at the conference on Saturday! Sports Central will feature games and prizes for kids of all ages from 10-4. The Exhibit Hall will be open from 10-4, and will feature a Quilt for Life Scavenger Hunt from 10:30-2:00. This Scavenger Hunt will feature clues entirely contained within the Quilt area in the exhibit hall – and there will be prizes awarded at 3:30. Best of all… these activities are all air conditioned!

Sports Central – Back for a 10th Year!

Sports Central is an area where you can work out with Harold Sanco, stretch, play some basketball or volleyball, interact with some world-class athletes, or generally work off some energy from Tuesday through Saturday. Located in Cypress 1 Ballroom, Sports Central will have drop-in hours daily and a schedule of featured events. On Saturday, we will feature some fun competitions for children of all ages – more info coming soon! Many thanks to Novo Nordisk for sponsoring Sports Central for the past 10 years – and many thanks to the wonderful athletes who spend a week with our CWD families staffing Sports Central!

Registering for the Conference

You may register for the conference online. The cost of registration varies upon when you register (early prior to December 31, regular prior to June 17, or on site registration) and how many people are in your family (single person, family, family plus additional members such as grandparents). A family is defined as up to 2 adults (anyone 18 and over) and up to 3 children (anyone under 18). Costs are as follows, and more information is on the registration page:

  • Early family registration - $310
  • Regular family registration - $360
  • On site family registration - $450
  • Single registration at any time - $210
  • Banquet tickets are $25 per person for anyone 5 and older
  • CWD FFL 2012 pins are $5 each

Registration includes all Thursday and Friday educational sessions for all age groups (including childcare), Thursday breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks; Friday breakfast, lunch, snack breaks, and all of the various receptions/socials; Saturday refreshments by the exhibit hall; Sunday Farewell Breakfast. Registration also includes one t-shirt per person.

Cancellation Policy

In case of cancellation prior to June 1, 2012, a full refund minus a $75 processing fee will be provided. After June 1, 2012, no refunds will be offered. Hotel room cancellation is subject to the rules of the resort.

For more conference information, contact:

  • Mike Schurig at 407-859-9630 or or
  • Laura Billetdeaux at 734-428-8265 or
Please phone during regular business hours (eastern time), as these are home offices.

View the Quilt for Life

Quilt Photo  

Quilt Logo

The Quilt for Life will be on display on Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Please make sure to stop by and see it. If you don't have a quilt square made yet in honor of your child, there is still time to make your own! Quilt squares submitted by Friday, June 15, 2012 will be on display with the entire quilt at Friends for Life!

Scholarship Information

Family Scholarships and Young Adult Scholarships are offered by the Diabetes Scholars Foundation. Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2012.

Special Guest
Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox, gifted singer-songwriter, will be a VIP Guest at Friends for Life, performing at the Family and Friends banquet. Crystal is sponsored by OneTouch.

Special Guest
Mike Fisher

As a Canadian National Team athlete and World Cup competitor, Mike Fisher is no stranger to a podium, having taken home the bronze medal in the 2008 World Adaptive Snowboarding Championships and a silver in the USASA Nationals in 2009. Mike is sponsored by OneTouch.

Special Guest
Jay Hewitt

Jay Hewitt
Elite Ironman Triathlete and three-time member of the US National Team, Jay Hewitt will be a VIP Speaker and member of the faculty at the Friends for Life conference. Jay is sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

Special Guest
Charlie Kimball

Charlie Kimball
Indy Car driver Charlie Kimball will be a VIP Speaker and member of the faculty at the Friends for Life conference. Charlie is sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

Special Guest
Kendall Simmons

Kendall Simmons
Former NFL player Kendall Simmons will be a VIP Speaker and member of the faculty at the Friends for Life conference. Kendall is sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

Special Guest
Phil Southerland

Phil Southerland, founder and CEO of Team Type 1, will be a VIP Guest at Friends for Life. Phil is sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis.

Special Guest
Sebastien Sasseville

Sebastien Sasseville, the first Canadian with type 1 diabetes to reach the summit of Mt. Everest and member of Team Type 1 - Sanofi, will be a VIP Guest at Friends for Life. Sebastien is sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis.

Special Guest
Missy Foy

Missy Foy, accomplished distance runner and member of Team Type 1 - Sanofi, will be a VIP Guest at Friends for Life. Missy is sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis.

  Friends for Life 2012 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Registration - Exhibitors - FAQs - Sponsors - Convention Center Map (PDF)  
  Faculty - Youth Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - CWD Staff - Sports Central Staff  
  Schedule: Parents & Adults - Youth  
  Registration - Teen Driving Clinic - Retinal Screening Signup - Childcare Form (PDF)  
  Reports from 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  

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