Back to the 2013 conference report 2013 Friends for Life Report - Sunday

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Sunday – always a day of tearful goodbyes, hugs, thank-you's, pictures, more hugs. Happiness... for having been in this place for this week with these 3,500 people, and sharing the magic that is Friends for Life.

A few last minute "thank you's" from Laura:

  • To the CWD Set-Up Crew – You guys are the ones who show up early to get this whole event off the ground. We couldn't do a conference without you! Thanks for getting there on Sunday and digging in on Monday first thing. You are a well-oiled machine... Registration set-up crew, Sports Central set-up crew, Retinal Screening set-up crew – you rock!
  • To Julia Mattingly and Jo Stroud and your teams – Great idea separating participant registration from exhibitor and sponsor registration. It worked really well this year, and I know you're already working on perfecting the system for next year. You are two of the most organized and efficient people I know, and your teams were focused and efficient as well. Well done, and thank you!
  • To the room captains – great job despite some 'facilities challenges!' Lots of thinking on our collective feet and problem-solving this year to keep the sessions moving forward on schedule. I appreciate you dealing with the challenges – and the dark, and the nonfunctional AV - in a very professional and efficient manner!
  • To Ashley Head – Thanks for coming across the ocean – for a fifth time – to make the exhibit hall run seamlessly. I always breathe a sigh of relief when I see you appear in the lobby with your luggage!
  • To Chad Kyllo – Jack of All Trades. Thanks for your help with set-up, AV, the Exhibit Hall, and elementary!
  • To Scott Kyllo – I'm quite certain you had three clones for FFL week. Either that, or you have mastered being four places at once. You are indispensable.
  • To Brenda Hitchcock – Queen of Signs – and chanteuse extraordinaire (...another verse of Sweet Caroline!...) Well done on both counts!
  • To Dr. Ben Szirth and team – Thank you for donating your time and resources to FFL. We are truly touched by how much you care about us. See you next year... a full week this time so you can at least relax a few hours!
  • To Mike Schurig – No one has an inkling how much time goes into the FFL menus and carb counts. That was the biggest pile of BEOs we've ever had – close to 350 pages! I'm looking forward to shredding! Great job, on to year 15 back at the Marriott World Center.
  • To all of the teens and young adults – sibs and type 1 - who spent time with the younger kids – you guys rock. Keep the faith. You ARE the future generation of FFL!
  • To the First-Timers Team – Most First-Timers arrive with a deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces. By Thursday at 10:00 a.m., that look is gone. You are engaging and caring. What a difference you make
  • To our exhibitors – Thanks for being with us this week to share your products and talk to our families. Quite a few of you were brand new to FFL – thanks for coming! And to those who've been with us before – it's great to have you back.
  • To our sponsors - Each year, your support enables the Friends for Life gathering to happen in a bigger and better way. Thank you so much for believing in us. And thank you for your fun spirit at this event.
  • To my husband, Neal – I'm so glad you're back. We need you.
  • To Carolyn, Austin, Sierra, Zak, Jessica, and Jill – Thanks for taking a giant step forward in defining and growing the Sibs program this year. I'm really excited to watch this continue to grow!
  • To the FFL adults – type 1 folks and significant others – welcome home.
  • To Sam, Marissa, and all of our CWD kids and sibs – As always, thanks for being the inspiration.

See you next year – Friends for Life 2014 – Marriott World Center, July 1-6, 2014!


Sunday's good-byes included lots of hugs
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Mickey and Minnie stopped by for final photos on Sunday morning
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My, how Brady has grown!
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Even our youngest kids make Friends for Life
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