Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president 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 CWD conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of CWD - 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 husband Neal, who graciously and energetically assists with the conference teen programs. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as youth faculty at CWD conferences as time allows.
Mike Bassett has been a CWD volunteer and friend of the Billetdeaux family for the past 12 years. He enjoys volunteering at Friends for Life conferences, meeting CWD families and helping in any way possible! Mike lives in Michigan and is dad to ten-year-old Emma and eight-year-old Gavin.
Chris Birri recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in mechanical engineering. He has helped at CWD conferences for several years. He enjoys working with children and volunteering with many organizations.
Nabil Elarbi, father of four wonderful children, resides in King of Prussia, PA. He became involved with diabetes in December 2003, when his daughter Maryam was diagnosed with diabetes at age 10. He spent his first night at the hospital searching the internet for information on his laptop and stumbled onto the CWD website. It was then that he decided that his family was going to attend the 2004 Friends for Life conference in California. The entire family has been hooked ever since and look forward to it as the highlight of their year. Nabil has always had a special touch working with youth and young adults. He enjoys reading, traveling, and promoting health education in under-served communities. Nabil owns a small Healthcare IT consulting firm.
Ashley Head is a CWD dad on both sides of the Atlantic â€“ at Friends for Life Orlando and Friends for Life UK! Ash has been a Trade Show Professional for the last 30+ years, specializing in international event logistics; he has coordinated shows all over the world. Ash also serves on the Challenge Events Committee for the JDRF UK. He is married to Shayne, and dad to 19-year-old Phoebe, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001. He is also dad to Jake, age 25.
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 CWD web site, helps to manage the CWD Forums, and helps out in countless ways at CWD's conferences.
Kathryn Hitchcock earned a BS in Fashion Design and now lives and works in New York City. She has grown up with diabetes — she's Marissa's sister. Kathryn has helped at many diabetes events and has considerable experience working with young kids with diabetes.
Kim Kaar has been involved with CWD as both parent and volunteer since her son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months old in February 2000. When not advocating, educating, or raising research funds for pediatric disease, Kim enjoys any opportunity to work with special needs children in her local school system. It is there that she also enjoys her involvement with bringing Cultural Arts into the school via the PTA. Convinced that "knowledge Is Power" and "Support Is Crucial" for families of CWD, Kim is both grateful, and committed, to the organization that she calls "family."
Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is commonly known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad, used virtually everywhere, including his monthly column which appears at www.dLife.com/diabetesdad. He's been active since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of two. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom has been introduced to the NY State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., appeared at diabetes-related events at the United Nations and has lectured across the US about being a Diabetes Dad. He received numerous commendations for his work in the Katrina efforts where he was instrumental in organizing aid to over 10,000 people with diabetes. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from CWD in 2008 among many other awards from groups and organizations. For 12 years as an actor, he starred in the New York Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding, with the original Company and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was at the Sundance Film Festival, and appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and more as well as numerous commercials. He won 13 Telly Awards, a FREDDIE Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award while Executive Producer of dLife on CNBC. Tom will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.
Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two children, Alyssa (23) and Chad (20). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when his son, Chad, then age 2 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 CWD 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. Scott is a strong advocate of CWD 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.
Chad Kyllo is 20 years old and has had diabetes since he was two. He was diagnosed with celiac when he was seven. Chad has attended CWD FFL conferences in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2013, along with conferences in Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver. Chad is passionate about the electronics world and enjoys off-roading with his 4x4 truck. He attended camp for children with diabetes since the age of six including leadership training. He has served as a "Midnight Rambler" at Camp Elphinstone in Gibsons, BC working with the medical staff going around doing the midnight and 3 a.m. blood tests of the campers.
Julia Mattingly is mom to 18 year old Hannah and 16 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was 3. Julia, Ed, and the kids have 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 CWD 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.
Betty Parker, a CWD grandma who lives in Manning, South Carolina, has been coming to Friends for Life conferences since 2004. She has four grandchildren, including Joshua who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2003. Betty has also attended three regional conferences in Marco Island and the Quilt for Life display in Washington D.C. Betty enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, playing tennis, exercising, reading and traveling. She is very happy to volunteer with the registration staff this year.
Rebecca Schmidt is mom to Zachary who is 17 (diagnosed in 2002 at age 5) and Kathlynn age 13 and wife to Robert Schmidt. The family attended their first FFL conference in 2003 and has been hooked ever since, missing only a couple of conferences due to their military life. Rebecca knew instantly that she found a second family and support system like no other. Rebecca works as an Occupational Therapist in Okaloosa County Schools in the panhandle of Florida.
Robert Schmidt is dad to Zachary who is 17 (diagnosed in 2002 at age 5) and Kathlynn age 13 and husband to Rebecca Schmidt. The family attended their first conference in 2003 and have been coming ever since missing only a couple thanks to the demands of the military. Robert credits CWD for making his son's life with diabetes a much easier one. Robert recently retired from the Marine Corps as a Major with almost 26 years of service. He is currently enjoying his new role as Major Chef and Major Housekeeper.
Tracey Smith is mom to Kylee and Joshua, and they live in Suwanee, Georgia. Joshua was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2003 at the age of three. With all of the overwhelming information given to her as a newly diagnosed mom, Tracey found comfort in the Children with Diabetes website. In 2004, the entire Smith family including mimi, Betty Parker, attended their first Friends For Life conference in Los Angeles, California. That was all it took to realize that this is where her family needed to be every summer to make life a little easier on everyone. Tracy has since volunteered at every Friends for Life conference. She is a stay at home mom who volunteers in the school and with the local recreational sports that her kids are involved with. The Smith family has also been involved with their local JDRF chapter.
Joanne Stroud, MHA, FACHE, is first and foremost a CWD Mom. Her son Ben was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of ten and CWD quickly became their lifeline. She attended her first conference in 2003 and instantly became hooked, telling Laura she'd do anything (within reason of course!) she could to assist CWD. Both Ben and his brother James (23) are now 'giving back' as CWD volunteers. When not hanging with her FFLs, Joanne is a training manager for a healthcare software company. She and Jim, a CRNA, have one other son, Kyle who lives in Portland, OR with his fiancée Sarah.
Barb Whedon, MS, RD, CDE, has a BS and MS in nutrition and for 30 years has coached others to find their individual dietary balance, moderation and variety. Barbara loves to cook and try new foods. She has two young adult children and has enjoyed watching them embrace healthful eating and a healthy enjoyment of food. Barb worked in outpatient nutrition services at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for 18 years where she counseled individual clients, taught cooking classes, led grocery store tours, consulted to chefs of local restaurants and provided nutrition education to college and professional sports teams including the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. She has worked extensively in diabetes care over the past 12 years -- first at Animas and currently with Novo Nordisk.
Friends for Life 2014 Conference and Expo Introduction - Registration - Exhibitors - Sponsors - Convention Center Map (PDF) Faculty - Youth Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - CWD Staff - Sports Central Staff - Retinal Screening Staff Schedule: Parents and Adults - Youth - Trials and Screenings Childcare Form (PDF) - FAQs Reports from 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001
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This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.
This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
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