From the New Jersey School of Medicine
Saysha M. Blazier, OD, is the director of Low Vision Services at the teaching hospital for Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. In addition to her patient care in low vision, she supervises the ophthalmology residents in medically necessary contact lens and low vision clinics as well as grand round lectures on topics ranging in vision therapy, low vision and contact lens. Dr. Blazier also serves as onsite medical director for Ophthalmic telemedicine screening programs throughout the Newark community and conducts research in telemedicine & ocular disease. Dr. Blazier graduated from Southern California College of Optometry in 2011.
Raymond Pirozzolo, OD, is a recent graduate (2009) of the SUNY College of Optometry. During his time as an intern, he served as a civilian doctor at the Keller Hospital at West Point Military Academy. He currently serves as trustee on the New York State Optometric Association and was elected as the young OD for the state of New York in 2013 and serves on the student and new grad committee for the American Optometric Association. He was appointed as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York, where he currently teaches a course in contact lenses. Additionally he is part of a multidisciplinary private practice specializing in ocular disease and vision therapy.
Ben Szirth, PhD, is the Director of Applied Vision Research Laboratory at the New Jersey Medical School and the Program Director of the Ophthalmic Telemedicine Program, a community base outreach service addressing the homeless and low income families of New Jersey. His main research interest is in advanced imaging devices that can detect early signs of diabetes, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. He holds three patents in the field of ophthalmology and has published over 50 peer review papers in the area of ocular imaging in English, Japanese, Spanish and French. Dr. Szirth has lectured in over 25 Countries in Hungarian (native language), English, French, Italian and Japanese.
CWD Support Staff
Rhonda Marquess, is wife to Bob of 21 years and mother to Diamond, age 20. Rhon and family have been diabetes advocates since Diamond was diagnosed in 2003. They enjoy meeting new diabetes friends and helping wherever they can. Rhon currently works in accounting and resides in West Virginia. This is will be her seventh conference.
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 6. 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.
Belinda Peach is mom to Hannah (14) and Brianna (18). Hannah was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2004 at the age of 4, and they attended their first Friends for Life conference in 2005. During the lunch break on the first day of the conference, Hannah, then 5, asked "when am I getting my pump?" It was great timing! Hannah started pumping that fall, just a couple weeks after starting kindergarten. Belinda knew after that first conference, given all the friends they'd made and all that they'd learned, that their family would be at every FFL conference. Belinda and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. Belinda is an Oracle database administrator for the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and enjoys being a soccer and softball mom to her girls.
Betty Smith is a CWD mom to 17 1/2 year old Shelby and 15 year old Jeremy. Shelby was diagnosed at 6, and has been pumping for over four years. Betty considers it 'a blessing' that she came across the CWD web site shortly after Shelby's diagnosis. After telling her husband Ed about the CWD web site and FFL conference, he said "book it!" This will be their 10th FFL conference and they will not stop attending until there is a cure! Betty and her family live on the Central Coast, CA. Between taking care of her family and managing Shelby's diabetes, she spends her time helping to educate and advocate for other kids diagnosed with diabetes. Her emphasis is on educating parents on 504 plans. Betty also spends her time writing letters to help get funding and legislation passed for diabetes health care.
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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