Back to Conferences 2014 Friends for Life Conference Report

Friends for Life Conference and Expo

New beginnings for CWD.

For our staff, faculty, and volunteers, this meant taking a deep breath with best friends and colleagues, closing our eyes, holding hands ... and jumping into new territory.

For several thousand conference participants, this meant a week of celebrating good health, amazing technology, and support in every direction.

For everyone young and old, this meant accepting hugs from - and giving hugs to - strangers, who, by the end of the week, were no longer strangers. It was the Annual Friends for Life Conference.

The week encompassed many tried-n-true activities and sessions featuring some of the best speakers and researchers in the world of type 1 diabetes. Many thanks to the faculty and facilitators who offered their expertise, and many thanks as well to all of those involved in behind-the-scenes logistics. It takes a lot of elbow grease and teamwork to pull off a schedule like that!

The children's program featured a perfect mix of hands-on learning activities, discussion, and flat out fun. Each year, the age group coordinators spend months developing and fine-tuning these sessions so that they achieve just the right flow and tone. The leaders and staff are moms and dads who have been part of the CWD community for many years, as well as 'kids' who have grown up with CWD and Friends for Life and are now adults themselves. They all want to give back and to support the FFL community, and they have our heartfelt thanks.

The social calendar was packed this year, with everything from Family Movie Night to Casino Night to the Tween and Teen Saturday evening dances. The Family and Friends Banquet – this year themed as an Independence Day Picnic – included everyone, and the dance floor sure reflected that! It even featured a surprise Flash Mob during the slide show, secretly coordinated by a handful of FFL staff who taught the dance moves and distributed the costumes to others in just a few hectic days before the event.

To our sponsors: Thanks for making this happen. Thanks for continuing to believe in CWD and Friends for Life, and continuing to support us in bringing this life-changing event to families from around the world. Together, we made a difference.

Rather than writing a lengthy day by day, play by play report, we opted this year to let the photos tell the story. As you may have noticed, there were multiple photographers documenting Friends for Life week. They each had a different angle to capture. Young. Old. Teens. Candids. Portraits. Sessions. Parties. Action shots. What a talented group. Thanks so much for your time and diligence, and for telling the story.

Friends for Life. See you next year at Disney's Coronado Springs, July 6-12, 2015.

Our most sincere thanks to the sponsors who supported this conference and who each year allow us to make it bigger and better: Novo Nordisk, OneTouch, Lilly Diabetes, Sanofi Diabetes, Animas, Insulet Corporation, Tandem Diabetes Care®, Dexcom, Inc., Medtronic Diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation, and JDRF. On behalf of the thousands of people you touched at Friends for Life 2014, we are so grateful for your friendship and support.


Jeff Hitchcock opened FFL 2014 by sharing the many changes of the past year

The triplets were back!

Kids make fast friends at FFL

In the hustle and bustle, FFL is always about our families

Teens at their off site program

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