Friday's sessions continued with a wonderful mix of brand new topics and speakers, as well as science and research updates, and discussion groups for moms, dads, single parents, parents who have type 1, and partners of adults with type 1. The grandparents track featured a session on current type 1 research and another on "Reclaiming Sleepovers & Dealing with Diabetes Emergencies." The T1 Adults track featured the sessions "Living Well with Type 1 Diabetes," "Women, Diabetes, and the Power of Peer Support," and "Preparing for Extreme Challenges." There was also a candid discussion about potential complications of type 1 in the session, "Diabetes Can Be Complicated."
Sebastien Sasseville presented the 2015 closing keynote – this time in person! Last year during Friends for Life, Sebastien was mid-way through his run across Canada to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes. He presented the 2014 closing keynote via Skype. This year – alive and well and in person – Sebastien recounted his amazing and challenging journey. Many thanks to Animas Corporation for sponsoring Sebastien and the keynote.
After attending a full day of sessions on Thursday and half a day on Wednesday, the teen group headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios for their Friday at the park. It was an earlier-than-usual start for them (7:30 a.m. bus pickup), as they entered the park for breakfast prior to the park opening, and were in the perfect position to get right to their favorite attractions at 9:00! Thanks to the many teen staff and volunteers who supported this offsite for the teen group. It was hot work carrying water and glucose through the park all day, and lots of hands and eyes made for a safe day for all.
Sports Central was busy all day with groups from elementary, tween, and childcare. Every year, Jimmy and Liz Dodson, along with their dedicated team, devote the full week at Friends for Life to attendees' staying active and having fun. And each year they change it up a bit – some different activities, a different team member or two. This year, not only did they offer these fun activities within Sports Central in Veracruz A, but they also offered early morning Zumba and Movement classes to make up for the closed fitness center on property. Thank you, Jaime Molyneux and Harold Sanco! Additionally, DJ Miles spent time with the tween and elementary groups on Friday. He and his dance instructor, Tara, come back to Friends for Life year after year to work with our kids, focusing on movement and fun. It's a Friday event!
Friday evening featured some great social gatherings. Back on the Friday night schedule by popular demand, the T1 Adult Party (formerly the Casino Night), sponsored by Tandem Diabetes Care! This year's event was a fun '80s theme (remember Pac-Man?) – and people definitely dressed the part! For the much younger crowd, there was a family movie night sponsored by Dexcom. Kids wore their pj's, and pillows and blankets were provided, as was popcorn and ice cream! Finally, down in front of the exhibit hall, faculty and sponsors shared their current research via poster presentations at the Dessert and Posters with the Faculty Reception.
It was an extremely full day beginning with the 7:00 a.m. bus-loading meeting for teen staff at the Porte-Cochere, and ending with the last '80s tune on the dance floor in Fiesta 5 and 6 at midnight. It was a day full of learning, practice, new experiences, and problem solving. It was a day to make Friends for Life.
Sebastien Sasseville inspired us in his closing keynote
We are indeed Friends for Life
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