Child Care Faculty
The Child Care Faculty takes care of our youngest Friends for Life, from newborns to five year olds. We give parents peace of mind while they attend to their FFL sessions, knowing that their kids with type 1 and their siblings are under the watchful eye of nurses and skilled staff.
Mary Babin, RN, BSN, CDE, has served as the childcare coordinator since the very first CWD conference. Mary leads a team of certified diabetes educators providing care and fun in a safe environment for kids under age five with and without diabetes. Providing this service alleviates the concerns of many parents of kids with diabetes – allowing them to attend the sessions with peace of mind knowing that their children are cared for by skilled professionals. This supports Mary's belief that education is the key to successful diabetes management. Mary has devoted her career to the world of medicine. As a graduate of Eastern University and Presbyterian School of Nursing, Mary currently works as a pediatric endocrine specialty nurse and has been a CDE over 20 years! This busy mom and devoted professional has been involved with CWD since 2001. You can spot her at the conferences-she's the one with the trail of kids behind her!
Helen Rodenheiser, wife of Kenny Rodenheiser, is a first grade teacher at Folsom Elementary School in New Jersey. She has been attending Friends for Life conferences as a Childcare staff member sine 2011. She brings the knowledge and resources she learns from CWD to help any and all children affected by diabetes in her school. Helen is currently working towards earning her Masters in Special Education.
Alex Stroud has attended the Friends for Life Orlando conference for the last eight years and she is excited to work in Childcare again! Alex is a graduate from Chico State University, where she participated on the women's golf team and received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Child Development. She has experience as a representative for Dexcom and is currently living in the United Kingdom with her husband James Stroud, who works with Dexcom.
Sailor Abel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two. Sailor attended her first Friends for Life conference in 2002 at the age of three. She has worked her way through all of the age groups learning and absorbing all the information she can about type 1 diabetes. Now preparing to attend college, Sailor is so grateful for everything she has experienced growing up through CWD and will take all she has learned with her to help with her day to day diabetes management while away at school. She has made the very best of friends who have become her family through CWD.
Alexa Brenner was diagnosed with diabetes in 1997, and has been attending Friends for Life Orlando conferences since 2006 with her mom, Georgia. Aside from letting her appreciate her inner Disney princess well into her teens, the conferences have allowed her to make some of the best friends for life she could ever hope to have. Alexa is planning on getting her BSN followed by an MPH. She's excited to be on staff and give back to CWD, which has given her so much.
Ella-Mae Campling from Brighton, England, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age four. She attended her first CWD UK conference in 2010, her first CWD Orlando in 2011, and has greatly enjoyed each conference she has attended. Ella-Mae just finished her last year of Performing Arts at Sussex Downs College in Lewes, UK. She is also a JDRF T1 Youth Ambassador and doesn't let type 1 slow her down. In her free time, she works with kids aged 4-18 in performing classes as well as enjoying reading and training animals. Ella-Mae loves the support and relationships CWD has helped create and is so excited to work with the kids this year!
Rebecca DeLong is 19 years old and has had diabetes for 14 years. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama. Rebecca attended her first conference in 2007 in La Jolla, California and has been attending conferences all over the country since then. Rebecca cannot thank FFL enough for helping her build life-long friendships and an amazing diabetic community. She is excited to be able to join the youth program staff this year!
Maura Emery, RD, LDN, CDE, has happily been a FFL Childcare staff member since 2004. Maura has been a CDE for 20 years. She has been able to make her passion for helping people with diabetes a reality by working at Animas for over 15 years. She is currently the Director of Clinical Services, responsible for patient education and training. Maura does not have family members with T1 - but many close friends! Her son, Aidan, was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and the FFL family has already provided tons of support. Maura is looking forward to another inspirational week at FFL.
Emilee Fairchild is a 21 year old soccer player who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. Her first FFL conference was in 2006. Since diagnosis, Emilee has traveled to Washington, DC, as the Kentucky Delegate for JDRF Children's Congress. She is also a JDRF youth ambassador and recently participated in her first JDRF Ride to Cure cycling event. Emilee has made so many special friends at FFL and she loves seeing them again each year. She enjoys being part of the elementary staff! Emilee says, "I love CWD and all they do for me and so many others, and I can't imagine a summer that doesn't include this conference!" Emilee graduated high school with a certification in nursing and is currently a full time college sophomore majoring in nursing and pre-med.
Parker Grand is excited to be on the Friends for Life staff this year as CWD has given him so much support and friendship over the years. Parker has attended every Friends for Life conference since his diagnosis at the age of three in 2002. Parker lives in California where he attends college full-time. He is employed by the California State Parks where he coordinates youth programs, leads guided tours and develops new programs to teach children an appreciation for the history and ecology of the parks. Parker loves working with children of all ages. In his free time, you can find him biking, golfing, and volunteering.
Shelley Grand, mom to Parker, diagnosed in 2002, resides in Southern California. Shelley and her family have been attending Friends for Life Orlando conferences since 2003, and they attribute Parker’s success in managing his type 1 to the knowledge, support and friendship that they have received over the years from attending the FFL conferences. Shelley has been a preschool teacher/director for the past 30 years. She states, “We look forward to attending FFL every year and enjoy being able to give back to a community that has given so much to our family.”
Molly Joynes, 19, was diagnosed with diabetes when she was six. She attended her first Friends for Life conference four months later and has been attending FFL and CWD regional conferences ever since. Molly is the second oldest of four siblings and is a sophomore majoring in music production with a minor in biology at California Lutheran University. Molly is excited to be working with kids at the conference who share the same challenges she's faced for the past 13 years. She can't wait to spend time with FFLs both old and new.
Ashlee Lewis is the big sister to Madyson, dx 2010. She and her family attended their first conference three months later and never looked back. She loves all the friends she's made through Friends for Life and can't wait to be back this year!
Teresa Littlefield, MSN, RN, RNC-MNN, CLC, is mom to Katelyn, diagnosed at age nine, and her sister Jessica. She has been attending conferences since 2006. She started out as a participant, then as a volunteer for many years and became a member of staff in 2013. Teresa currently works with at-risk first time moms and their babies. She also teaches in the clinical setting at a local university. Teresa also volunteers with patients with diabetes in her local community as well as online as part of the Online Diabetes Support Team of JDRF. She plans to earn her CDE credential in the future. Friend for Life offers a lot of support for parents, too, and she is super excited to be back again this year!
Lisa Pitt, RN, is mom to four beautiful daughters: Ashley, Alyssa, Annalise and Ava. Ashley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three in 2003, and her family soon attended their first Friends for Life conference. Ashley is now preparing to start her college career this fall. Lisa has been volunteering with the childcare staff since 2010 and loves seeing her "extended family" (CWD) every summer. Lisa is a busy full-time mom and full-time cardiac nurse in the acute care setting. She believes ongoing education is the key to the successful management of any chronic illness.
Kalyn Schmidt is 22 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes at age 15. She has been coming to Friends for Life Orlando conferences ever since. Kalyn will be entering her junior year of college at Youngstown State University. When she is not at school, she lives in Ohio and loves doing whatever she can to be a positive role model for children living with diabetes. She is excited for the Friends for Life conference this year and can't wait to work with the kids in childcare!
Rhiannon Schmidt, 19, attends Louisiana State University, majoring in Anthropology. She also plays the trumpet in The Golden Band from Tiger Land. Rhiannon attended her first Friends for Life conference when she was four years old, and she and her family have been attending them ever since. Rhiannon has been insulin resistant for 11 years. She looks forward to being staff for a second year and making new Friends for Life!
Rebekah Sutherland was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998, aged 3. She attended her first Friends for Life UK Conference in 2010, her first Friends for Life Orlando Conference in 2013, has attended both ever since and joined the childcare team at both in 2014. Bex graduated from Aberdeen College in Social Science in 2016 and is continuing her studies at Open University majoring in Psychology with Counseling with a view to becoming a Diabetes Psychologist and Educator. She is a JDRF T1 Youth Ambassador, and, since aged 13, has delivered many speeches on Life with Diabetes at business lunches, fundraising Balls, Oil Industry events, fund-raising events, school assemblies and since 2015 has been invited to speak to the 2nd year medical students at Aberdeen University during their lectures on Diabetes. She also talks to parents of newly diagnosed T1s to show them that despite T1 you can still achieve your dreams and ambitions. In her spare time Bex plays competitive netball, is a swimming teacher, loves reading books, going to the gym, swimming, spending time with her dogs, doting on her nephew Aaden, keeping up with her friends wherever they are in the world and enjoys relaxing with a Vanilla Latte.
Adam Town, BSN, RN, is a Registered Nurse who graduated with a Bachelors of Science in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. Adam is a husband to Marissa, who has had type 1 diabetes since she was two, and father to Connor and Everly. He has always enjoyed being a mentor and role model for children and loves to help families, caregivers and significant others of people with diabetes at Friends for Life® conferences.
Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes
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