Sports Central Staff
Someone once asked Mike Singletary, former NFL Chicago Bears linebacker, what his favorite part of the game was. He answered, "The opportunity to play." Since his diagnosis in 1995, Jimmy Dodson has expanded his classic athletic background into various areas of endurance and adventures sports for both the physical and mental challenges, as well as to demonstrate that diabetes is merely a factor that can be managed. Whether it is ice climbing, racing mountain bikes, running the Goofy Challenge, or playing a pick-up game, there aren't many things he has not tried. Over the years, he has been actively involved with CWD, Adventures for the Cure, Mountains for Active Diabetics, IDEA 2000, Insulindependence, Hope on 2 Wheels, JDRF Ride to Cure, and has experiences as a guide, coach, and fitness instructor. Professionally, Jimmy is the Piedmont region biologist for NC State Parks & Recreation with duties as a certified wildlife biologist, registered forester, and wildland firefighter.
Liz Dodson loves running, lifting, sweating, and playing outside. Since becoming a part of the type 1 family nine years ago through her husband Jimmy, she has made exercise and activity a habit in her life, and is constantly inspired by her amazing diabetes family. She has completed a few half marathons, obstacle races, one triathlon, and charity cycling events. She is excited about actively working with all of the families at this year's Friends for Life conference.
Garrett Cope, FF/EMT-Paramedic has been attending Friends for Life conferences since 2003 along with his younger sister, Hunter Cope, who has had type 1 diabetes for 15 years. Garrett is a Firefighter Paramedic with Flagler County Fire Rescue in Florida. He graduated from Miami Dade College, where he earned an A.S. degree in Emergency Medical Services. This will be Garrett's sixth year volunteering as Sports Central staff.
Courtney Duckworth is two-time Boston Marathoner, spokesperson for Abbott Global, and a professional cheerleader who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 14 years. She is also the author of The Marathon We Live: Training for a Personal Best in Life with Type 1 Diabetes. Partial proceeds from the book support the Every Step Counts Scholarship Program she created to reward young adults for their efforts to live their healthiest lives with T1D. In August, she will attend the University of Virginia School of Medicine to continue her mission to give back to the medical community.
Zach Geren graduated from the Marquette University Law School with his JD. He recently married Melissa Geren, who has been attending conferences since 2003. Zach attended his first Friends for Life® Orlando conference in 2014. He enjoys participating in many sports, working with children, and volunteering with many organizations.
Philip Hunsche is the "little" brother of Kara Hunsche, 22, who has had type 1 diabetes since 2001. He is 19 and hasn't missed a conference since 2012. Philip is studying business management at Cincinnati State. He’s excited to join the Sports Central staff at Friends for Life!
Betsy King, RN, BSN, MEd, has over 30 years nursing experience since graduating from Villanova University. For the past 18 years of her career, she has worked as a certified school nurse for the Penn-Delco School District. She has additionally specialized in the areas of critical care nursing, working in the ER and Coronary Care Unit. Betsy is the Red Cross certified CPR/AED/First Aid trainer for the school district training faculty and support staff. She is an advocate for students with diabetes, and facilitates children through the school years as normal children who "happen to have diabetes." Her interest in healthy lifestyle and nutrition has always been important to her. Betsy is married to an athlete with type 1, Bill King; they have two children, Megan and Billy. They enjoy an active lifestyle of going to the gym and running together. Betsy attends many diabetes programs, camps, and conferences, focusing on diabetes technology, research, advanced pumping, and intensive management. You may remember Betsy from previous years attending Friends for Life Conferences, and she is thrilled to be back.
Bill King grew up in a family of distance runners and became an elite marathon runner in his early twenties. He was diagnosed with type 1 in 1984 while training for his 4th marathon, working two jobs, attending college and dating. Bill continued competitive running, however concentrated on shorter distances. In 1988, he was entered the largest diabetes study ever conducted on type 1 diabetes, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), and the results helped changed the protocol of diabetes intensive care for all people. Bill, like over 90% of the participants, is still being followed in the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC). Bill began wearing an insulin pump in 1996 and as a result of better glucose management was able to train for and complete his 1st marathon with diabetes just a few months later. He ran fast enough to qualify for the Boston marathon, which he ran wearing a blood glucose meter on his wrist. He has gone on to complete 18 marathons since he began wearing an insulin pump and has been a coach and advocate for exercise with diabetes ever since. "Everyone has an athlete inside; don't let diabetes stand in your way!" Bill currently consults with several diabetes technology companies and is working as Director, Patient and Community Relations for Achieving Better Control, Inc., a diabetes self-management education company. This is Bill's 15th year at the Friends for Life Orlando conference.
Bill King is a business student at Penn State who will receive his B.S. in Business Management and Marketing in the Fall. Bill has a passion for sports and is an avid basketball and tennis player. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, being at the beach, attending social events, spending time with family and friends and staying fit and healthy. He is also learning to fly and is taking classes to become a private pilot. He has a passion for working with children with type 1 as he has been surrounded by it his entire life. Friends for Life is his family away from home, and he looks forward to another year in Sports Central!
Rodney Miller has had type 1 diabetes for over 30 years. He competes in powerlifting and strongman, and uses strongman demonstrations as a way to portray type 1 diabetes in a positive light. He is the founder of Bolus and Barbells, a non-profit organization founded on bringing people with type 1 diabetes together while helping them to understand and implement resistance training into becoming healthier versions of themselves. So whether it's deadlifting cars, pulling fire trucks, or hosting Bolus and Barbells events, Rodney is spreading the message of strength both mental and physical to people with diabetes in the world.
Philadelphia native Jaime Molyneux is celebrating eleven years of living healthy with type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed at the age of 28, just two months after running the Boston Marathon. Post-diagnosis she has completed five more marathons and continues to live an active lifestyle. Jaime manages her diabetes using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. She works at the University of Pennsylvania as the Director of International Risk Management. She is also a certified Zumba® instructor and has been teaching group fitness since 2009. Jaime is excited to return to Friends for Life Orlando after having a baby boy in the summer of 2017!
Jesse Nagel, BSN, RN, 26, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 9 1/2 years old. He graduated from Nursing School at D'Youville College in Buffalo, and currently works in the neurology ICU at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, New York. He has traveled to Washington, DC, as an advocate with the JDRF Children's Congress and the ADA Call to Congress, and will continue meeting with his representatives until a cure is found. He has attended every FFL Orlando since 2003 as part of the elementary, tween, and teen groups. The last three years he has worked closely with the teen programming staff and cannot wait for FFL 2018 to start!
Shawn O'Dell is a Buffalo, NY native. His fiancé, CWD Dietitian Kristen Seiz, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. Shawn works as a mechanic at Erie County and owns Buffalo Bubble Soccer on the side. He's very active and loves football, kayaking, hunting and riding his motorcycle. He can't wait to be in Sports Central, running, jumping and having tons of fun with all the kids.
Brianna Peach is 22 years old and is the big sister of Hannah Peach, 18, who has had type 1 diabetes since 2004. She has attended Friends for Life Orlando since 2005 and has never missed a conference. Brianna is a senior at Tennessee Tech University studying to become a physical therapist. She loves all of her friends here at FFL and has really made friends for life.
Chris Ruden is probably the only 7-fingered, type 1, record-holding powerlifter, speaker, and fitness consultant. Born with a disability, he struggled with limitations -- body image issues, bullying, and just being "different" than everyone else. When he faced extremely rough times, Chris learned that "limitations are self imposed," which empowered him to beat his disability, manage his diabetes, and inspire kids and adults around the world while teaching them how everyone is in control of their life. Chris has a degree is in Exercise Science & Health Promotion and, in addition to speaking, runs an online fitness and nutrition consulting business, focusing on helping those with type 1 diabetes.
Harold Sanco, CPT, is a former National Aerobic Champion and two time bronze medalist at the National Step Challenge Competition. He has been voted Washington, DC's "Best Instructor" by Washingtonian magazine and The Washington Post. With more than 20 years of experience in youth physical education and coaching, he is an internationally acclaimed instructor and trainer who teaches across the United States, Canada and 15 countries for some of the top fitness conferences in the world. His popular "Urban Funk" class has been featured in People, Allure and W magazines. He is AFAA certified and a Master Trainer for Lebert Training Systems. He is currently Director of Group Exercise at Sport & Health Club in Washington, DC.
Colt Scott, age 23, competed last fall on the second season of the Netflix series Ultimate Beastmaster. Colt represented himself as the self-proclaimed “Diabadass” to show that despite his condition, he — and others just like him — are capable of greatness. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was only 18 months old, Colt understands the struggle of maintaining a healthy blood sugar day in and day out. He believes that this mentality of overcoming this obstacle gave him an edge when it came down to defeating “the Beast.” His goal was to prove that even though the world may see you in a position of disadvantage, you have the power to turn that into an advantage.
Trevor Tull was diagnosed at age 13, and his family quickly jumped with both feet right into Children with Diabetes and Friends for Life. Trevor has served on teen discussion panels, Sports Central, and the FFL Support Team. He races motocross, plays ice hockey, surfs, and snowboards. Previously a railroad worker, Trevor now works as a machinist/welder on submarines around the United States. He currently works in Seattle, but calls Virginia Beach 'home.' Trevor states, "I have never let diabetes make me someone different."
Ben Tzeel is a certified strength and conditioning specialist who is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. His research entirely focuses on type 1 diabetes. He has been living with diabetes since 1999, and this will be his tenth Friends for Life Orlando conference. Committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Ben can't wait to share his experiences managing athletics and diabetes with others!
Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes
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