Back to Friends for Life Seattle 2019 FFL Seattle 2019 Staff


Jeff Hitchcock is the Founder, President, creator, editor, and webmaster of Children with Diabetes. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff worked in high tech and traveled the world, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. He worked in defense related industries until 1995, when he started a small Internet company and launched Children with Diabetes. He subsequently worked at LEXIS-NEXIS and Pearson plc on Internet initiatives, and now works full time bringing Children with Diabetes to you.


A finicky connoisseur of hotel meeting space, cappuccino, and kid-friendly cheese and fruit platters, Laura Billetdeaux is CWD's VP of Education and Programs. Since 2000, Laura has organized every single Friends for Life® conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of Children with Diabetes® — education and support of families with type 1, and always keeping in mind why it all works – the efforts of so many dedicated individuals. Laura lives in Manchester, Michigan with her husband Neal. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as faculty at Children with Diabetes® conferences as time allows.


Jimmy Fickling, also affectionately known as Jimbo, is the dad to rambunctious twins, Ava and Davis. Ava was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was three years old. When he's not serving juice boxes or replacing insulin pump batteries, Jimmy enjoys playing golf and coaching Davis's baseball team. Jimmy served for 20 years as a Deputy Sheriff in Charleston, South Carolina in the Special Operations Unit before moving with his wife, Leigh, to Durham, North Carolina in 2010. Jimmy is currently a Criminal Investigator with the Duke University Police Department where he specializes in threat assessment, threat management, and pharmaceutical drug diversion.


Lynet Fox is the mother of three girls, Marisa (26), Jessica (24), and Erica (22) and Granna to Carter (5). She attended her first Friends for Life Orlando conference in 2004 after Erica was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She has not missed a Friends for Life Conference since first attending. Her daughter Jessica was diagnosed in December 2010 at the age of 16. Lynet currently is a stay at home grandma. The entire family looks forward to conference in Orlando each summer. She has volunteered in different capacities at Friends for Life conferences over the past ten years.


Ed Grand, along with wife Shelley and son Parker (diagnosed in 2002 at age three), has attended every Friends for Life July conference since 2003. Ed credits FFL for Parker’s successful diabetes management and for his success in the start of his journey in life. Ed states, “For that we are grateful and volunteer in hope that others may have the same successes.“ Besides the night time BG monitoring, Ed works as a banker, is an avid runner, and enjoys volunteering for California's La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.


Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two adult children, Alyssa and Chad. Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when his son, Chad, then age two, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were residing in Bahrain in the Middle East. The World Wide Web had just arrived in Bahrain and it brought to the Kyllo’s the safety of the Children with Diabetes® family. Two years later, when life was becoming somewhat comfortable and routine, Alyssa, then age 7, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Chad was also diagnosed with celiac disease in 2001. The family attended their first Friends For Life® conference in 2002. Getting to meet the CWDers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is a Chief Information Officer by day and an Aircraft Engineer by night maintaining a Piper Cherokee and a Mooney. These skills and his “MacGyver” qualities keep him running at the Friends For Life® conferences as its Information Technology and Audio/Visual support person. He is a strong advocate of Friends For Life® conferences and believes anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one... although warns that the conferences are much like potato chips—it’s hard to stop at just one!


Julia Mattingly is mom to 23 year old Hannah and 21 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was three. Julia has been to every Friends for Life conference and most of the regionals as well. Julia coordinates registration at each conference, and you can always find her when you need a smile and a “Hi Y’All!” Julia loves coordinating registration and being able to meet and talk to everyone who walks in the door. Her best Friends for Life memory is from 2000 when she met all of her CWD email moms in Orlando for the first time. She also loves to see the smiles on her children’s faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.


Kristen O'Dell, MS, RD, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. Managing this untamable disease initiated a career in healthcare for her. She earned her Masters degree in Dietetics at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Kristen’s first CWD conference was in 2011. She fell in love with the people and relationships she formed. In 2015, Kristen became the dietitian for the conferences and has loved it ever since. Between menu planning, carbohydrate counting and allergy accommodations, she is looking forward to tasting all the food, working with the kids, seeing old friends and making many more!


Deb Ruppert looks forward to meeting and being inspired by FFL attendees at each conference. Her dad has had diabetes for nearly three decades and she enjoys being a part of his support team, sharing her FFL learnings with him. Outside of Children with Diabetes, she is a strategic marketing consultant for health and wellness companies and enjoys cooking, college basketball and football, and her four-legged fur baby.


Joanne Stroud, MHA, FACHE, is first and foremost a CWD Mom. Her son Ben was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 10 and Children with Diabetes® quickly became their lifeline. She attended her first Friends for Life® conference in 2003 and instantly became hooked, telling Laura she’d do anything (within reason of course!) she could to assist Children with Diabetes®. Both Ben and his brother James are now ‘giving back’ as Friends for Life® staff. When not hanging with her FFLs, Joanne is a Training Specialist for Kinnser Software. She and Jim, a CRNA, have one other son, Kyle who lives in Portland, with his wife Sarah.

  Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes

  Friends for Life® Seattle 2019 Conference  
  Introduction - Registration - Exhibitor Application  
  Program - Youth Program - Faculty - Youth Faculty - CWD Staff  

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