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Sugar Land, Texas offered CWD families a warm and wonderful welcome the weekend of October 12-14, 2012, for the Focus on Technology conference. Primarily a 'regional' conference (most attendees lived nearby and commuted), 175 children and adults joined us for a weekend of fun, support, and education at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.

There was a very positive and anticipatory buzz as the conference kicked off with registration, a yummy and healthy buffet breakfast, and the opening keynote "CGMS and New Technology" presented by Dr. Stephen Ponder. Many thanks to our wonderful presenters throughout the weekend, including Natalie Bellini, Jeff Hitchcock, Marissa Town, Crystal Jackson, Gary Scheiner, Mike Schurig, and Jill Weissberg-Benchell. These faculty have a very special talent for making the most challenging concepts understandable for all of us, and they are very approachable for follow-up conversations and questions throughout the day.

Kudos to Harold Sanco for – yet again and this time in his home town! – getting everyone up and moving and having fun with exercise in the youth program and the Batuka! session on Saturday before dinner. Harold – known to all of us as "Human Caffeine" - brings his special kind of energy to every single CWD conference.

Thank you to Julia Mattingly, Deb Ruppert, and Heather and Scott Kyllo for offering such a warm welcome at Registration. And another huge thank you to the conference sponsors: Animas, JDRF, OneTouch®, Novo Nordisk, Roche Insulin Delivery Systems, and Sanofi-Aventis. CWD sponsors are partners in every sense of the word -- they help bring the best information to CWD events, and they spend the entire conference with us, available for questions and discussions with adults and children alike.

CWD kids always have their own special programming at our conferences ... and Sugar Land Focus on Technology was no exception! The children grouped with others of the same age: Elementary for the 6-9 year olds, Tweens for the 10-12 year olds, and Teens for the 13-17 year olds. The 'younger than 6' crowd enjoyed a very fun Saturday in childcare as well.

Under the leadership and guidance of leaders Michelle Rago, Sunshine Abel, Lynet Fox, Carolyn Billetdeaux, and Kelsey Martin the elementary kids had a fabulous day, including activities such as a Scavenger Hunt, Fitness Time with Harold, and crafts and 'serious' discussion time! It was a big group, with a lot of energy and a lot of fun!

The tween program, led by Adam Town, Justin Abel, and Deborah Ruppert, was equally as fun and adventurous. The tweens had exercise time with Harold, Type 1 and Sibs chat time, and a very fun and creative session with the teens on "Carb Counting in the Real World" (very functional and funny).

The teen program, led by Marissa Town, Jim Vail, and Natalie Bellini was a great mix of discussion and presentation ... leading to a weekend of fun and learning! The teens explored new technology with Jeff Hitchcock and Jim Vail, and spent conversation time – Boy Talk and Girl Talk – with Natalie, Marissa, Jim, and Dr. Ponder.

Last but not least, the "Under 6" group had a weekend of great fun and activity with leaders Melissa Pawlowski and Marisa Fox. The children joined in some of the Harold Exercise Fun, they built a fort, had a mini-scavenger hunt, and had some very creative crafts time.

CWD dietitian Mike Schurig once again spent months pulling together some great, healthy menus (and portion sizes and carb counts) for all of our meals. He created a delicious gluten free buffet at each meal for those who needed them. It always amazes the hotel management and dietary staff that we spend so much time and effort on this particular facet of our conferences ... but it is probably the most important thing that makes families feel safe about spending the weekend at a CWD event. So, kudos to Mike for another job well done. Additional thanks to Scott Kyllo for managing the IT/AV side of the conference ... it made the entire weekend flow ever so smoothly!

CWD would not be able to hold conferences at all if not for the continued and consistent generosity of our sponsors. Many thanks once again to our sponsors including Animas, JDRF, OneTouch®, Novo Nordisk, Roche Insulin Delivery Systems, and Sanofi-Aventis; and additional thanks to the folks at Dex4 for supplying all of the glucose products to head off low blood sugars. The generosity of these companies in supporting CWD events and families, as well as their passion for helping our kids and everyone with diabetes to lead a full and healthy life, is extraordinary.

Finally, a big hug to the many people who helped out with this conference. You know who you are. We couldn't do this without you, and you have our most sincere thanks.

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  Children with Diabetes: Focus on Technology

Dr. Ponder (yes, with the hat) taught about CGMS and technology ]

Pumps, sensors, and the green bracelet of belonging ... that's a CWD conference
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