Back to Activities 2003 Conference and Expo

You are viewing an archived version of this web site that is no longer maintained. Please visit for our current site.

Friends for Life Logo

Friends for Life
Conference and Expo
July 9-12, 2003
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Disney Image  

Children with Diabetes presents our 4th annual family conference! Join world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians, adults, children, and families with diabetes to learn the most current information in diabetes care. Attend educational sessions and get cutting-edge ideas for your family's diabetes management. Participate in parent discussion groups and find new, creative ways to help and motivate your children. Watch toddlers and teens, young parents and grandparents, new diabetes professionals and practiced clinicians make new and lifelong friendships. This is a conference you won't ever forget! And best of all, proceeds benefit the Children with Diabetes Foundation!

"What did I learn at the Friends for Life Conference? I learned that those who volunteer do not realize how important they really are. I learned that those who have done great things don't realize how great those things are. I learned that people who share in our struggles become our friends quicker. I learned that those who have done great things for our children do it for their own first. I learned that opinions turn into conversations, turn into ideas, turn into actions. I learned that people are a lot more interesting if you listen to them. I learned that children are just children while they play in the pool. I learned that one man decided to sell all he had to run across the nation to shine a light. I learned that one nation can be changed by one man or one woman who chooses to reach for that light. I learned that the light is made up of many parts and they are all part of one picture for the future. I learned that children holding hands hope the light remains on for their future. I learned that the future they long for is up to us. I learned that if you bring the right people into the right place at the right time, you have the power to change the world.
The Karlya Family, NY - Kaitlyn age 11 diagnosed 1992
Commenting on Friends for Life: Pasadena 2002

Who Should Attend the 2003 Event?

  • Families and Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes
  • Teens, school-age children, and younger children
  • Kids with type 1 diabetes and their siblings
  • Their parents
  • Individuals with Type 2 diabetes
  • Health care professionals who work with diabetes
  • View the Map of Attendees

A Word About The Program

The education program is designed to run four sessions and/or discussion groups at the same time during most of the conference, with full two-day tracks on Thursday and Friday for adults, as well as tracks for teens (ages 12+) and school-age children (ages 7+). Sessions run each day from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Childcare is available free of charge for children ages 0-7, for full days only (see information below). A detailed conference schedule is available via the links at the bottom of this page.

The Conference Hotel

Coronado Springs

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is the newest Walt Disney World® Conference facility and is located near Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Five swimming pools are on the Hotel grounds, including a huge, feature-pool complex with southwestern theme. A children's playground is on site, as is a large game arcade and fitness center. Watercraft and bike rentals are offered. A jogging trail winds around the 15-acre lake. Complimentary Disney bus transportation is available between the Hotel and all Disney Theme Parks.

Hotel rooms include 2 double beds or a king bed, ceiling fan, coffee maker, wall safe, telephone with voice mail and data port. Room rates are $141 + tax.

Corporate Suites may be reserved for hospitality events or entertaining.

For housing reservations, call Disney directly at 407-939-1020. Be sure to say you are with the Children with Diabetes conference. The Children with Diabetes room block is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Conference Facilities

Disney's Coronado Springs Convention Center offers over 95,000 square feet of flexible conference space on one level, including the Fiesta Ballroom, housing the Exhibit Hall and General Sessions, and the Coronado Ballroom, hosting the Family Banquet and Teen Dance. Convenient truck access to 10 loading docks is available for exhibitors. Booth-controlled A/V, closed-circuit TV, satellite links, and fiber-optic capabilities are available to presenters and exhibitors. The Coronado Business Center is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to assist with any business needs, large or small, for any conference attendee.

The Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall will open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening for a Gala Opening Reception, sponsored by Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Additional Exhibit Hall hours are 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and noon to 2:00 p.m. on Friday. A breakfast buffet is offered to attendees on both Thursday and Friday just outside the Exhibit Hall. Morning and afternoon snack breaks on Thursday and Friday will be provided directly outside the Exhibit Hall as well. Box lunches are provided both days, sponsored by Medtronic MiniMed on Thursday and SankyoPharma on Friday.

A Note About Childcare

Childcare will be available to children 7 and under, including infants and toddlers, thanks to the support of Animas Corporation. Childcare will be located in Fiesta 3 and 4, adjacent to the Fiesta Ballroom and the Teen Meeting room (Fiesta 1 and 2). Kid's Nite Out will be providing the caregivers. Again this year, Animas will be offering the support of certified diabetes educators to assist with diabetes management and concerns. Please note that Pre-Registration for childcare is necessary and must be received by July 1. Childcare preregistration forms are available online (click on Registration below). Childcare will not be available on a drop-in basis. Additionally, childcare will only be available for full days. This is necessary for appropriate staffing ratios, particularly for the younger children.

For school-aged children and teens, age-appropriate sessions will run on exactly the same schedule as sessions for parents. The school-age track and the teen track will stay in the same rooms throughout the two days of sessions. This will allow parents to drop off children at their sessions and return at the end of the session to grab a snack and bathroom break (all breaks are 30 minutes with the exception of lunch which is 90 minutes). Please note that children and teen sessions are appropriate for all children, not just those with type 1 diabetes.

Please contact Laura Billetdeaux for additional information () on in-room childcare. In-room sitting may be scheduled for evenings as well. In-room sitting is not covered by the Animas sponsorship; parents are required to pay for in-room childcare.

If you plan to take advantage of childcare, you must fill out and return the Childcare Information Sheet by June 1, 2003. (Also available in Microsoft Word 95 format.)

Lots of Goodies!

Make sure to plan for plenty of time in the conference Exhibit Hall. As always, the exhibitors will have lots of goodies for all conference participants! You may want to consider leaving extra room in your suitcases as you pack for all of the items you will be bringing home. We are not kidding about this.

Information on Airport Shuttles

Conference participants requiring transportation between Orlando and Walt Disney World may want to consider the Mears Transportation shuttle. CWD will have Mears discount vouchers available this spring. Mears Transportation is well-known and has an excellent reputation. CWD utilized Mears for the 2001 conference at Walt Disney World and we were very pleased with the service. Alternately, you may wish to rent a vehicle. While the Disney bus transportation system between the parks and hotels is excellent, a car will afford you more flexibility. We do recommend that you rent a vehicle if you plan to visit areas outside Walt Disney World (i.e., other theme parks in the area, the beach).

What About the Parks?

The Friends for Life conference will officially be visiting Magic Kingdom as part of the Children with Diabetes Foundation Benefit Day, sponsored by TheraSense, on Saturday, July 12. This is the only scheduled park day. On that morning, families will enjoy a Magical Moments character breakfast in the Fiesta Ballroom at the Coronado Springs Resort. They will then either take the complementary Disney bus or their own vehicles to Magic Kingdom, and enjoy the attractions until late evening. A parade and fireworks will top off the evening at Magic Kingdom. Tickets are required for both breakfast and entrance to the park, and you may purchase the combination breakfast/park ticket, or breakfast-only (for those people who already have and wish to use Park-Hopper passes). All ticket proceeds for Saturday's event will benefit the Children with Diabetes Foundation. Please note that space is limited for this event, and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

We know from past conference years that many families will be extending their stay in Orlando either before or after the actual conference dates. This is a great opportunity to visit the many theme parks in the Orlando area with other CWD families, or simply to hang by the pool, talk with other parents, or read a good book! Please note that a wide variety of theme park ticket options is available, ranging from single day passes to multiple-day passes, some including the Disney water parks as well. You must purchase your park tickets on your own (you may do so at the hotel when you arrive, online, or at Disney stores). CWD will only be selling tickets for the Saturday CWD Foundation event, and you must purchase these on your registration form.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your conference registration with CWD until June 15, 2003 and receive a full refund minus a $25 processing fee. After June 15, we are unable to provide a refund. Hotel room cancellation is subject to the rules of the resort at which you are staying.

Try an Insulin Pump!

Come to the conference and try a pump! Four pump companies -- Animas, Dana Diabecare, Deltec, and Medtronic MiniMed -- will be offering this great opportunity for potential would-be pumpers to try a pump using saline. Anyone interested in wearing a pump (with saline) may do so Thursday and Friday at the conference. A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline."

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information and to schedule an appointment with a specific pump company, contact the following individuals:

Maura Emery, CDE, at 1-877-YES PUMP, extension 1164 or via e-mail at

Dana Diabecare:
Jennifer Schexnayder at 1-866-342-2322 extension 1003 or via e-mail at

Marilyn Graff at 1-800-544-4734 extension 7201 or via e-mail at

Medtronic MiniMed
Julie Sweidan at 1-800-933-3322 x 4514 or via e-mail at

Other contact information will be posted as it is made available.

Join a Focus Group!

CWD is pleased to announce a day of Focus Groups at the Friends for Life Conference. The focus groups will be held on Wednesday, July 9, and will be located in the Coronado Springs Resort Convention Center (right where the rest of the conference will be) in Fiesta 1, 2, and 3.

See Focus Group Schedule for more information.

  2003 Conference and Expo  
  2003 Conference - Program Overview - Faculty  
  Thursday: Parents and Adults | Teens | Kids  
  Friday: Parents and Adults | Teens | Kids  
  Social Events - Focus Groups - Fun Run Pledge Sheet  
  Sponsors - Exhibitors  
  Registration - Map of Attendees - Menus  
  Report from 2002 Conference  

  Back to Activities Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: (none)
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.