First-Timers -- those families who have never been to a Friends for Life conference -- will comprise nearly half of the attendees in Orlando this summer. First-Timers are from nearly every state and at least a dozen countries. We recognize that being a First-Timer might seem overwhelming at times -- so many people! So many choices of sessions! How does one meet people and make friends?
Meet our First-Timer Hospitality Group! Headed by Nabil Elarbi and Katie Daugherty, who once were First-Timers themselves, the First-Timer Hospitality Group has one thing in mind: to help you feel more comfortable at the Friends for Life conference. Need to meet someone your age or from a particular part of the country? They will help you. Need to find your way around the convention center? Ditto. Need some suggestions for which sessions to attend? Got it. Just need a hug? We're here.
First-Timer Hospitality will be located adjacent to the Registration area, and it will be staffed Tuesday through Friday during registration hours. Stop by with questions, or simply to say hello!
Other First-Timer opportunities:
- The CWD Teen Welcome Group would be happy to send your child (any age) a 'hi and welcome!' email. Please send a request to [email protected], and include the child's age, email address, and whether they have type 1 diabetes or are a sibling
- Teen First-Timers Reception: Wednesday 3:00-4:30 in the Wedgwood Ballroom. Teens only!
- First-Timers Reception (all ages, except for teens because they have their own room): Wednesday 3:00-4:30 in the Crystal Ballroom CDE. Meet Jeff Hitchcock, Laura Billetdeaux, and the other CWD staff, say hello to your children's program leaders, meet hundreds of other first timers, and don't go away hungry!
Katie Daugherty, MPH, has had type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, having been diagnosed at the age of 10. She believes that having diabetes has enriched her life in many ways and has made her a better person. Katie has lots of family members with type 1 diabetes: her sister-in-law, cousin, and uncle were all diagnosed within 5 years of each other, and they all relied on Katie to teach them everything about type 1 diabetes! When she is not attending CWD events, Katie is a Program Manager in Research & Development at Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc. Living in the Boston area, she is a dedicated Red Sox and Patriots fan. Interests include health policy, writing, laughing, and long-distance running. How does Katie view CWD? Quite simply: I'm home.
Nabil Elarbi, father of four wonderful children, resides in King of Prussia, PA. He became involved with diabetes in December 2003, when his daughter Maryam was diagnosed with diabetes at age 10. He spent his first night at the hospital searching the internet for information on his laptop and stumbled onto the CWD website. It was then that he decided that his family was going to attend the 2004 Friends for Life conference in California. The entire family has been hooked ever since and look forward to it as the highlight of their year. Nabil has always had a special touch working with youth and young adults. He enjoys reading, traveling, and promoting health education in under-served communities. Nabil owns a small Healthcare IT consulting firm.
Sam Billetdeaux, diagnosed at age 8, is determined that diabetes will never get in the way of his life dreams. Sam is an active member of the CWD Young Adult program and has traveled to Denmark, Italy, the UK, and all across the United States to exchange ideas with other CWD teens, young adults, and their families. Sam is an avid athlete and enjoys running and working out with friends. He is a junior in college studying Spanish and the environment.
Kelsey Martin, age 19, was diagnosed at age 12. She attended her first CWD conference two months later, and has since become an active volunteer. Kelsey has worked with first timers, tweens, and elementary-age children at CWD conferences. She is also active in her local chapter of JDRF as an ambassador and volunteer. Kelsey is a journalism major at the University of Missouri and hopes to work in public relations or advertising for a medical company in the future.
Friends for Life 2008 Conference and Expo Introduction - Registration - FAQs - Special Guests Faculty - Youth Faculty - CWD Staff - 5000 Step Club First Timer Hospitality - Teen Welcome Group - Grandparents Program Overview - Parents & Adults - Youth - Focus Groups - Suggestions - Social Events Sponsors & Partners - Exhibitors - Attendees - Hotel Floor Plan - Bus Schedule FFL Reports from 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001
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