Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president 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 CWD conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of CWD - 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 husband Neal, who graciously and energetically assists with the conference teen programs. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as youth faculty at CWD conferences as time allows.
Mike Schurig, MS, RD, LD, CDE, serves as Conferences and Content Manager for Children With Diabetes. As a diabetes educator, registered dietitian and person with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12, Mike has had extensive experience in diabetes education with kids and parents. Mike is active with local ADA activities, regional diabetes educator groups, and the CWD website. His interests are insulin pump education and technical advances in diabetes. Mike enjoys visiting the nearby theme parks and enjoying Central Florida with his wife Gayle and his daughter Allyson.
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.
Ashley Head is a CWD dad on both sides of the Atlantic – at Friends for Life Orlando and Friends for Life UK! Ash has been a Trade Show Professional for the last 30 years, specializing in international event logistics; he has coordinated shows all over the world. Ash is also the Chair of the Challenge Events Committee for the JDRF UK. He is married to Shayne, and dad to 14 year old Phoebe who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001. He is also dad to Jake, age 21.
Brenda Hitchcock is mom to Marissa (dx'd at 24 months), Kathryn, and Tim. She's worked side by side with her husband Jeff on Children with Diabetes since it began in 1995. Brenda brings a mom's perspective to diabetes care, is editor of the "Ask the Diabetes Team" section of the CWD web site, and helps out in countless ways at CWD's conferences.
Jill Karlya is a mom with three children, two with diabetes. She has been active in virtually every diabetes organization there is either helping to organize an event or implement a neighborhood letter writing campaign. She has consulted with families and implemented numerous endeavors helping children with diabetes across the United States acclimate themselves within the school district. She has also has been instrumental in her local PTA chairing many events, offices, and fund raising events to help the district. She was the Administrative Assistant to a New York State Senator for years and presently works in the Administration Office of the Patchogue-Medford School District. She resides on Long Island.
Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is commonly known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad, his pen name used virtually everywhere, including his monthly column which appears at www.dLife.com/diabetesdad. He has been active in diabetes causes since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of 2. Tom has been introduced to the New York State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., appeared at diabetes-related events at the United Nations and has lectured, taught, and chaired many conferences, panels and keynotes about being a Diabetes Dad. He also received numerous commendations for his work in the Katrina efforts where he was instrumental in organizing relief efforts to over 10,000 people with diabetes. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from The Children with Diabetes in 2008. For 12 years as an actor, he starred in the New York City Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding, working with the original NY Company and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was seen at the Sundance Film Festival, and he appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and other shows as well as numerous commercials. If you ask Tom he will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.
Scott and Heather Kyllo live in British Columbia, Canada with their two children, Alyssa (18) and Chad (16). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when their son, Chad, then age 2 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 CWD 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 CWD'ers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is Director of International Operations, IT Division for Conservation International. He works from home in what is often referred to as "Mission Control" supporting 56 offices in 29 countries. Heather is a homemaker, as well as a facilitator for a local support group for the 40+ families in the Vernon area living with diabetes. Heather also works at the local curling club as Office Manager. The Kyllo's are extensively involved in curling during the winter months. Their summers are spent enjoying the Sunny Okanagan on Shuswap Lake. They are strong advocates of the CWD conferences and believe anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one…although warn that the conferences are much like potato chips… hard to stop at just one.
Julia Mattingly is mom to 14 year old Hannah and 13 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was 3. Julia, Ed, and the kids have been to every single 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 CWD memory is from 2001 when she met all of her CWD email buddies 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.
Betty Smith is a proud momma to 10 year old Jeremy and 13 1/2 year old Shelby. Shelby was diagnosed at 6, and is currently pumping. It was a blessing when she came across the CWD website shortly after Shelby's diagnosis. After telling her husband Ed about the CWD website and the FFL conference, he said "book it!" This will be their 6th FFL conference and they will not stop attending until there is a cure! Betty and the family live on the Central Coast, CA. Between taking care of her family and managing Shelby's diabetes, she spends her time helping to educate and advocate for other kids diagnosed with diabetes, mostly educating parents on 504 Plans. Betty also spends her time writing letters to help get funding and legislation passed for diabetes health care.
Joanne Stroud, MHA, FACHE, is first and foremost a CWD Mom. Her son Ben was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of ten and CWD quickly became their lifeline. She attended her first conference in 2003 and instantly became hooked, telling Laura she'd do anything (within reason of course!) she could to assist CWD. Ben, now age 22, is a volunteer in Sports Central along with his brother James (19) a college sophomore and collegiate soccer player. Joanne is Board Certified in Healthcare Administration by the American College of Healthcare Executives, is a board member of the San Diego Organization for Health Care Leaders and is an active mentor offering guidance and career direction to new and/or early career healthcare administrators. She is currently the Administrative Manager for Student Health Services at San Diego State University. Joanne is married to Jim, a CRNA and they have one other son, Kyle (24), a student at Savannah College of Art & Design.
Friends for Life 2010 Conference and Expo Introduction - Program Overview - Exhibitors - Sponsors Faculty - Youth Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - CWD Staff Schedule: Parents & Adults - Youth - Focus Groups - Focus Groups Signup Registration - FAQs FFL Reports from 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001
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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.
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