Back to Activities Friends for Life 2013
  Friends for Life Conference and Expo

July 9-14, 2013
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida


Pre-Registration Closed
On-site registration
begins July 9, 2013

Brenda, Maryam and Kara want you to come to FFL 2013

First Timers show off their special badges and ...

... enjoy their own welcome table

in 2011, CWD dad Oliver Double shared his amusing version of "Think Like a Pancreas"

The green bracelet of belonging

The Quilt for Life celebrates our families

At FFL, you'll meet diabetes community VIPs like Crystal Bowersox ...

... and former NFL star Kendall Simmons

Jen Alexander received the first green bracelet at FFL 2012

Friday's Dessert with the Faculty gives everyone a chance to meet the conference faculty

Everyone has a great time dancing on Thursday evening

Be sure to sign up for the free retinal screening

Tweens enjoy DJ Miles' tricked out cars

At Friends for Life, you're home

Our type 1 adults appreciate Casino Night!


Conference Overview

Children with Diabetes presents our 14th annual family conference! Join our international group of 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!

Who Should Attend the 2013 Event?

  • Families and individuals with type 1 diabetes
  • Young adults, teens, school-age children, and younger children
  • Grandparents
  • Kids with type 1 diabetes and their siblings and their best buddies
  • Their parents
  • Adults with type 1 diabetes and their spouses or partners and children
  • Health care professionals who work with type 1 diabetes (CEUs are not offered)

The Conference Schedule in a Nutshell

  • Tuesday, July 9:
    Registration opens, Sports Central opens, meet new friends and enjoy pool time!
  • Wednesday, July 10:
    Focus groups are back - all day (preregistration for the groups is required); Teen Meeting; First Timers Reception; Young Adult Dinner; Sports Central open for pick-up basketball and volleyball; Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall at 6:00 p.m., including the Quilt for Life
  • Thursday, July 11:
    Sessions for adults and children all day (including grandparents track); Family and Friends Banquet; Sports Central
  • Friday, July 12:
    Sessions for adults and children all day (including grandparents track); Teens offsite at Disney; Adults with Type 1 Social; Dessert and Posters with the Faculty; Sports Central
  • Saturday, July 13:
    Family Day at the Coronado; Teen Dinner Dance; Tween Social
  • Sunday, July 14:
    Farewell Breakfast
Pump Trials, Screenings & Studies

Insulin Pump Trials

Come to the conference and try a pump or continuous sensor. Pump companies offer would-be pumpers a chance to try their products using saline. And if you already use a pump, here's a chance to try out a new one. A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline." If you plan to try more than one pump, be sure to bring a prescription for each.

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information, contact:

  • Animas - OneTouch® Ping™
    Val Trego at 610-651-6350 or
  • Tandem Diabetes Care – t:slim Insulin Pump
    Danica Mazon at 1-858-366-6893, toll free at 1-877-801-6901 ext. 6893, or

TrialNet Screening

A TrialNet team will be on site performing screenings beginning on Wednesday and continuing through Friday in the El Paso 2. Sign up sheets will be at registration. You may also walk up for screening when you have time.

Celiac Screening

Celiac screenings will be available beginning on Wednesday and continuing through Friday in the El Paso 1. Sign up sheets will be at registration. You may also walk up for screening when you have time. If you suspect celiac, you must eat gluten for four weeks prior to the screening. One slice of bread per day is sufficient, per Dr. Alessio Fasano, who is overseeing the screening.

Retinal Screening

Once again this year, a team of eye care specialists from the Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science from the New Jersey Medical School will be on site performing free retinal screenings to kids and adults with type 1 diabetes, beginning on Monday and continuing through Thursday in the Cancun Room.

Pre-conference online signup for retinal screening is now closed. You'll be able to sign up on site.

Teen Driving Clinic

Due to unforseen events, the Teen Driving Clinic at Friends for Life 2013 has been cancelled as of June 6, 2013.

The Conference Venue and Reservations

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located near Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney's Hollywood 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.

Newly renovated hotel rooms include 2 double beds or a king bed, refrigerator, high speed internet (fee for service), ceiling fan, coffee maker, wall safe, telephone with voice mail and data port. Wireless high speed internet is available in public areas of the hotel, including the lobby, conference center, and swimming pool.

Room rates are $153 + tax. This rate is available from July 6, 2013 to July 17, 2013 for those families who might want to extend their vacation.

Corporate Suites may be reserved for hospitality events or entertaining, subject to availability.


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

You may also reserve a room, buy park tickets, make Disney Dining reservations, and arrange for free Disney Transporation from the Orlando Airport to the hotel online at

Please note that you are only in the CWD room block – and only have the perks of being in the room block - if you make reservations through the link or through this phone number (i.e., not through the Disney 800 number, or through a travel agent – they cannot access the CWD rooms).

Registration is now open.

The Program

The adult program is designed to run 6-8 sessions simultaneously during Thursday and Friday. There will also be two rooms on Thursday and Friday with sessions of special interest to adults with type 1, and one room featuring sessions for young adults with type 1 (e.g., college age). Please refer to the schedule for details. There will also be two-day programming for school-age children (ages 6-9), tweens (ages 10-12), and teens (ages 13+). Full-day childcare is available for children under age 6, by pre-registration only. This includes activities at the Kindergarten level, Pre-K level, and 'toddler and younger' level. Please note that all conference participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or adult guardian with them during the entire conference (i.e., teens and children should not be dropped off to participate while parents go elsewhere). This is for health and liability reasons, and there will be no exceptions.

Youth Program Note

Please note that all children must be with their appropriate age group during sessions. The elementary program is for children ages 6-9; the tween program is for children ages 10-12, and the teen program is for ages 13-18. There is no 'skipping up' or 'skipping down.' This is per our insurance guidelines. No exceptions are allowed.

Teen Program Note

As in past years, the Teen Program will include sessions all day Thursday, and a chance to put into practice what has been learned on an offsite trip on Friday. The teens will be going to Disney's Hollywood Studios this year on Friday, July 12. In order to participate in this trip, teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday. This is mandatory. Tickets, lunch, and snack money will be provided to each teen participating. Teens will be traveling to the theme park via chartered bus, leaving at 8:45 and returning at approximately 4:30.

Also note that this year, there will be teen programming on Wednesday afternoon. This is a new addition to our teen program, and is intended to allow the teens more time to get to know each other and have social and active time prior to the full day on Thursday. These sessions are not mandatory, but we do hope that most teens will choose to take advantage of this additional group time.

Not A Teen Anymore?

For a second year, we are happy to feature programming especially for the college-age group, sponsored by Insulet. Sessions will be offered in the Coronado E/F breakout room all day Thursday and Friday. Attend all of them, or mix and match with sessions featured in the other adult program ballrooms and breakouts. These sessions are JUST for college-age (ages 18-early 20s), not for parents or interested others.

Adults with Type 1

Again this year, we are pleased to offer programming for adults with type 1 (college age adults are welcome in these sessions, too). Sponsored by Insulet, these sessions will be held on Thursday and Friday in the Coronado AB and CD breakout rooms. On Friday evening from 8:00 to midnight, join host Tandem Diabetes in the Fiesta Ballroom for a fun adults-only Casino Night! Please note this social event is only for Adults with Type 1 and their partners; this is not a family event.

It's A Ball!

Join us Thursday evening for the CWD Family and Friends Banquet, from 6:30-8:30, followed by the CWD Friends for Life Ball! The Banquet will feature special guests, a wonderful buffet dinner, and some great interaction and fun with 2,000 of your new best friends. From 8:30-10:30, enjoy the Friends for Life Ball with dancing to your favorite tunes by DJ Miles, who has provided the entertainment for our Family and Friends Banquet events for over a decade! Children are encouraged to dress up as their favorite prince or princess -- formal attire for adults is welcome but certainly not required (dress as you feel most comfortable). Tickets are required for dinner, and may be purchased with or after your registration. They will not be available on site. The Banquet is expected to sell out. We will open the doors for dancing at 8:30; tickets are not required but you must be wearing your CWD bracelet for entry. Many thanks to Novo Nordisk for once again sponsoring this incredible evening!

Exhibit Hall Hours

The Exhibit Hall will open in conjunction with a Grand Opening Reception on Wednesday evening, from 6:00-9:00. There will be plenty of food at this reception; you may not want to have dinner beforehand. On Thursday, Exhibit Hall hours extend from 10:00 to noon, and 1:00-4:00 p.m. On Friday, hours are from 10:00 to noon, and 1:00-3:30 p.m. The Quilt for Life will once again be displayed in the Exhibit Hall. Please make sure to allow time to stroll the Quilt squares with your family (and if you haven't sent a square yet in honor of your family or your child, please consider doing so before the conference!).

What's Up on Saturday?

There's a lot going on at the conference on Saturday! Sports Central will feature games and prizes for kids of all ages from 10-4. There will be a Scavenger Hunt from 10:30-2:00. This Scavenger Hunt will feature clues entirely on the Coronado Springs property – and there will be prizes awarded at 3:00.

Stop by the Veracruz A prefunction area outside Sports Central at 2:00 on Saturday for an ice cream break!

Enjoy sand volleyball and pool games at the main pool area on Saturday afternoon!

Teens! Saturday evening is the Teen Dinner Dance from 8:00 to midnight. Dress up and join your friends for this not-to-be-missed event. Parents are not allowed (except for the dance chaperones). Please no jeans or cut-offs.

The Tween Social – which is a mix of karaoke, games, and dancing – is on Saturday evening this year. From 8-11 p.m., join DJ Miles for a very fun and energetic evening! Parents are not allowed (except for chaperones). Please no jeans or cut-offs.

Sports Central – Back for an 11th Year!

Sports Central is an area where you can work out with Harold Sanco, stretch, play some volleyball, interact with some world-class athletes, or generally work off some energy from Tuesday through Saturday. Located in Veracruz A Ballroom, Sports Central will have drop-in hours daily and a schedule of featured events. Many thanks to Novo Nordisk for sponsoring Sports Central for the past decade – and many thanks to the wonderful athletes who spend a week with our CWD families staffing Sports Central!

Registering for the Conference

You must register for the conference online. The cost of registration varies upon when you register and how many people are in your family (single person, family, family plus additional members such as grandparents). A family is defined as up to 2 adults (anyone 18 and over) and up to 3 children (anyone under 18). Costs are as follows, and more information is on the registration page:

  • Regular family registration - $360
  • On site family registration - $450
  • Single registration at any time - $210
  • Banquet tickets are $25 per person for anyone 5 and older
  • CWD FFL 2013 pins are $5 each

Registration includes all Thursday and Friday educational sessions for all age groups (including childcare), Thursday breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks; Friday breakfast, lunch, snack breaks, and all of the various receptions/socials; Saturday refreshments by the exhibit hall; Sunday Farewell Breakfast. Registration also includes one t-shirt per person.

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations prior to June 1, 2013 will be refunded minus a US$75 processing fee. After June 1, 2013, no refunds are available.

For more conference information, contact

  • Mike Schurig at 407-859-9630 or or
  • Laura Billetdeaux at 734-428-8265 or
Please phone during regular business hours (eastern time), as these are home offices.

Special Guest
Kris Freeman

Jay Hewitt
Lilly Diabetes is proud to partner with reigning U.S. National Champion cross-country skier Kris Freeman. This top athlete learned to manage his type 1 diabetes while pursuing Olympic gold. Through his work with the Lilly Camp Care Package, Kris travels to diabetes camps across the nation, inspiring kids to dream big. Come meet him at the Lilly Diabetes booth on Wednesday, July 10th from 6pm-9pm and on Thursday, July 11th from 10am-12pm.

Special Guest
Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox, gifted singer-songwriter, will be a VIP Guest, coming to Friends for Life as a courtesy of JDRF and CWD. She will be appearing in the JDRF booth during select exhibit hours.

Special Guest
Will Cross

Will Cross is a world-class expedition leader and athlete. Raised in England until age 12, Cross has worked continually for more than 30 years to overcome challenges related to living with diabetes. On May 23, 2006, as part of the NovoLog® Peaks and Poles Challenge, Cross became the first American and first person with diabetes to climb the highest peak on each continent and trek to the North and South Poles. Will is presenting the closing keynote at Friends for Life 2013.

Special Guest
Jay Hewitt

Jay Hewitt
Jay Hewitt is an elite Ironman triathlete and three-time member of the U.S. National Team for Long Distance Triathlon. Jay was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in college, but has not let diabetes hold him back from following his dreams. Jay is sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

Special Guest
Kendall Simmons

Jay Hewitt
Kendall Simmons is a former NFL player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. Kendall was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes shortly before his second season. Kendall learned how to manage his diabetes and went on to play nearly ten years in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls. Kendall is sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

Special Guest
Jackson the Dog

Jackson, an English Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with diabetes at just two months of age. He is now four years old, living with his family in Illinois. He loves playing in the yard, going for walks, and good luck trying to find him without a toy in his mouth! Jackson returns to Friends for Life after missing last year.

  Friends for Life 2013 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Registration - Exhibitors - Sponsors - Convention Center Map (PDF)  
  Faculty - Youth Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - CWD Staff - Sports Central Staff  
  Schedule: Parents & Adults - Youth - Focus Groups - Social Events  
  Childcare Form (PDF) - FAQs  
  Reports from 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  

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