Report from Friends for Life 2005

Over 2,200 people from 42 states and ten countries traveled to Orlando, Florida, for our sixth annual conference, Friends for Life 2005. The conference was held from July 6-9, 2005 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Over 1,000 kids were in attendance.

Families began gathering at the hotel on Saturday prior to the conference, as it was a holiday weekend -- the 4th of July! Many took advantage of the long weekend to spend a few days with CWD old friends (and new!) before the conference actually began.

On Sunday, July 3, a group of Italian teens and their families arrived at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, courtesy of a cultural exchange program sponsored by LifeScan. Host families from the U.S. and Colombia were on hand to welcome our new international friends and treat them to a few days of 'the parks.' The consensus about American summer weather? Molto caldo! (very hot!)

The goal of CWD conferences always is to stress 'Kids Being Kids' before all else. This was truly the case this year, as our sessions for the kids, tweeners, and teens focused on sports and being active. This is a healthy lifestyle for anyone whether they have diabetes or not. With our type 1 participants, we also focused on managing diabetes while being active. Many thanks to Novo Nordisk who sponsored the Sports Central area of the Convention Center. This was a tremendous hit with kids of all ages. The basketball and volleyball courts were always in use, as were the martial arts mats, and - believe it or not - the hula hoops!

The Exhibit Hall was exceptional this year, featuring the diabetes companies whose products our children use every day. It was great meeting their representatives face to face, learning about their new products, and sharing our own family experiences with them. As they do every year, the exhibitors voiced that they come to the CWD Friends For Life conference to remind them of why they do what they do.

A number of sponsoring companies also held Focus Groups on Wednesday. These groups included some very hot topics this year, and the discussion was lively and beneficial to both the participants and the group leaders. The groups were an excellent opportunity for exchange of information in a small group format prior to the larger sessions of the actual conference. CWD plans to hold them again next year.

On Saturday, over 1,500 people spent the day at Magic Kingdom or Epcot as part of the Children with Diabetes Foundation Benefit Day, sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care. Families began the day early with a Magical Memories Breakfast with Disney princes and princesses, and continued their day in the parks. Many thanks to Animas Corporation for sending CDEs to Magic Kingdom to provide diabetes support during the day.

As you read through the report pages, you'll see images with links. The image link sizes are medium (800 pixels wide and about 250 KBytes), large (1280 pixels wide and about 500 KBytes), and full sized (3000+ pixels wide and about 2 MBytes).


Photo Collages of Some of Our Kids

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Many thanks to Julia Mattingly for preparing the collages, which grew to three this year.

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Last Updated: Sun Jul 17 08:20:57 2005
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