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  Back to Charlotte 2010 Conference Charlotte 2010 Faculty and Staff

Conference Faculty

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Natalie Bellini, RN, CDE, has had Type 1 diabetes since she was a young child. Within a year of finishing nursing school, she started to care for people with diabetes, focusing first on diabetes in pregnancy then pediatrics and insulin requiring adults. She has worked on the medical side of camps for children and teens in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She has spoken nationally and internationally as an expert in both working with teens and their parents with diabetes as well as infusion set choice, usage and maintenance. Her fundamental goal when developing the teenage curriculum for Children with Diabetes conferences is that each and every teen that attends finds a passion in life and pursues it. She is currently attending Drexel University part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to her own teen, Erin, who is now a junior in college.

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Athletics and adventures were an integral part of life growing up, but type 1 diabetes only entered the game plan at the age of 19 while a college sophomore in 1995. Since then Jimmy Dodson has worked to learn how good glucose management practices become a part of, yet not a limiting factor, to exploring the world and challenges he enjoys. The 2005 winner of the DESA-LifeScan Athletic Achievement award and 2009 winner of the REI Anderson award, he is an "all-arounder" -- a climber, cyclist, runner, skier, fly-fisherman, wilderness first responder, adventure athlete, and diabetes advocate in his spare time. Professionally he is a TWS Certified Wildlife Biologist and NC Registered Forester for the College of Natural Resources at NC State University in Raleigh, NC.

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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.

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Andrea R Hulke, MSW, is Director of National Outreach for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation headquartered in New York. Prior to joining the National staff of JDRF, Andrea worked for over 5 years in JDRF's chapters, first as a chapter volunteer then as staff in Saint Louis and later in Piedmont Triad, North Carolina Chapters. Andrea was JDRF's very first Chapter Outreach Manager in the country, starting the program in just two chapters and now managing the local programs in all 110 JDRF Chapters and branches. In addition, Andrea manages the development and implementation of JDRF's National type 1 patient resources and support programs. Her goal is to provide information and resources about type 1 diabetes, diabetes research, and how best to manage and cope with this disease during each new phase of life. Andrea is committed to providing personalized support and resources to families, adults and their caregivers; to ultimately improve lives for those living with type 1, specifically her father and brother who live the disease.

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Joe Largay, PAC, CDE has been a faculty member at the University Of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC for 15 years where he has worked in the outpatient clinic in the Diabetes Care Center and also serves as Program Director of the Clinical Trials Program. He has had type 1 diabetes for 25 years. He participates in golf, cycling, skiing and hiking with his dogs. In the past he served as Medical Assistant for the US Paralympic Cycling Team and Team Trainer for the ADA Marathon Team. He also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association.

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Harold Sanco is the 1998 United States National Master's Aerobic Champion and two time bronze medalist at the National Step Challenge Competition. He has been voted Washington, DC's "Best Instructor" by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post. He is an internationally acclaimed instructor having taught in seven countries. His "Urban Funk" aerobics class has been highlighted in People, Allure and "W" magazines. At CWD conference, Harold helps kids and adults learn that exercising can be fun.

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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.

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John Walsh, PA is a Physician Assistant and Diabetes Clinical Specialist who has provided clinical care for patients with diabetes for more than 30 years. He specializes in diabetes care for people on pumps and has started and followed thousands of pump users. He is co-author of Pumping Insulin, now in its 4th edition, Using Insulin, STOP the Rollercoaster, and The Pocket Pancreas. President of the Diabetes Mall, he is also webmaster of diabetesnet.com, a highly trafficked source of diabetes information and technology visited by 6,000 people a day. John is a consultant and advisory board member for pharmaceutical and device corporations and a frequent speaker on pump therapy, diabetes therapy, glucose management, and the future of smart pumps, meters and continuous monitors. His recent research, published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, explores how the most successful people use pumps, based on over a 1,000 anonymous pump downloads. John has worn nearly every insulin pump and CGM available over the last 27 years. He is a sub-investigator on numerous research studies on diabetes drugs and devices and guest editor for a diabetes issue of the Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D., C.D.E., Pediatric Psychologist, Associate professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Author of numerous research articles, and a soon-to-be published book on transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Dr. Weissberg-Benchell works with children, teenagers and their families to facilitate adaptation and coping with diabetes and other chronic conditions.


Teen Faculty

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Marissa Hitchcock, BSN, RN, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 24 months old. She completed her bachelor of science in nursing in 2009 and works as a nurse in Tampa, Florida. She loves working with kids who have diabetes. Marissa brings her experiences as a diabetes camp counselor, nurse, and young adult with diabetes as she works with kids and teens at CWD's conferences.

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Galen Horton was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 15. That summer, at the direction of his healthcare team, he attended a camp in North Carolina for children with diabetes. For the last 22 summers Galen has attended Camp Carolina Trails, working his way up through the program staff. Over the last 15 years, Galen has been a program director for the teenagers at Carolina Trails working to develop leadership and communication skills, fostering a positive mental attitude, and encouraging a strong sense of self-confidence and motivation for his campers through challenging, high adventure programs. Nearly 8 years ago, Galen joined the sales organization at Animas Corporation to marry his work life and his personal passion and commitment for helping others cope with their diabetes. Galen lives in North Carolina with his wife, Kelly, and his 3 children, Tanner, Riley, and Eli.

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Bob Marquess is the proud father of Diamond and husband of Rhonda. He has participated in CWD conferences since 2004, the year after Diamond was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Bob enjoys volunteering with the CWD teens and is an advocate for awareness. This will be the Marquess family's 5th Friends for Life conference. They plan to come every year until there is a cure! Bob has been an Army Sergeant for five years, but military 14+ years total (prior Marine Corps). He is currently stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.

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Jeff Schmidt is dad to Brandon and Rhiannon, husband to Brandy, and "Schmidty" to the CWD teens. Jeff has been a Marine for the last 16 years and is currently stationed in North Carolina. Jeff has served as CWD staff for several years (since the family attended their first conference), working with both the tween and teen groups. He also has been an advocate for military families receiving the assistance they need. Jeff loves working with the kids at CWD conferences and is continually amazed by their strength and determination.

Tween Faculty

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Justin Abel attended his first CWD conference in 2002 after his daughter Saylor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December 2001. Once he started attending more CWD conferences, his wife Sunshine did not have to twist his arm for him to realize he wanted to get more involved. He is also dad to Sierra, who is a teen volunteer with CWD.


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Rhonda Marquess is the homeschooling mom to Diamond, now 15. Rhonda is also the proud Army wife to Bob for 16 years. She has participated in CWD since 2004, the year after Diamond was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She enjoys meeting other CWD families and talking with those who are newly diagnosed and needing friendship and support. Rhonda is an advocate for awareness. This will be the Marquess family's 4th conference, and they plan to come every year until there is a cure. Rhonda and her family reside in North Carolina near Fort Bragg.

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Kelsey Martin was diagnosed with diabetes 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, and was the sole Kansas representative at the 2007 Children's Congress. Kelsey continues to be an advocate as she studies journalism and business in college.


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Anne Sides, RD, CDE, is all about diabetes. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of six, and since then she has lived her passion of helping people, especially children with diabetes, understand the disease and effectively manage it to improve the quality of their lives. Since 1994, Anne served as a diabetes educator and dietitian for hospital systems in both Alabama and Mississippi, where she contributed to the care of hundreds of children, teens, and adults with diabetes. Anne now works with Animas Corporation and serves as territory manager for this region. Anne serves as a member of the board of directors of the Southeastern Diabetes Education Services (SDES), and was chosen by Animas to be a part of its task force for the development and innovation of new diabetes products and technology. It is Anne's work and special connection with children with diabetes that is the most gratifying and exciting for her, and which leads her each year to do volunteer work with several diabetes-related groups and organizations. This includes serving on the faculty of Camp Seale Harris, a residential diabetes education program held annually at Camp ASCCA near Alexander City, Alabama. Anne and her husband, Terry, reside in Birmingham.

Elementary Faculty

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Sunshine Abel, LVN, is the mother of two beautiful girls, Sierra and Saylor. She attended her first CWD conference with her family in 2002, after Saylor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Ever since then, Sunshine knew she had found a new family and a new home where kids were experiencing the same thing as Saylor. She then made it her mission to involve her whole family, including her Aunt Libby. Sunshine, husband Justin, and Aunt Libby all have volunteered for several years at Friends for Life conferences.


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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 in college studying Spanish and the environment.

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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 15, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 13 ... her CWD "sig line." Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the CWD diabetes conferences since the very first gathering in Orlando in 2000, where she volunteered to make name badges. Lauren now coordinates the Elementary Programming for every CWD conference. Back home in Denver, she is on the boards of the JDRF and CWD Foundation. She and her husband Steve have chaired and coached her local JDRF Ride team for many years. Lauren has worked as an elementary school computer teacher and now works at an investment banking firm as a researcher.

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Carolyn Meredith is mom to Chelsea, Jeremy, and Bailey and wife to Rich. Jeremy was diagnosed with diabetes in May 2000 at the age of 6. He started on an insulin pump in October 2002. Carolyn and her family attended their first Friends for Life conference in 2003 and have been involved with CWD ever since. They have also attended several regional conferences. When not running mom's taxi service, Carolyn works in the office at an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida. She enjoys meeting and sharing with other CWD families.


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Adam Town, BSN, RN, graduated from the University of Cincinnati's nursing program in 2009. Adam enjoys working with all children and is interested in pediatric nursing. He lives in Tampa and works at Tampa General Hospital. Adam enjoys sports of all kinds with a particular interest in baseball. Adam has a family history of diabetes but does not have diabetes himself.

Childcare

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Mary Babin, RN, BSN, CDE is one of the first clinical employees at Animas Corporation and the first coordinator of childcare for the little ones at the CWD conferences. Mary leads a team of certified diabetes educators providing childcare in a safe environment for kids under age six with and without diabetes. Providing this service alleviates the concerns of many parents of kids with diabetes – allowing them to attend the sessions with peace of mind knowing that their children are cared for by skilled professionals. This supports Mary’s belief that education is the key to successful blood glucose management. As Executive Director of Clinical and Patient Services at Animas, she is responsible for overseeing pump educators and the pump support team throughout the US. Mary has devoted her career to the world of medicine. As a graduate of Eastern University and Presbyterian School of Nursing, Mary has been in intensive care nursing for over 25 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for 10. This busy mom and devoted professional has been involved with CWD since 2001. You can spot her at the conferences-she’s the one with the trail of kids behind her!

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Brandy Schmidt is Jeff's wife (Schmidty to the teens) and mother of two, Brandon, dx'd in 1997, and Rhiannon, dx'd 2009. When Brandon was diagnosed, Brandy came home from the hospital and found CWD on the first search. She has been addicted to CWD since then. She has been an advocate for all military families dealing with diabetes. She helped implement a gluten free policy in San Diego county public schools when Brandon was diagnosed with celiac in 2005. She has been dubbed the "Gluten Free Police" at conferences. Brandy now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two kids, four dogs and a bearded dragon!

CWD Staff

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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.

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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 attend universities and serve as youth faculty at CWD conferences as time allows.

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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.

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Julia Mattingly is mom to 13 year old Hannah and 11 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and who 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 being in charge of the registration area because she gets to meet 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 kids' faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.

CWD's Charlotte 2010: Focus on Technology Conference is Sponsored By:

Animas Corporation JDRF OneTouch Novo Nordisk Roche Insulin Deliver Systems sanofi-aventis Bayer Healthcare Diabetes Care




Charlotte 2010: Focus on Technology
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Introduction - Registration - Faculty and Staff - Program - Youth Program - Sponsors



                 
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Last Updated: Tuesday March 29, 2011 09:59:20
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