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  Back to 2015 Conference Friends for Life 2015 Faculty

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Henry Anhalt, DO, was recently appointed chief medical officer of the T1D Exchange, a nonprofit organization that has created a new paradigm fostering collaboration among patients, physicians, researchers and industry to speed discovery of better therapies for type 1 diabetes. Henry oversees all aspects of the T1D Exchange's groundbreaking research program and provides clinical leadership as the organization expands its capabilities and develops new initiatives to transform clinical care for patients, drive and support therapeutic advances and ensure patients are at the center of research. T1D Exchange has a clinic registry with more than 26,000 well-characterized T1D patients ranging in age from under a year to over 93; an online, nearly 13,000-strong patient/caregiver community, Glu; a unified clinic network of more than 230 collaborating clinicians and coordinators from 76 U.S. pediatric and adult sites seeing more than 150,000 patients; and a repository with biosamples from 2,000 participants, plus a Living Biobank composed of over 1,700 consented individuals. He serves as principal investigator on research grants and funding opportunities; oversees coordination with T1D Exchange's partner, the Jaeb Center for Health Research, and manages relationships with Clinical Research Organizations, industry and foundation sponsors, regulatory and clinical consultants, and key opinion leaders. Henry's recent work builds on more than 20 years in clinical practice, plus two decades' worth of published research and presentations. He built and led three pediatric endocrinology divisions and has held academic appointments at a number of hospital systems. Most recently, he held a number of senior executive roles in industry including at Sanofi where as senior medical director he developed, led and executed the North America medical affairs strategy supporting the approval and launch of Toujeo® insulin. Prior to that, Anhalt served as chief medical officer and medical director of the artificial pancreas program at Animas, a Johnson & Johnson company. He is a pediatric endocrinologist who maintains an active practice with a special focus on T1D. Additionally, Henry is president of the board of trustees of Camp Nejeda a summer camp for children with T1D.

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Mindy Bartleson graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in Sociology in May of 2015. She was diagnosed with T1D in 2000 when she was seven years old, and has been involved in her local diabetes organizations ever since. She now serves as head staff at Camp Kudzu, and has led the Teen Breakout Session at Georgia's JDRF Type One Nation for several years. She brought back Dawgs for Diabetes, University of Georgia's chapter of the College Diabetes Network, in the Winter of 2013 and has served as president until graduation in May 2015. Since graduating, Mindy has joined the staff of the College Diabetes Network and now lives in Boston, MA. While in college, Mindy was also an active member of the Speaker's Bureau through the Disability Resource Center on campus, and through her work with them on campus Mindy was recognized as an "Outstanding Senior Leader" and a UGA "Amazing Student" in 2015. Mindy blogs about life and diabetes, and is passionate about advocacy and empowerment as well as mental health.

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Natalie Bellini, BSN, 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 university part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie works at Novo Nordisk and is mom to Erin.

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Amy Bevan is the Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator at T1D Exchange. As the parent of a young child living with type 1 diabetes, Amy uses her personal perspective to engage with the organization's online community at myglu.org and writes various articles, research summaries, questions of the day and other content for the Exchange. Amy is a nationally published journalist and has written professionally for a variety of businesses and organizations. She and her family are participating in Friends for Life for the first time.

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Craig Bobik, MPH, is a protocol manager at the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida. The Jaeb Center is the research coordinating center for the T1D Exchange registry and many other T1D studies. Craig has the unique perspective of being a person with T1D (33) years and a former administrator of a diabetes clinical research center. He has a special interest in the instant sharing/analyzing of diabetes device data and improving the healthcare system to reduce the burden for people with type 1 diabetes.


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Adam Brown is the Co-Managing Editor of diaTribe (www.diaTribe.org) and the Chief of Staff at Close Concerns, where he focuses on the field of diabetes technology, especially continuous glucose monitoring, insulin pumps, and the artificial pancreas. Adam graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 pursuing concentrations in marketing and health care management and policy. Adam was a Joseph Wharton and Benjamin Franklin Scholar and completed his senior thesis on the motivational and financial factors associated with optimal diabetes control. He has had type 1 diabetes since age 12 and wears an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. Adam is on the board of directors of Insulindependence and the SF branch of JDRF. He is passionate about cycling, strength training, nutrition, and wellness and spends his free time outdoors and staying active.

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Bruce Buckingham, MD, is a Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford Medical Center. His research interests have focused on continuous glucose monitoring in children. He is Principal Investigator at Stanford for DirecNet, an NIH sponsored multicenter study group which evaluates continuous glucose sensors in children. His current work focuses on the use of continuous glucose sensors in real-time, and the development of a closed-loop. These efforts are being funded by the JDRF and NIH and are currently focused on preventing nocturnal hypoglycemia and rapidly restoring metabolic control at the onset of diabetes.

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Robert Bulgarelli, DO, currently serves as National Medical Director, Highmark Inc. He has previously served as the Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine for Main Line Health System, an affiliate of Jefferson Health System in suburban Philadelphia. He is a Board Certified cardiologist and maintains an active practice as a member of the Lankenau Heart Group. Dr. Bulgarelli is Co-Founder of Whole Life Health, a Behavioral Health company whose mission is the transformation of Health Care Delivery. His main area of interest and expertise includes practice of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine. He is a skilled practitioner and teacher of meditation and is a Board Certified Medical Acupuncturist. In 2002, Dr. Bulgarelli was the 1st Cardiologist in the world to complete the two-year long Associate Fellowship in Integrative Medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. He has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6ABC and CN8. He has been published and quoted in many local and national magazines, including Main Line Today, Men's Health and Shape. A graduate of Philadelphia College of Medicine in 1990, Dr. Bulgarelli completed his medical internship at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Darby, PA and his medical residency and cardiology fellowship at Lankenau Medical Center. He has been a part of Main Line Health his entire clinical career that now spans over 20 years.

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David Chaney, PhD, was appointed as the Senior Education Specialist at the International Diabetes Federation in September 2013. He is currently responsible for the delivery of diabetes education projects around the world. Previously David worked as a Lecturer in Nursing at Ulster University where he coordinated both the diabetes specialist practice course and diabetes short course within the School of Nursing. David qualified as a registered nurse in 1992 and has worked within the area of diabetes care since 1994. He was awarded an MSc in Nursing in 2001 and subsequently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Health Sciences Education both at Trinity College Dublin. David completed his PhD in 2010 within the area of structured diabetes education for adolescents between the ages of 13 to 19 years. The programme developed is called CHOICE (Carbohydrate, Insulin Collaborative Education) and has been integrated into routine care across Northern Ireland and in many Counties of the Republic of Ireland. David is currently involved in a new research study to investigate the reasons why young people with diabetes do not attend structured diabetes education. David was awarded Janet Kinson Named Lecture for Diabetes Education by Diabetes UK in 2014 and the Royal College of Nursing Northern Ireland Research Nurse of the Year 2012.


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Daniela Chinnici is a project manager of public health programs in low and middle income countries. She is working for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in the Policy and Programs department for the education projects. She is in charge of the global coordination of the Kids and Diabetes in Schools (KiDS) project (www.idf.org/education/kids). This project aims to foster a supportive school environment that creates a better understanding of diabetes. She supported the development of the Diabetes Information Pack for Schools that provides teachers, parents and children with information on diabetes prevention and management.

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Kevin Covais is an actor, singer, and diabetes advocate. He is most recognized as a Top 12 Finalist on the fifth season of "American Idol", which aired in 2006. On the show, Kevin was mentored by several award-winning recording artists including Stevie Wonder and Barry Manilow, and he placed 11th overall. Since his "Idol" days, Kevin has transitioned into acting. His credits include a lead role in the 2008 MGM comedy, "College", a supporting role in the family film, "Touchback", starring Kurt Russell, as well as a role in 2014's summer blockbuster, "Transformers: Age of Extinction". Kevin has also made several television appearances including a guest star credit on the FOX show, "Raising Hope". Disney Channel fans know Kevin best as Victor Deleseur on the hit show, "Good Luck Charlie". Kevin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 11 and has worked with the Diabetes Research Institute for many years. He is thrilled to be a part of Children with Diabetes again after making his first CWD appearance in 2006.

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Edward Damiano, PhD, is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His educational training is in the areas of biomedical and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. His lab is engaged in basic scientific research that uses fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and intravital microscopy to study blood flow in the microcirculation and to elucidate mechanisms by which the lining of blood vessels can determine vascular health and disease. In addition to this research, he is also committed to creating and integrating technologies to build a bionic endocrine pancreas. His interest in a bionic pancreas is quite personal, and began when his son, David, developed type 1 diabetes before the age of one. His goal is to have the mathematical control algorithms that he developed with one of his postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Firas El-Khatib, hard at work closing the loop for his son and others with diabetes before David goes off to college.

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Andrew Deutscher is a Speaker and Vice President of Business Development at The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus and productivity by harnessing the science of high performance. His recent book, typecast: Amazing People Overcoming the Chronic Disease of Type 1 Diabetes, is inspired by his youngest boy who was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 at the age of 2. In addition to serving on multiple committees for the American Diabetes Association and JDRF, he volunteers for outreach and advocacy efforts impacting both newly diagnosed patients as well as government funding to advance diabetes prevention and treatment. His experience speaking on the topic of sustainable high performance in major corporations worldwide, has enabled him to frame diabetes care in an empowering way. Andrew graduated from Syracuse University, with a BS in Public Relations and Marketing. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two sons.

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Bennet Dunlap is passionate advocate for better diabetes care. He is the father of four, two of whom live with type 1 diabetes. Like millions of Americans Bennet tries to be successful with type 2 diabetes himself. He has created a variety of social media projects including the advocacy campaign StripSafely, DrinkingWithDiabetes a resource for families sending type 1 students to college and his blog, Your Diabetes May Vary. Bennet is an integral member of the Spare a Rose / Save a Child community supporting the IDF’s Life for a Child program. He is a respected participant in industry social media summits. Bennet has given patient perspectives in public testimony before the FDA’s Endocrine and Metabolic Drug Committee on diabetes medication. Recently he was a patient reviewer for PCORI. With a degree in finance from Lehigh University, Bennet pursued a career in commercial banking. Following the diagnosis of his children with type 1 his passion for advocacy grew and he earned a masters in health communications from Boston University to better serve the diabetes community. Bennet is currently a consultant helping to advance diabetes care and patient engagement.

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Alessio Fasano, MD, is Chief of Pediatric GI, Director of the Mucosal Biology and Immunology Lab, and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Fasano is regarded as one of the foremost authorities worldwide on celiac disease, and his epidemiological studies in the United States have changed the preconception that celiac disease is a rare disorder in our county. He will be presenting two sessions on celiac disease, which is more common in children with type 1 diabetes than the general population.

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As the Manager for Community Outreach at the T1D Exchange, Anna Floreen, MSW, looks forward to providing the type I online community (www.myglu.org) with resources and ongoing connectivity for people affected by type I diabetes. In 2009 Anna created and implemented the first American Diabetes Association’s Youth Leader Program and oversaw all youth and family programs across New England for three years. She received her Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and a bachelor of science in Psychology and Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University. Anna also serves as a faculty member for the IDF’s Young Leader’s Program. She is a Certified Product Trainer with Medtronic Diabetes and also assists as a volunteer mentor with AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad) where she has traveled to both Belize and Bermuda aiding in the production of diabetes camps and programs. Anna has had type I diabetes for over 25 years and is still a very active volunteer alumnus with the Barton Center for Diabetes Education in Massachusetts. Most recently, she participated in the Beacon Hill Bionic Pancreas Study, a clinical trial which prompted an enormous increase in online Glu membership and interest from parents and those affected by type 1 worldwide through her daily blogging describing her week-long experience as a research subject.

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Chris Fraker, PhD, is Research Assistant Professor of Surgery and Cell Transplantation and a member of the DRI's Biomedical and Tissue Engineering team. Since arriving at the DRI in 1997, Dr. Fraker, who has type 1 diabetes, has focused his research on the importance of oxygen for the survival and proliferation of insulin-producing islet cells, as well as on protecting islets from the immune system through the use of novel encapsulation strategies. He initially worked under the late Dr. Marcos Mares-Guia, a renowned Brazilian chemist, in the design of immunoisolation devices to shield islets from immune attack. Their work centered on incorporating an oxygen-binding compound, perfluorocarbon (PFC), into the device to enhance cell survival and hold a patent for this technology. He later used this same technology to incorporate PFC into a new culture device to increase proliferation of pancreatic cells in culture, called the "oxygen sandwich." The results of his research have been published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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Deborah Greenwood, PhD, RN, CDE, BC-ADM, FAADE, is a diabetes program coordinator and clinical nurse specialist for Sutter Health Integrated Diabetes Education Network in Sacramento, California. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator and also Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. She earned her PhD in Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership from UC Davis in 2014. Her research interests include technology enabled models of care; the emerging concept of the e-Patient and social media. Deborah is the 2015 President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

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Marisa E. Hilliard, PhD, is a behavioral scientist and clinical psychologist with nearly 10 years of experience in clinical care and research with young people with type 1 diabetes and their families. Her passion is promoting resilience, and her research focuses on how youth and families overcome the challenges of diabetes to adhere to treatment recommendations, experience good quality of life, and have optimal diabetes control. She is especially interested in transitional times in diabetes management, such as how family diabetes management shifts between childhood and adolescence, and how teenagers prepare to manage their diabetes as young adults. Dr. Hilliard is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in the Psychology Section of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas.

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Korey K. Hood, PhD, is Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University where he directs NIH-funded research projects and provides clinical care aimed at promoting health and quality of life outcomes in youth with diabetes and their families. Dr. Hood actively investigates the human factors associated with the uptake of diabetes technology and works with Dr. Bruce Buckingham on his team's artificial pancreas project. Dr. Hood also serves on national committees for the American Diabetes Association and is on editorial boards for Diabetes Care and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Hood is the author of Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes and a recent book entitled Teens With Diabetes: A Clinician's Guide (with authors Michael Harris, PhD and Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDE). His research, clinical care, and service are fueled by his personal experience with type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed as a young adult and has spent more than 14 years managing type 1 diabetes. He is passionate about helping children and teens with diabetes, and their families, make diabetes a part of their lives while not letting it run their lives.

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Scott K. Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. He has been writing about his struggles and successes with diabetes since late 2004. Currently blogging at Scott's Diabetes (scottsdiabetes.com), working as the Communications Lead, USA for mySugr, and contributing to many other diabetes related projects, Scott stays busy connecting with others living with diabetes. Scott works full time as a freelance writer and diabetes consultant, and says, "I'm your average guy living with type 1 diabetes. I don't have it all figured out, and sharing my struggles with diabetes helps by showing people that it is okay to still be trying to get it right, even after almost 35 years." Scott lives with his family near the Minneapolis, MN area.

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Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad. He's the creator/author of www.diabetesdad.org; a daily syndicated column. His daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed at age 2 in 1992. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom has been introduced to the NY State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., and has lectured globally about being a DiabetesDad. With Kim May, a dMom from Texas, he created the website and FB page; www.GetDiabetesRight.org, a grassroots effort spreading awareness about the detection/understanding of t1 diabetes. He received numerous commendations for his work in the Diabetes Community from Hurricane Katrina to advocacy initiatives. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from CWD in 2008; among many other awards from groups and organizations. For 12 years, as an actor, he starred in the New York Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding and also at The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was 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 numerous commercials. He won 13 Telly Awards, a FREDDIE Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award while Executive Producer of dLife on CNBC. His mantra; just "Don't do Nothing", is well known throughout the diabetes community. Tom will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.

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Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS, GCS, CDE, is a Physical Therapist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and adjunct professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Within this position, she has worked at the Syracuse affiliate of the Joslin Diabetes Center for 19 years. She earned bachelor and doctorate degrees in physical therapy (PT) at SUNY Upstate Medical University and a master's degree in exercise physiology from Syracuse University. She specializes in physical therapy and exercise prescription for those with diabetes, osteoporosis, orthopedic conditions, balance dysfunction, and aging adults. At the Joslin, she teaches diabetes group classes and works with people with diabetes to create individualized exercise plans. As adjunct professor, she co-teaches entry-level Differential Diagnosis as well as diabetes and osteoporosis sections to the post-professional doctor of PT students. Dr. Kemmis served as the first co-chair for the American Physical Therapy Association's Physical Therapists as Exercise Experts for Aging Adults. She presents nationally and internationally on diabetes, osteoporosis, and exercise for aging adults. She has authored textbook chapters and is a peer-reviewer for several journals.

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Jessica C. Kichler, PhD, is a pediatric psychologist who specializes in working with chronically medically ill children and their families. She is also a certified diabetes educator (CDE). She provides individual, family, and group therapy for all ages of children and their families. In addition, she engages in research, education, and training in the areas of adjustment and coping, adherence, and the psychosocial outcomes of chronic illness in children and families.

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Aaron Kowalski, PhD, was appointed JDRF's first Chief Mission officer in December 2014 and serves as a key link between JDRF and the broad diabetes community. Dr. Kowalski combines his professional experience as a scientist with his personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for over 30 years to help guide and champion JDRF's programs focused on creating a world without T1D. Dr. Kowalski is an internationally recognized expert in the area of diabetes technologies and has been a leader of JDRF's Artificial Pancreas Research Project, a multi-million dollar initiative that began in 2005 to accelerate the progress toward automated insulin-delivery systems. He has authored numerous articles on T1D research and was a coauthor of the landmark study in The New England Journal of Medicine that revealed the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitors in T1D management. Dr. Kowalski has traveled and spoken globally about diabetes research progress, and is known for his ability to translate science into easily understandable concepts. Dr. Kowalski has presented at many national and international scientific conferences, including the American Diabetes Association Annual Scientific Sessions, and was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Diabetes Technology Society Meeting. He has been a voice for diabetes research in the popular media, appearing on The Martha Stewart Show, dLife, Fox Business, and NPR, among others. He is often quoted in the print media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and People magazine. Dr. Kowalski is a member of the JDRF PEAK Program's expert panel and often speaks about the importance of exercise and diet in better diabetes control. While living with T1D, he has completed 17 marathons. Online, he often tweets (@aaronjkowalski) about exercise and diabetes and how all people with T1D can live their lives without limits. He earned his doctorate in molecular genetics from Rutgers University.


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Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two children, Alyssa (23) and Chad (21). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when his 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 CWDers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is a Chief Information Officer by day and an Aircraft Engineer by night maintaining a Piper Cherokee and a Mooney. These skills and his "Macgyver" qualities keep him running at the CWD conferences as our Information Technology and Audio Visual support person. He is a strong advocate of CWD conferences and believes anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one ... although warns that the conferences are much like potato chips ... it's hard to stop at just one!

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Amy Kraus is the Clinical Research Manager at T1D Exchange, leading observational studies with the online patient community, Glu (MyGlu.org). She has lived with type 1 diabetes for 22 years and enjoys working with the T1D community to help advance diabetes research and improve patient outcomes. Amy currently lives in Boston and is excited to be participating in Friends for Life for the first time.


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Michele Laine, ARNP, CDE, is the clinical manager of the University of South Florida Diabetes Home for Healthy Living. She received her Master's in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. She has served on the board of the American Diabetes Association and currently is on the Board of JDRF in Tampa. She has had type 1 diabetes for 35 years. Her clinical interest lies in the treatment and care of young adults with type 1 diabetes. Hershey is her diabetic alert dog who works with her in the clinic. Her center participates in various research protocols, as well as hosting the Students with Diabetes monthly meetings.


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Lauren Lanning is mom of Monica, 21, dx 8/96 and Sarah, 19. Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the 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. She serves on the boards of the Diabetes Scholars Foundation and CWD Foundation. Back home in Denver she is an IT consultant.

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Melissa Lee was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. After nearly two decades of feeling alone and wanting desperately to pursue a healthy pregnancy, she discovered the diabetes online community in 2008 and found her advocacy voice, as well as the glucose control she needed to birth two healthy children. She now writes as Tech Editor of ASweetLife.org online magazine and at her personal blog SweetlyVoiced.com. A professional singer and voice teacher in her earlier career, Melissa is also known for her diabetes-themed music video parodies (tiny.cc/dparodies). Newly appointed in early 2015 as the Interim Executive Director of Diabetes Hands Foundation, she currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband Kevin and their two young children.

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Oren Liebermann is a CNN International Correspondent based in Jerusalem. Oren was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes in Nepal while backpacking around the world with his wife. After a brief trip home to recover and learn more about diabetes care, Oren resumed his trip in Thailand. He considers this the most important decision he ever made about living with diabetes: never let it slow you down. He aims to inspire other people with diabetes to live full, adventurous lives without limitations.

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Paul Madden, MEd, has served as Friends for Life faculty for the past 14 years. Paul is an accomplished author and speaker serving in numerous leadership roles on national and international boards including the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, the International Diabetes Federation, the American Diabetes Association, the Joslin Diabetes Center, the Young Leaders in Diabetes/IDF, and the JDRF. Paul developed and served in numerous new leadership roles at Joslin Diabetes Center a Harvard Medical School Affiliate including Special Assistant to the President, behavioral medicine, corporate development, advocacy, exercise, and camp administrator/director. Creating new winning solutions that create value and growth for organizations and the people being served is what Paul does best. He empowers, educates and inspires people to explore and adopt healthier lifestyles. Paul touches the soul of the people he works with enabling them to address the challenges of life more fully and positively! Paul is the Global Senior Advisor for Diabetes and Non Communicable Diseases with Project HOPE. Paul has had type 1 diabetes for over 50 years.


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Before her young daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997, Moira McCarthy had accomplished quite a bit as a nationally-competitive freestyle skier, award-winning crime reporter (she was once almost sent to jail for refusing to reveal a source and also helped solve a serial murder), author of books on golf and skiing, and one of the world's best-known ski and adventure writers. But her daughter's diagnosis presented her with the ultimate challenge: how to raise a healthy – but still active and happy child -- and how to make a difference in the diabetes world. Author of the best-selling books Raising Teens With Diabetes: A Parent Survival Guide and The Everything Parents Guide to Juvenile Diabetes, and creator of the blog Despitediabetes, McCarthy is a well-known national diabetes advocate and speaker, and was JDRF's International Volunteer of the Year in 2007. She and her daughter have been guests on CNN Live, Larry King Live, FOX morning News, Good Morning America and on the front page of the New York Times. Her daughter, who graduated from college this year and settled in Washington DC (500 miles from mom!) is thriving. Their mantra: despite diabetes, you need to get busy living.

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Diana M. Naranjo, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. As a trained pediatric and adult psychologist working in behavioral medicine, Dr. Naranjo focuses on the psychosocial needs of patients and families with diabetes. Together with the team, she aims to understand barriers and facilitators to care, what developmental demands are important as adolescent's transition to adulthood, and how to best provide services that engage young adults and their families. Furthermore, as a Latino-American and fluent in Spanish, much of her clinical work focuses on bridging the health-care gap for underserved ethnic minority patients with type 1 diabetes.

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Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993. Recently appointed Interim CEO of DiabetesSisters, she is dedicated to improving the lives of women living with diabetes through peer support and education. DiabetesSisters (www.diabetessisters.org) creates a safe environment for women living with diabetes through online and in-person programs such as online forums, blogs, webinars, National Conferences, and monthly support group meetups throughout the United States. Anna graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Education at Florida International University. She has worked for large university systems and metropolitan health care systems since 1999, with a focus on major gift fundraising, annual gifts, event planning and community relations. She recently relocated from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Chicago, Illinois, with her husband Mike and their young son.


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First and foremost, Steve and Sandy O'Connor are the parents of a child with type 1 diabetes. Since their son's diagnosis on December 6, 1999, the O'Connor's have been devoted to the cause, raising significant resources and awareness in support of the best cure-focused research. Like so many of us, Steve and Sandy have become frustrated by the slow and incremental progress to date. In response, the O'Connor's are coming to the Friends for Life Conference to launch a new fundraising campaign. After fifteen years of advocacy, the inspiration behind this new initiative is drawn from the simple and often-asked question, "Where's our Moon Shot?" Far from rhetorical, together we can change the way cure-focused research is funded and conducted. We invite you to join us to learn how. Professionally, Steve is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of affordable housing and community development and currently serves as the Director of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington. After a very distinguished career in corporate communications, Sandy is a world-class fine artist.

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Sean M. Oser, MD, MPH, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before starting college. Through medical school, graduate school, and residency, as well as through marriage, parenthood, and his professional career, he has learned to make diabetes work at each step along the way. His daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 7 and, since then, he and his wife, Tamara Oser, MD, have discovered Children with Diabetes and other parent and family groups. CWD and its programs have motivated him to join the diabetes online community as well, where he blogs less frequently than he would like to at t1works.blogspot.com. He is currently Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State University College of Medicine. As medical director of Penn State Hershey’s Camp Hill primary care practice, he led that site to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s highest level of recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home, providing patient-centered, team-based, comprehensive care. He has also helped lead Penn State Hershey’s successful efforts to develop and implement their fully functional electronic health record and to help harness the power of technology in providing high quality, longitudinal care and enhanced communication with patients.

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Tamara Oser, MD, is Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. She is active in clinical practice, teaching both medical students and residents, and in medical education research. One of her major areas of focus is the patient doctor relationship. She has ranked in the ninety-ninth percentile nationwide for patient satisfaction and was recently named to the Best Doctors® in America. She is wife to Sean Oser, MD, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 24 years, and is mom to twins Courtney and Jessica (age 13). Jessica was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. She has seen firsthand that although there are challenges, diabetes is also her husband’s and daughter’s greatest strength. She blogs her family’s life with type 1 diabetes at t1family.blogspot.com.

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Jill Petrie has been a marketer for 20 years, with more than 10 years working exclusively in healthcare communications. A mom to three boys, she recognized early symptoms of type 1 diabetes in her middle son, Harry, thanks to a series of interviews she had done with type 1 families. Today, Jill is fortunate to focus her professional career in type 1 and is proud to work for T1D Exchange (and Glu, a T1D Exchange community). Her role is to help create awareness for T1D Exchange, an innovative non-profit who accelerates research to help create a "worry free life" for people with type 1.

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Jeremy Pettus, MD, is an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego. After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes himself at the age of 15, Dr. Pettus has dedicated his career toward treating and educating others with the disease. In addition to his clinical work at UCSD, Dr. Pettus is also involved in basic immunology research with a focus on cure based therapies. Finally, Dr. Pettus has interests in patient empowerment through education. He is very involved with the not-for-profit organization entitled Taking Control of Your Diabetes. With this organization, Dr. Pettus speaks at patient-centered conferences around the country and heads the conference's "Type 1 Diabetes" track.

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Rick Philbin, MEd, MBA, ATC, is a consultant for medical device and diabetes companies looking to improve the lives of people with diabetes and the clinicians who treat them. Over the last two years Rick was Vice President of Sales for Asante Solutions, maker of a new insulin pump, the Snap. Prior to his leadership role at Asante, Rick worked for 12 years at Animas Corporation/J&J as a Territory Manager, Regional Manager, and East Area Field Director. His background is in Athletic Training/Sports Management and he is an individual with type 1 diabetes. Prior to joining Animas, he managed a comprehensive sports medicine center in the Washington, DC, area. Rick has been working with Children with Diabetes (CWD) for 15 years, presenting to parents, coordinating the sports programming for kids, and writing articles on the CWD website section called the Sports Corner. Rick's professional experience also includes working as an Athletic Trainer for a Philadelphia-based sports medicine center, where he worked with professional athletes from the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. He believes education is paramount for good diabetes management. He practices tight management of his diabetes and enjoys competitive basketball and weight training while on an insulin pump. Rick lives in the Washington, DC, area with his wife Sharon and daughter's Nicole and Andrea.

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Alberto Pugliese, MD, is Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and the Head of the Immunogenetics Program at the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. After training with George Eisenbarth at the Joslin Diabetes Center and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, he joined the Diabetes Research Institute in 1994. During the past 20 years he has been involved in clinical and basic research about the immunology, genetics, prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Amongst his contributions are the observation of genetic protection from diabetes, which is an exclusion criteria for prevention studies; the discovery that the insulin gene is transcribed in the human thymus, which may impact loss of immunological tolerance to insulin itself; and the demonstration of T1D recurrence in pancreas-kidney transplant recipients despite immunosuppression that prevents rejection. Dr. Pugliese is a Steering Committee member of the National Institutes of Health's Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, a consortium that designs and implements clinical trials for type 1 diabetes. Finally, he is Executive Co-Director of the JDRF Network for the Pancreatic Organ Donors (nPOD), which, through the shared study of donor specimens, aims at developing collaborative efforts to investigate key research questions in human type 1 diabetes. Dr. Pugliese has served on research grant review committees of the National Institutes of Health and JDRF, and chaired the American Diabetes Association's Grant Review Panel. His research has been published in major international journals including Nature Genetics, Nature Immunology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lancet, Diabetes, among other prestigious, peer-reviewed journals.

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Michelle Rago is an attorney and mom of three children with diabetes. Her son Trent was diagnosed at age 4 in 2000. Her family adopted daughter Maya -- diagnosed at one month -- from foster care in 2006. Her daughter Michela was diagnosed in November 2013 at the age of 15. Michelle is active with the American Diabetes Association Legal Advocacy group. She was awarded the Ben Teel Memorial Prize for Public Service at Harvard (where she founded a homeless shelter); the Charles Evan Hughes Fellowship for Public Service at Columbia Law School (where she represented children in foster care and worked on desegregation); and the Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award (for her work with CWD families).

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Tami A. Ross, RD, LD, CDE, MLDE, currently serves as the Director of the Diabetes Center of Excellence at Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky in Hazard, KY. She is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and a nationally recognized speaker, consultant, and health and nutrition writer. Tami received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Kentucky and has over 20 years experience providing diabetes and nutrition education in a variety of settings. Throughout her career, Tami has co-authored eight books. She has also written numerous articles for professional and lay publications and has served on the Editorial Board for Diabetes Spectrum journal. Tami is a frequent presenter for meetings of professional and community organizations, and works closely with the media in a spokesperson capacity. She has been featured in USA Today, on the "Daily Buzz," and as a guest on numerous national radio shows. Tami is Past President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and was honored as Diabetes Educator of the Year in 2008 by the Diabetes Care & Education dietetic practice group.

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Christina Roth is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the College Diabetes Network (CDN). Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 14, Christina became an active patient advocate while in college where she started the organization as a campus group in 2009. Due to the overwhelming response to the initial group, Christina expanded CDN into a national non-profit organization serving young adults with diabetes, and filling the many gaps they currently experience. CDN's mission is to empower and improve the lives of students living with Type 1 diabetes through peer support and access to information and resources. Since CDN's founding, Christina has spoken at numerous events regarding CDN's programs, research on the young adult population, and how to meet their unique needs. CDN was recently one of the final nominees for the Small Business Association of New England (SBANE) Innovation Awards. Ms. Roth graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011 with departmental honors in Psychology, and Honors of Greatest Distinction from the Commonwealth Honors College. Christina has worked at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and the T1D Exchange. Christina served as President of CDN until 2013, when she was appointed CEO of the organization.

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Harold Sanco, CPT, is a former National 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. With more than 20 years of experience in youth physical education and coaching, he is an internationally acclaimed instructor and trainer who teaches across the United States, Canada and 15 countries for some of the top fitness conferences in the world. His popular “Urban Funk” class has been featured in People, Allure and W magazines. He is AFAA certified and a Master Trainer for Lebert Training Systems. Currently he serves as the Director of Group Fitness for the award-winning Results Gym in Washington, DC and the Director of Fitness for two National Youth groups “Children with Diabetes” and “Workout4Kids.”

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Desmond Schatz, MD, is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Director of the GCRC at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid 80s and has published over 200 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several JDRF and NIH awards. He is PI on JDRF funded studies aimed at reversing Type 1 diabetes using autologous stem cells (cord blood) and is currently PI the of the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet. He serves as co-PI on a Program Project Grant looking at the immunopathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, and also serves as co-PI for the NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida. Dr.Schatz has served in numerous capacities for the American Diabetes Association and on study sections and site visits for the JDRF and NIH. He also serves on the external advisory board for the NIH- and CDC-funded SEARCH study and the TODAY study in youth with type 2 diabetes and on the JDRF-funded Australian INIT II studies. He was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award together with his colleagues, Mark Atkinson and Mike Haller as well as the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association.


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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services, a practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy and advanced education for children and adults. He and his staff provide consultations throughout the world via phone and the internet. Gary is a Masters-level exercise physiologist. He has been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 19 years, and served as the 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year. He has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years and makes personal use of insulin pump therapy and CGM. Gary has written dozens of articles for diabetes trade publications and six books, including the popular Think Like A Pancreas - A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin. He lectures nationally and internationally for people with diabetes as well as professionals in the healthcare industry. In addition to serving on the faculty of Children With Diabetes and the Board of Directors for JDRF, Gary volunteers for the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Sisters, and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has been happily married for 25 years and has four wonderful kids. A fitness fanatic, he enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling and cheering on his Philadelphia sports teams.

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Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE is a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist who has has been working as a clinician in the diabetes field for over 35 years. In addition, he's a "person living with diabetes, type 1" for over 50 years. He is author of the recently released book "A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe" and is president and founder of A Mile In My Shoes, a consulting company that provides counseling and education to patients and their families as well as training and supervision for healthcare professionals. He is a nationally and internationally well-known public speaker and trainer, integrating his personal experiences of living with diabetes into unique and creative treatment strategies for adults and families. As a Diabetes Educator and Family Therapist he specializes in making the link between how families communicate and support each other to how children manage and take care of their diabetes, helping both children and families cope more effectively with the daily challenges of living with diabetes. He has a particular expertise in working with teens who are having difficulty with their diabetes, helping them and their families adopt more effective coping strategies.


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Laura Smith, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, a licensed psychologist, and certified diabetes educator at the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. Dr. Smith provides clinical care and conducts research in the area of pediatric and adult T1D. Her research focuses on how healthcare providers and individuals with diabetes can collaborate and share in health decision-making, how family interactions impact diabetes management, and the psychological impact of being genetically at-risk for T1D. Dr. Smith has published research articles in these areas and speaks on these topics to various groups of healthcare providers, researchers, and patients. She also provides clinical services to individuals living with T1D and their families. Dr. Smith's work is guided by her own experience; she was diagnosed with T1D 15 years ago and believes that having diabetes can be challenging but is manageable with education, a positive outlook, and a good support network.

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Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 28 years, diagnosed in 1986. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me." Kerri is a passionate advocate for all-things diabetes. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, one of the first and most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, caregivers, and industry. Outside of her blog, Kerri's work can be found at diaTribe, Animas, and in diabetes outreach like JDRF's Countdown magazine, in addition to her extensive diabetes YouTube channel. Well-versed in social media and its influence on patients, Kerri presents regularly at conferences and works full-time as a writer and consultant. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), was published in 2014. Kerri and her husband, Chris, live in Rhode Island, USA with their daughter.

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Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, Elizabeth Stein was determined not to let diabetes negatively impact her life. She connected with the local American Diabetes Association and created an annual benefit show and nonprofit organization, "Dancing for Diabetes." What started as a small neighborhood event quickly transformed into an annual show hosted at Seminole High School and a 501c3 nonprofit organization. In the fall of 2015, Dancing for Diabetes will produce the 15th annual show, due in large part to the loyal supporters, performers, and audience members. Elizabeth has proclaimed that Dancing for Diabetes will continue until a cure is found. Alum of Seminole High School, the University of Florida (Bachelors) and the University of Central Florida (Masters), Elizabeth is currently the Firm Administrator of a large Orlando Law Firm.

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Ben Stroud, age 26, has been living with diabetes for 16 years, and has been pumping for almost 10 years. Born in the northeast, and raised in the southeast and SoCal has given him an appreciation for the country and a hunger for travel. A graduate of the LA Film school, Ben has been working in the industry making both television commercials and short films. Ben has been attending FFL since 2002 and a volunteer for over six years. Ben currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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Adam Town, BSN, RN, is a Registered Nurse who graduated with a Bachelors of Science in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. He currently works in a hospital where he lives in West Chester, Ohio. Adam is a husband to Marissa, who has had type 1 diabetes since she was 2, and new father to Connor. He has always enjoyed being a mentor and role model for children and loves to help the families at CWD conferences.

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Marissa Town, BSN, RN, CDE, graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has had type 1 diabetes since the age of 2 and has grown up with a passion for helping families living with diabetes. Marissa works in an adult endocrinology clinic with a focus on young adults and optimism. She has always enjoyed working with families with diabetes at CWD conferences, camps and support groups. When she's not spending time with her young son Connor and husband Adam, she's usually playing cards with friends, jogging with her dog Baxter, traveling, or spending time with family.

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Jim Vail was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986 at age 19 while he was a sophomore at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Jim graduated with a degree in Media Communications and was a producer for CNBC Business news in Washington, D.C., for 9 years all the while wrestling with the unpredictability of short and intermediate acting insulin. After finally going on a pump in October of 2001 and 'getting his life back,' Jim began volunteering at CWD in the teen program where he quickly became one of the Program Coordinators. He's worn, tested or personally used virtually every product represented in the Exhibit Hall. Jim serves as the Director of Development and Communications for CWD.

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Richard Vaughn was born in Roanoke, VA in 1939. He was diagnosed with diabetes in 1945 when he was 6. He married Anita Ellis in 1964. They have two sons and two grandchildren. They are enjoying retirement in the Catskill area of SE New York. Richard attended Roanoke College and Virginia Tech, receiving an MS degree in Statistics in 1963. Richard is a retired college mathematics professor. He wrote a book about his first 64 years with type 1, which was published in March, 2010 (Beating The Odds: 64 Years Of Diabetes Health). Richard also maintains a blog entitled Richard's Rambling Review. After 69 years as a type 1 diabetic, he has good diabetes health, with no diabetes related complications except for mild nerve damage. Richard is a strong advocate to others living with diabetes. He enjoys reaching out to fellow diabetics and their families, writing informational and inspirational posts on online diabetes websites, and participating in many Facebook groups that are diabetes related. It is by sharing his life with type 1 diabetes that he has given inspiration and hope to many diabetics and their loved ones.

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Scuba diving along the coral reefs and shipwrecks of Grand Cayman. Spelunking through a dark, watery cave in Belize. Skiing the rustic, off-the-beaten path trails of Utah. Touring all of Italy on a cooking class adventure. Hiking glaciers in Alaska. Michelle Weisenberg has done all that and more - and all with a child with diabetes on board. World travel is her passion and love, and when her son, Jordan, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007 at the age of 9, she decided to not only to not let diabetes stop her from sharing that love with her family, but to learn how to do that well and share her experiences with all in need. Michelle is also one of the founders of Project Blue November, a popular social media movement that burst on the scene in the fall of 2014 and is now a respected and much shared resource for people in the diabetes world. She lives in Orange, CA with her husband, three children, and two dogs, but spends much of her time planning adventures elsewhere. Next up? Africa ... or maybe Cambodia ....


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Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDE, Pediatric Psychologist, Associate professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 20 years and is an author of numerous research articles, and a co-author of a 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.


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David Wendler, PhD, is a senior investigator and Head of the Section on Research Ethics in the Department of Bioethics at the NIH Clinical Center. He is a philosopher trained in the philosophy of science, and metaphysics and epistemology. Dr. Wendler is an attending on the Bioethics Consultation service and has served as a consultant to numerous organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, the World Health Organization, and the World Medical Association. His current research focuses on clinical trials and clinical care with individuals who are unable to give informed consent.

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Charles E. Wiedmeyer DVM, PhD, DACVP is an associate professor of veterinary clinical pathology at the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. He earned his veterinary degree and PhD in veterinary pathology from the University of Illinois. In addition, he is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist. Dr. Wiedmeyer's specialty is applying technology to better monitor diabetic veterinary patients. His emphasis in this field is working with dogs and cats but has experience with horses, cows and pigs. Dr. Wiedmeyer has published numerous articles and given many presentations regarding the use of continuous glucose monitoring in veterinary patients and is considered the authority on this subject as it relates to veterinary medicine. Besides research, Dr. Wiedmeyer teaches veterinary students and offers leadership mentoring to a wide diversity of individuals within the veterinary profession.

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Richard Wood is the founder and CEO of dQ&A Market Research, a company focused on bridging the communication gap between diabetes patients and the companies that serve them. At dQ&A, he has built up a panel of 10,000 patients who since 2009 have been answering comprehensive quarterly surveys their experience managing and living with diabetes. dQ&A's research amongst patients is widely used across the diabetes industry, and has been the basis for several presentations at The American Diabetes Association's annual meetings. dQ&A is a sister company to Close Concerns, the diabetes information company led by Kelly Close. Richard was previously VP of Consumer Insights at The Nielsen Company, where he led large-scale market consumer research programs for the mobile telecommunications industry in the USA, Europe and Asia. He has extensive experience from a 20-year career in consumer and social research, industry research, technology and publishing, and holds an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

  Friends for Life 2015 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Registration - Sponsors - Exhibitors - Convention Center Map (PDF)  
  Faculty - Youth Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - CWD Staff - Sports Central Staff - Nightscout Faculty - Special Guests  
  Schedule: Parents and Adults - Youth - Nightscout Workshop  
  Childcare Form (PDF) - FAQs - Disney's MyMagic+ Checklist (Important)  
  Reports from 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  



                 
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