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  Back to Friends for Life UK 2014 Friends for Life UK 2014 Youth Faculty

Teen Programming Staff

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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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Born in Cleveland, Ohio during the time of the burning of the great Cuyahoga River, Neil Benchell, JD, loves to make children laugh. After having spent years on the sideline as the "spouse" of one of the faculty members, Neil decided it was time to get involved. As one of the Teen Staff members, Neil is always in the thick of it trying to make the conferences a memorable experience for all. In his spare time, Neil tries his hand at patent litigation.

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Dr. Robert Bulgarelli is the Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine for Main Line Health and a Board Certified cardiologist at Riddle Hospital in Media. He serves on the Main Line Health Healthy Workforce Council and chairs Riddle's Medical Nutrition committee, amongst others. Dr. Bob, as his patients call him, is Co-Founder of Whole Life Health, a Behavioral Health company whose mission is the transformation of Health Care Delivery in the world. Dr. Bulgarelli's main area of interest and expertise is in the growing field of Mind / Body Spirit medicine and the emphasis on healthy behaviors and choices as the key to vitality and longevity. His company is a leader in the training of Health Coaches and he utilizes their expertise in his 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. Dr. Bob remains a faculty member with the Associate Fellowship, consulting on and moderating the cardiology and cardiovascular nutrition curriculum. 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. Dr Bulgarelli has been a part of Main Line Health his entire clinical career that now spans over 20 years.

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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 has recently accepted the position of Director of Development and Communications for CWD.

Tween Programming Staff

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Martyn Carr, age 26, lives in Scotland. Martyn is studying his Bachelors of Science Adult Nursing degree at the University West of Scotland. Martyn would eventually like to become a Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN). He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was five years old. Martyn and his family have participated in the last eight Friends for Life conferences and helped out at the UK Friends for Life conferences. He has worked with the Elementary, Tween and Teen age groups, and he loves helping out and being with his friends at CWD conferences.


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Paul Cheverton had such a great time at last year's CWD Conference and is delighted to have the opportunity to come back and help out again this year. Paul has a longstanding history of type 1 diabetes in his family and has spent the last three years working for Animas UK & Ireland supporting other families with insulin pumps. He enjoys sports and games of all kinds and can't wait to meet up with everyone at the conference.

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Grace Grande-Cassell is very excited to be staffing her fourth year of CWD conferences! She has grown up with a connection to type 1 diabetes because of her grandfather, who was diagnosed at age 14. After graduating from the University of Michigan in May 2012, she moved to New York City where she currently works in the fashion industry. She is overjoyed to be logging another conference with the CWD Youth Program!

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Kenny Rodenheiser, BSN, RN, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003. He currently lives in New Jersey and is striving to become a CDE. He has been an active part of the diabetes community through CWD, ADA and JDRF for a decade. Kenny looks forward to helping others enjoy CWD conferences as much as he does.


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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.

Elementary Programming Staff

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Sunshine Abel, LPN, is the mother of Sierra and Sailor. She attended her first CWD conference with her family in 2002, after Sailor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 2. Sunshine immediately knew she had found a new family and a new home where kids were experiencing the same thing as Sailor. She then made it her mission to involve her whole family. Sunshine is continuing her education working towards her RN degree. She and husband Justin have volunteered for several years at Friends for Life and CWD conferences.


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Laura Bailey has volunteered at Friends for Life UK since the first conference in the summer of 2009. Laura, who has a family history of type 1 diabetes, has been involved in research and in fund-raising for the past decade. She performed diabetes research as part of her Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2003, and continued that work in her professional career. She also volunteers with Diabetes UK and raises funds for diabetes research. Her interests include playing the trombone, singing, and sculpting polymer clay. She is looking forward to working with the children at the FFL UK conference.

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Chelsea Carr, age 23, has grown up around diabetes; her brother Jeremy was diagnosed in 2000. She attended her first Friends for Life conference with her family in 2003 and has been to many CWD regional and annual conferences since that time. It was through the FFL conferences that she first met her husband, Martyn. Chelsea now lives in Glasgow and is in the process of finishing her masters degree in history at the University of Edinburgh. She loves working with kids and has worked as a dance and acrobatics teacher for young children. She is also an aerialist and spends all of her free time hanging from the rafters on a trapeze.

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Aileen Durkan attended her first CWD conference in 2009 and had such a wonderful time volunteering with the elementary group that she's coming back again this year. She has a younger brother with type 1 diabetes, and she has worked with LifeScan and Animas in Ireland for the past 10 years. She believes it is important to be at the forefront of what's happening in diabetes care, and she enjoys keeping her brother well-informed and motivated. Prior to working in the diabetes world, Aileen was a midwife for 13 years. In her spare time she volunteers for charity work involving children, believing that every child deserves the best possible chance in life. She also enjoys salsa dancing, attending sports games - especially rugby, travelling and meeting new people.

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Chloe Gillum, 21 years old, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. She has just finished her degree in Children's Nursing at the University of the West of England and is beginning her first job on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Bristol Children's Hospital. In 2009, she began using an insulin pump. The same year, she and her family attended the first Friends for Life conference in Windsor, and has since attended four times, as both a member of the teens and a helper with childcare. This year Chloe looks forward to working with the elementary children.

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Jack Gillum attended his first Friends For Life Conference in 2009, the first UK conference. Jack has an interest in type 1 diabetes from when his sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. Jack is currently studying for his A - Levels and then hopes to go to university. Jack is a fundraiser and is a T1 Youth Ambassador for JDRF UK. Jack enjoys debating and swimming in his free time. Jack is looking forward to being in the youth faculty for the first time this year.


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Deborah Glassborow is in her third decade of living with diabetes and has been using and working with insulin pumps since 2002. She has been part of the Friends for Life UK team since its inception in 2009 and has previously supported the Teen group. In her spare time, Deborah is a keen traveller and has always been determined that diabetes wasn't going to get in the way of her living. She likes to take to the hills to walk whenever possible, loves music and literature, and is a keen archer in her spare time.


Siblings Staff

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Carolyn Billetdeaux has been attending FFL conferences since the age of 13. After growing up through the Teen and College Age programs, she now works as a leader with the Tween and Sibling programs. She presents diabetes as a family disease and focuses on sharing the sibling side of the experience. Carolyn majored in management and organizational behavior at New York University, and currently works as a Sustainability Consultant in the metro-DC area.

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Dr. Robert Bulgarelli is the Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine for Main Line Health and a Board Certified cardiologist at Riddle Hospital in Media. He serves on the Main Line Health Healthy Workforce Council and chairs Riddle's Medical Nutrition committee, amongst others. Dr. Bob, as his patients call him, is Co-Founder of Whole Life Health, a Behavioral Health company whose mission is the transformation of Health Care Delivery in the world. Dr. Bulgarelli's main area of interest and expertise is in the growing field of Mind / Body Spirit medicine and the emphasis on healthy behaviors and choices as the key to vitality and longevity. His company is a leader in the training of Health Coaches and he utilizes their expertise in his 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. Dr. Bob remains a faculty member with the Associate Fellowship, consulting on and moderating the cardiology and cardiovascular nutrition curriculum. 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. Dr Bulgarelli has been a part of Main Line Health his entire clinical career that now spans over 20 years.

Childcare

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Mary Babin Bulgarelli, RN, BSN, CDE, has served as the childcare coordinator since the very first CWD conference. Mary leads a team of certified diabetes educators providing care and fun 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. 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 19. 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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Becky Jacombs is 20 years old and has just finished her second year studying Law at the University of Bristol. Her twin sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 16 years ago, so she is keen to be involved in the diabetes community. Becky attended the first CWD UK Friends for Life conference in Windsor in 2009, and has been coming ever since. She helped at the Windsor conference in 2012 and is excited to be part of the child care team again this year.

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Sasha Jacombs is 20 and was diagnosed at age 4. She began using an insulin pump nine years ago. Sasha is currently studying Biomedical Science at the University of Reading in hopes of being able to go into a career which will allow her to do further research into the cause and cure of diabetes. Sasha attended the first Friends for Life conference in Windsor, and has been coming since then. She is very excited to be part of the childcare team!

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Claire Matthews is a junior doctor working in paediatrics in London. She has been the play coordinator for Radio Lollipop at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Evelina Children's Hospitals for six years. Sharing her love for play, Claire has also helped create Student Play Teams in 13 major teaching hospitals across the UK to distract children whilst in hospital and develop the communication skills of the next generation of healthcare professionals.

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Gwen Sutherland is mum to Jamie (28), Gemma (27), Sarah (25) and Rebekah (18) dx'd 10 August 1998. She attended her first CWD Conference in 2010 with husband, David, and Rebekah and they have not missed one since. Gwen and Rebekah attended FFL Orlando in July 2013 which was THE most amazing experience. Gwen is an avid supporter of JDRF, organising several fund raising events along with Rebekah, and has been a member of the Ball Committee in Aberdeen since 2006 which has raised nearly £1million since the first Ball in 2004! She and David are looking forward to volunteering this year at both the Orlando and UK Conferences.

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Rebekah Sutherland was diagnosed with T1 immediately after her 3rd birthday in 1998, attended her first CWD conference in 2010 and has attended ever since. Bex studies Social Science at Aberdeen College with a view to becoming a Diabetes Psychologist and Educator. She is a JDRF T1 Youth Ambassador, and since she was 13 she has delivered many speeches on Life with Diabetes at business lunches, a JDRF Ball, to Oil Industry employees, at fund-raising events, school assemblies and competitions. She also talks to parents of newly diagnosed T1s to show them that despite T1 you can still achieve your dreams and ambitions. In her spare time she is a swimming teacher, loves reading books, swimming, spending time with her dogs, babysitting and keeping up with her friends. Rebekah is excited to be volunteering this year at Windsor.

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Last Updated: Sunday July 20, 2014 16:45:18
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