Back to Activities 2004 Conference and Expo

Friends for Life Logo

Friends for Life
Conference and Expo
July 14-17, 2004
Sheraton Universal
Universal City, California

Kids and teens will have the time of their life at Friends for Life: LA 2004
Kids and teens will have the time of their life at Friends for Life: LA 2004

Universal Studio offers amazing fun for the whole family
Universal City offers amazing fun for the whole family

The Sheraton Universal serves as the conference hotel
The Sheraton Universal serves as the conference hotel

Enjoy a dreamy sleep in the Sheraton Sweet Sleepers
Enjoy a dreamy sleep in the Sheraton Sweet Sleepers

You'll enjoy outdoor buffets at the Ballroom Circle
You'll enjoy outdoor buffets at the Ballroom Circle

Find fun in the sun at the beautiful pool
Find fun in the sun at the beautiful pool

Delicious meals are included
Delicious meals are included

Join us for the Fun Run
Join us for the Fun Run

Enjoy dancing after the Banquet
Enjoy dancing after the Banquet

Meet with diabetes product vendors ...
Meet with diabetes product vendors ...

... in our large exhibit hall
... in our large exhibit hall

Renew friendships
Renew friendships

View the Quilt for Life
View the Quilt for Life


Children with Diabetes presents our 5th annual family conference! Join world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians, adults, children, and families with diabetes to learn the most current information in diabetes care. Attend educational sessions and get cutting-edge ideas for your family's diabetes management. Participate in parent discussion groups and find new, creative ways to help and motivate your children. Watch toddlers and teens, young parents and grandparents, new diabetes professionals and practiced clinicians make new and lifelong friendships. This is a conference you won't ever forget! And best of all, proceeds benefit the Children with Diabetes Foundation!

Who Should Attend the 2004 Event?

  • Families and Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes
  • Teens, school-age children, and younger children
  • Kids with type 1 diabetes and their siblings
  • Their parents
  • Individuals with Type 2 diabetes
  • Health care professionals who work with diabetes
  • View the Map of Attendees

A Word About The Program

The education program is designed to run four sessions and/or discussion groups at the same time during most of the conference, with full two-day tracks on Thursday and Friday for adults, as well as tracks for teens (ages 12+) and school-age children (ages 7-11). Sessions run each day from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Childcare is available free of charge for children ages 0-7, for full days only (see information below). A detailed conference schedule is available via the links at the bottom of this page. Please note that all conference participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or adult guardian with them during the entire conference. This is for health and liability reasons, and there will be no exceptions.

The Conference Hotel

The Sheraton Universal Hotel is situated in the magnificent Hollywood Hills, on the lot of famed Universal Studios Hollywood. The resort has often been acclaimed the "Hotel of the Stars." Adjacent to both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk, the hotel offers convenient access to entertainment, shopping, clubs, and a unique restaurant promenade, exclusive to Universal City. A family-friendly outdoor swimming pool is central on the hotel grounds and an on-site fitness center is available to those who wish to work out. The fitness center offers 5 treadmills, 4 stairclimbers, a rowing machine, various Universal Weight machines, stationary bikes, a slant board, workout mats, and a TV for workout tapes. There is no charge for registered hotel guests. Jogging and walking maps may be obtained from the Concierge. Complimentary shuttle transportation is available between the Hotel and Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk.

Hotel rooms include 2 double beds or a king bed, coffee maker, hairdryer and make-up mirrors, in-room safe, telephone with voice mail and data port, and pay-per-view movies with Nintendo video games. Room rates are $149 + tax.

Corporate Suites may be reserved for hospitality events or entertaining.

For housing reservations, call the Sheraton Universal directly at 818-980-1212 or Central Reservations at 888-627-7186. Be sure to say you are with the Children with Diabetes conference. The Children with Diabetes room block is available on a first-come, first-served basis through June 11, 2004. Overnight and valet parking are available.

Conference Facilities

The Sheraton Universal Hotel features over 30,000 square feet of enhanced meeting space, and the Friends for Life conference will be utilizing every inch of it! From the outdoor ballroom circle to the elegant grand ballroom to the breath-taking Rooftop Garden, the meeting space is just perfect for CWD families. Please note that all conference sessions and meal events, with the exception of Saturday's CWD Foundation Benefit, will be held right at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, all under one roof! There is a Business Center right on site, as well as a 24 hour Kinko's within 10 minutes of the hotel.

The Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall will open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening for a Gala Opening Reception, sponsored by Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Additional Exhibit Hall hours are 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and noon to 2:00 p.m. on Friday. A breakfast buffet is offered to attendees on both Thursday and Friday just outside the Exhibit Hall. Thursday's breakfast will be held from 8:00 - 9:00, directly following the CWD Foundation Fun Run. Both events are sponsored by Novo Nordisk. Morning and afternoon snack breaks on Thursday and Friday will be provided directly outside the Exhibit Hall as well, sponsored by Medtronic MiniMed (Thursday). Box lunches are provided both days.

A Note About Childcare

Childcare will be available to children ages 7 and under, including infants and toddlers, thanks to the support of Animas Corporation. Kids Klub Pasadena will be providing the caregivers and activities. For those of you who attended the Pasadena conference in 2002, you might remember that these are the same folks who earned such rave reviews from the parents and children alike! Again this year, Animas will be offering the support of certified diabetes educators to assist with diabetes management and concerns. Please note that Pre-Registration for childcare is necessary and must be received by July 1. Childcare preregistration forms are now online. Childcare will not be available on a drop-in basis. Additionally, childcare will only be available for full days. This is necessary for appropriate staffing ratios, particularly for the younger children.

For school-aged children and teens, age-appropriate sessions will run on exactly the same schedule as sessions for parents. The school-age track and the teen track will stay in the same rooms throughout the two days of sessions, with the exception of the siblings discussion group, which will be held in a smaller discussion area. This will allow parents to drop off children at their sessions and return at the end of the session to grab a snack and bathroom break (all breaks are 30 minutes with the exception of lunch which is 90 minutes). Please note that children and teen sessions are appropriate for all children, not just those with type 1 diabetes.

Please contact Laura Billetdeaux for additional information ( on in-room childcare. In-room sitting may be scheduled for evenings as well. In-room sitting is not covered by the Animas sponsorship; parents are required to pay for in-room childcare.

If you plan to take advantage of childcare, you must fill out and return the Childcare Information Sheet as well as the Childcare Registration Form (these are two different documents) by July 1, 2004. Please note that childcare will be space-limited to approximately 100 children, so register early. As of June 1, there is still space available.

Lots of Goodies!

Make sure to plan for plenty of time in the conference Exhibit Hall. As always, the exhibitors will have lots of goodies for all conference participants! You may want to consider leaving extra room in your suitcases as you pack for all of the items you will be bringing home. We are not kidding about this.

Information on Airport Shuttles

Conference participants requiring transportation between the airport and the Sheraton Universal may wish to consider taking the airport Super Shuttle. These run frequently from the LAX and Burbank Airports directly to the hotel. Alternately, you may wish to take a taxi or rent a vehicle. Please remember, however, that everything is very close-by and compact at this conference. Universal Studios Hollywood is literally a short walk up the hill or a quick shuttle ride. There should be no need for a vehicle during the conference itself.

What About the Parks?

The Friends for Life conference will officially be visiting Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park as part of the Children with Diabetes Foundation Benefit Day, sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care, on Saturday, July 17. This is the only scheduled park day. On that morning, families will head over to the park to enjoy a day of rides and attractions. All CWD participants will be given an identification bracelet to wear. This will allow our group to bypass the long attraction lines during the heat of the day. This process worked very well for our group two years ago, and Universal Studios Hollywood has offered it once again. The Children with Diabetes group will have dinner together at the Globe Theatre. A sumptuous BBQ buffet, along with games and fun for the kids, will be available through the early evening. After dinner, our group is free to stay and enjoy the attractions until park closing. All ticket proceeds for Saturday's event will benefit the Children with Diabetes Foundation. Please note that space is limited for this event, and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must purchase the CWD ticket for Saturday in order to join us for dinner.

We know from past conference years that many families will be extending their stay either before or after the actual conference dates. This is a great opportunity to visit the many attractions in the Los Angeles area with other CWD families, or simply to hang by the pool, talk with other parents, or read a good book! Please note that the concierge can assist you with tickets for any of the area's theme parks, including: Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Knott's Berry Farm, Raging Waters, Magic Mountain, Medieval Times, Wild Rivers, and the Queen Mary. There are also tennis, golf, and of course many world-famous beaches nearby. CWD will only be selling tickets for the Saturday CWD Foundation event, and you must purchase these on your registration form.

Some additional activites your family might enjoy:

  • NBC Studios Tour (3 miles)
  • Getty Museum (8 miles)
  • Warner Brothers (4 miles)
  • Mann's Chinese Theater (4 miles)
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame (4 miles)
  • Hollywood and Vine (4 miles)
  • House of Blues (4 miles)
  • UCLA (12 miles)
  • USC (10 miles)
  • Staples Arena (9 miles)
  • Gene Autry Western Museum (5 miles)
  • Griffith Park Observatory (7 miles)
  • Los Angeles Zoo (7 miles)
  • Rose Bowl (9 miles)
  • Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive (15 miles)
  • Santa Monica Beach (20 miles)
  • Venice Beach (22 miles)
  • Malibu Beach (23 miles)

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your conference registration with CWD until June 14, 2004 and receive a full refund minus a $25 processing fee. After June 14, we are unable to provide a refund. Hotel room cancellation is subject to the rules of the hotel at which you are staying.

Try an Insulin Pump!

Come to the conference and try a pump! Three pump companies -- Animas, Smiths Medical MD, Inc., and Medtronic MiniMed -- will be offering this great opportunity for potential would-be pumpers to try a pump using saline. Anyone interested in wearing a pump (with saline) may do so Thursday and Friday at the conference.

A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline." If you do not bring the prescription, you will not be able to participate in an insulin pump trial.

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information and to schedule an appointment with a specific pump company, contact the following individuals:

Val Valentino at 1-877-YES PUMP, extension 1225 or via e-mail at

Smiths Medical MD, Inc.
Marilyn Graff at 1-800-544-4734 extension 7201 or via e-mail at

Medtronic MiniMed
Julie Sweidan at 1-800-933-3322 extension 4514 or via e-mail at

Tour Medtronic MiniMed!

Join Medtronic MiniMed for a tour of the company and an afternoon of fun-filled activities on Tuesday, July 13, one day prior to the beginning of the Friends for Life conference. Please call to reserve a spot for your family now!

Call Julie Sweidan at 1-800-933-3322 extension 4514 or via e-mail at

Try New Infusion Sets

Try any of Disetronic's insulin pump infusion sets. This is a great opportunity to see what sets are available today. You can try the sets on and see which are most comfortable. You can even try the new Mini Tender. To sign up, call Kathleen Swinderman at 1-800-915-3698 extension 5802 or via e-mail at

Join a Focus Group!

CWD is pleased to announce a day of Focus Groups at the Friends for Life Conference. The focus groups will be held on Wednesday, July 14, and will be located right in the Sheraton Universal. You must sign up ahead of time for these.

See Focus Group Schedule for more information.

Feedback From 2003
Kudos to everyone who makes this conference happen. This was our first year like so many others and we learned more in 3 days than we have since diagnosis. The quality of helpful people who embrace you in this effort to make all of our children better has been to say the least a breath of fresh air in our lives.
Tania, Kerry, Samuel and Patrick

My family and I had a blast at our first ever conference. I've already bought travel books for California so I can plan next year's vacation around the conference. One of my favorite moments was when my son told me "Everyone here is just like me." I think this is the first time since he was diagnosed that he felt like one of a crowd instead of being the only one he knows with diabetes.
Paula Claborn, mother of Tanner Claborn, age 9, diagnosed 10/22/02

Even though I work with words on a daily basis, I cannot describe how this conference has impacted our family. It's as though someone turned on the light to erase four years of darkness. When we registered for the conference, we expected this to be a once in a lifetime experience, but now we're not only talking about going next year but are encouraging others to attend as well. To all the organizers, helpers, volunteers, sponsors, etc., thank you. You are all an inspiration.
Bryan, Debbie and Meghan Hill

The conference exceeded our expectations. The speakers/moderators are excellent and well qualified. We learned so much and came back with new ideas and renewed motivation. It was great talking with other parents. Everything was so well organized from the sessions, the exhibits and the food.
Kerri McQuillen

I am not going to go on about what a great job you did, you know that by now. Let me tell you why I came to the conference. I was mad at everyone including God for doing this to my wonderful 3 year old great grand daughter. I came with knowledge, some of it wrong. I came with hate for what was happening to us. Yes, I can give shots, check sugar, and handle anything that happens. I came with all of that. I went home with more hope for my great grand daughter that you can imagine. Thank you.
Arlene Oliver

Tanner walked in an immediately felt at home. He felt a kinship with complete strangers immediately! It makes me so happy to think of how much he got from a conference that he hasn't gotten in the last ten months. He was also set against the pump before we went to the conference, and he changed his mind during the second day's sessions. Now he's 100% sure he wants to pump.
Paula Claborn

I just want to congratulate you on a job well-done. The conference really was terrific. It is truly a privilege to be part of this wonderful effort to make the lives of familes touched by diabetes just a little bit easier as we, the DRI, focus on making diabetes a disease of the past. We look forward to working with you again next year on the West Coast!
Barbara Singer
Director of Administration
Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

  2004 Conference and Expo  
  Home - Program Overview - Sessions - Faculty  
  Thursday: Parents and Adults | Teens | Kids  
  Friday: Parents and Adults | Teens | Kids  
  Social Events - Focus Groups - Fun Run Pledge Sheet  
  Sponsors - Exhibitors - CWD Foundation Benefit  
  Registration & Childcare - Map of Attendees  
  Retinal Imaging Screening  
  Report from 2003 Conference  
  Report from 2004 Conference  

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Last Updated: Friday January 07, 2005 16:57:08
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