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  Back to 2004 Conference Report Friends for Life 2004

Friends for Life: LA 2004 - Friday

After a great breakfast on Friday morning, families headed off to sessions. Artists and Athletes Against Diabetes was definitely the highlight of the morning. Sponsored by LifeScan, these sessions for teens and school-aged kids featured Olympic athletes Gary Hall, Jr., and Kris Freeman, as well as ballerina Zippora Karz and musician Hamish Richardson. Gary took a group of kids into the swimming pool, while Kris demonstrated cross country skiing techniques (on wheels!) in the ballroom circle outdoors. Zippora and Hamish held a jam session which they filmed for possible use in a video. The kids were absolutely thrilled!

On the more serious side of things, Dr. Bruce Buckingham led a discussion comparing pumping to multiple daily injections (MDI) and presented a session later in the day on managing diabetes in kids under age 5. Crystal Jackson led several sessions on management of diabetes in the school environment and walked parents through the process of creating a 504 plan. She and attorney Michelle Rago led further discussion about discrimination and legal issues with diabetes.

For parents of pumpers, John Walsh presented Advanced Pumping Concepts and Natalie Bellini led a lunchtime discussion about problem-solving infusion set challenges. Both sessions received rave comments from participants. Later in the afternoon, Jeff Hitchcock almost facilitated a panel discussion called Real Life Pumping, in which representatives from each of the pump companies fielded questions and challenging pump situations to problem-solve. Instead, Jeff was called away to let in the reptiles for the child care presentation, which turned out to be a big hit with the kids.

Rick Philbin presented a session about managing blood glucose levels during sports, whether a child is a competitive athlete or simply playing sports in the gym or on the playground. An athletic trainer and pump-wearer himself, Rick discussed pros and cons of pumping and MDI with regard to sports, and what to do to troubleshoot problem situations. Betty Brackenridge presented a session on Sick Day Management, complete with discussion from Dr. Suresh Rao about the importance of blood ketone testing.

Dr. Lois Jovanovic joined us from the Sansum Research Institute for an update on her research, as well as a discussion group with young adults and a session on diabetes in young women. Stefan Rubin joined her in facilitating the young adults discussion group and then co-presented the session with Craig Crease on transitioning from high school to college while managing diabetes. It was exciting to see the young adult group expand this year, and we are hoping to have more of a defined track next year. Your ideas are most welcome!

And what would a conference be like without the moms and dads discussion groups? The sessions were quite crowded, but lots of great topics were covered, and we will follow up on the suggestions from participants to divide the groups into smaller discussion groups next year so everyone gets a chance to talk if they want to!

Friday afternoon, parents gathered together for Birds of a Feather sessions. This is the first time we have offered this at a conference, and we will be repeating it! People gathered by the pool and in some of our meetings rooms to share discussion about a specific given topic (i.e., being the parent of a toddler or the parent of a pumper). And yes, by popular demand, we will be holding another Grandparents session!

One of the highlights of CWD's Friends for Life conferences is the chance for kids and parents to try out an insulin pump using saline. This year, three pump companies -- Animas, Smiths Medical MD, Inc., and Medtronic MiniMed -- participated in the pump trials. Kids who weren't interested in pumps quickly changed their mind after learning how easy it was and after seeing hundreds of kids of all ages with pumps. Parents also had their questions answered about pump therapy by pump company representatives, parents of kids who pump, and by the kids themselves. Many families decided to order a pump as soon as they returned from the conference. Also, John Walsh's pump sessions were packed, a testament to the benefits of pump therapy.

On Friday evening, the pool was reserved for CWD families to hang out, relax, and visit; however lots of families opted to visit City Walk or go out to dinner, so it was fairly quiet around the pool. Early to bed for CWD Foundation Benefit Day at Universal Studios on Saturday!

 
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Kris Freeman, outside in the beautiful summer weather, talking about skiing
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Gary Hall gets the kids cheering in the pool
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Zippora Karz and Hamish Richardson having fun with the teens
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Drew and Hamish share a laugh and a dance
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Natalie Bellina explains insulin pump infusion sets
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Rick Philbin discusses sports and athletics with the teens
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Fun Run winner Grant grabs a snack during a break
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Thomas explains the new Unomedical inset infusion set to Brenda during a visit to the exhibits on Friday
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Lois Jovanovic leads the Young Women and Diabetes discussion
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Betty Brackenridge, along with Suresh Rao, explored sick day management
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The Moms Discussion Group was off-limits to men (except for the photographer)
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Grandparents got together during the 'Birds of a Feather' sessions ...
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... along with parents of teens with diabetes
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How many kids can you fit in a hot tub built for five?
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Last Updated: Friday December 03, 2004 12:13:50
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