Friends for Life: Orlando 2003 - Comments from Participants
Here are selected comments from participants:
- A desire to learn about the unknown can lend itself to become the power of one shared voice;
Coming together in a place called Orlando at a home called Disney, the power of one shared enchantment.
Guests from a distant land teaching a new instrument, how to create it, how to play it; to become the power of one shared sound;
Kids joining together to learn that they aren't so different and together they become the power of one shared youth;
Teens coming together on a given night, a given event, a given time to help, to become one shared friendship;
The sharing of stories both humorous and outrageous to become the power of one shared laughter;
The sharing of stories both heartbreaking and sorrowful to create the power of one shared tear;
Parents coming together to find out they are aren't so alone in their struggles to become the power of one shared concern;
Education being given by those who really understand the facts, giving power of one shared hope;
Hope giving way to research, research giving way to a cure giving power of one shared dream;
The Children with Diabetes conference reflecting that the power of one shared voice can become the heart of one shared family...a family others will never understand...a sharing others could never understand.
Thank you CWD for sharing.
-Love the Karlya Family, North Patchogue New York
Senior Development Director
Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
- This has been the most, educational, inspirational, emotional, and wonderful experience our family been a part of. The kids immediately felt like they fit in and were accepted and had a great time, while making new friends and learning everything from making musical instruments to trying a new place for a site. I can't thank everyone involved enough for all of their hard work and effort to pull this event together. Everyone did a great job and we can't wait to go next year! We didn't have any problems getting the kids' Didgeridoos on the plane as a carry on, but we stayed a couple extra days and they must have seen enough of them by then that they didn't bother with us. Again, THANKS to everyone!
Mom of Ethan 13 dx 9-26-02 pumping Animas 12-30-02, Hannah 11
- Just wanted to thank you again for a great time. I attend over 30 conferences each year as editor and I always look forward to yours the most. It is so refreshing to be able to see the real beneficiaries of diabetes care having a great time. In addition I find that the opportunity to talk to the end users of products and services is so valuable to me as an educator. I take advantage of this to increase my knowledge of our patients' true perception of what diabetes care means.
Dave Joffe, Pharmacist, CDE, FACA
- 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. All the questions that I have inquired about at the Dr's. office over and over again got answered. I might add without hesitation. It was an amazing experience for us and I know Patrick will be so much better off because of your care and help. As much as I would not wish diabetes on any family, the people we have met along the way renew my faith that there are so many good people in the world that are willing to help. Prior to diagnosis I began to think that everyone was out for only themselves. 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. Thank you Ellen for approaching us at the pool and sharing some of your time as well as everyone else. I am glad that everyone made it home safely and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon. The support of good friends is what gets us through.
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. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and can't thank the organizers and sponsors enough for everything. 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 nine months ago that he felt like one of a crowd instead of being the only one he knows with diabetes. Thanks again to everyone, and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year!
Paula Claborn, mother of Tanner Claborn, age 9, diagnosed 10/22/02
- We had such a great time in Orlando. This was our first conference since Trevor's diagnosis in Sept 2002. The information, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the people were more than we could have hoped for. Trevor has really made a turn for the better with his acceptance of his diabetes. Before our trip, he was firmly against even considering the pump as an alternative. He really felt like he was the only diabetic his age that surfed, skated and played hockey. However, after having met with so many other teenagers like him, he not only is now accepting of it, but has actually called his doctor to get approval for the pump! We are now planning on attending the regional conference in Baltimore in August. We hope to see some of you there! We just wanted to take the time to thank Jeff and Laura for organizing such a wonderful event. However, there were so many helpful people that we met that we couldn't possible thank them all, but thank you all the same. We truly do feel that we have made "Friends for Life".
Chris, Bernadette, and Trevor (14)
- I just want to thank EVERYONE that put together that fantastic conference. Although my daughter has been diagnosed for a little over two years, this was our first conference. It was also really my first chance to meet and talk to other parents of children with diabetes. It was truly an enlightening experience. Thanks to the many representatives from the insulin pump companies, we were able to overcome our fear and to fully understand the concept of "pumping". Today we ordered Chandler's pump, so soon she will be off the "rollercoaster" and on her way to feeling more like a normal kid. And she met a fantastic friend (hi to Paige from Chandler), no doubt, a FRIEND FOR LIFE!
Cyndee, mom to Sean 14 (dx 6/00), Chandler 9 (dx6/01), Noah 4 and wife to Jim
- We are the Williams Family - Mark, Terri and Marisa (age 8, dxd' 11/2001). This is our second CWD conference and we feel truly blessed to be a part of this. While at the conference many people we met said they just "stumbled" upon the website after surfing the net looking for info after their initial diagnoses. Those first few months most of us spend untold hours seeking every avenue for information about diabetes. CWD is such a Godsend. Feeling so overwhelmed and isolated, CWD put us in touch with a world of others who are sharing the same experience. We met many nice people in Florida and look forward to seeing everyone next year in California. It's great to be part of the CWD "family". Thank you Laura and everyone else involved, for putting together such a caring, informative event. We learned so much it's hard to digest it all!
Terri Williams, Altadena, CA
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, but yes I would go to help with the kids, and the expenses. No I was not going to learn anything, after all I lost a husband to childhood Diabetes in 1970. What could you possibly tell me about this thing called Diabetes. I would follow them around, help feed the kids, and help carry.
Ok, first day breakfast was good, and yes the people I talked to at the table were willing to share their knowledge. Need to go now, tears won't stay where they should, but I will be back.
The speakers were wonderful and yes maybe I did learn a little more about the great strides being taken (really a whole lot more), yes the meals were great, the people (the parents) were fantastic. (The weather was awful, no place should be that hot and humid.)
Here is what I am leading up to, I came with no hope for Ashley, much had changed since I had to deal with it, but-still- yet it was Diabetes.
Then I took a really good hard look at the people around me, they looked happy, the kids seemed to accept and go on. I saw babies, I saw preschool, I saw teenagers, pumps, ports testing, injections, count the carbs, drink your water and most of all I saw smiles. When I had Ashley who is shy in the bathroom and she saw a girl about 12 with a pump, she asked her if she was wearing the pump. The girl with out hesitation, said yes would you like to see it. She let Ashley see and hold that pump and then when she was done, dropped it into her pocket and went about her business.
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 HER THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE. THANK YOU.
If you have comments about your experiences at Friends for Life: Orlando 2003 that you would like to share, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last Updated: Wednesday July 30, 2003 10:23:16
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