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  Back to 2005 Conference Report Friends for Life 2005 - Wednesday

Friends for Life: Orlando 2005 - Wednesday

Registration opened at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, with Coordinator Julia 'Expect Me To Be Loud' Mattingly keeping an eye on the South Registration Area. It was a busy place! Volunteers handed out registration packets, tickets for the banquet and Magical Memories Breakfast, and conference t-shirts. Conference volunteers helped families throughout the day and were easy to spot with their bright blue shirts sporting "VOLUNTEER" on the back.

Focus Groups were held throughout the day, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and finishing up at 5:00. Families signed up for these groups months ahead of time in order to interact in a small group setting with some of our major sponsors, including Abbott Diabetes Care, LifeScan, Novo Nordisk, Animas, Smiths Medical, Medtronic MiniMed, BD, Roche Diagnostics, Sanofi-Aventis, and Unomedical. Feedback from participants and sponsors alike was very positive.

The Quilt for Life was displayed in the exhibit hall beginning Wednesday evening through Friday afternoon. After receiving several new quilt squares at the conference, over 420 squares were on display. The squares filled the entire back half of the huge Veracruz exhibit hall. Everyone who visited the quilt was encouraged to sign the signature square made by CWD mom Pam Loebner. (We have one signature square from each Children with Diabetes conference held since the quilt was first shown at the Friends for Life 2002 conference in Pasadena.) Viewing the quilt was a moving and emotional experience for nearly everyone. If you haven't yet created a quilt square in honor of your child, please consider doing so right away! We are always adding to the quilt. Instructions are available from the online quilt submission form.

After a welcome by CWD Events Coordinator Laura Billetdeaux, the conference officially began with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by pilot Michael Hunter, the only acrobatic pilot with type 1 diabetes in the United States. Michael talked about the importance of never giving up your dreams, never letting diabetes get in the way of accomplishing what you want to do, and always believing in the magic of your dreams (a la Walt Disney). Conference attendees then entered the exhibit hall to enjoy the Grand Opening Reception, sponsored by Roche Diagnostics. Kids ran to the various booths to get goodies, and stopped repeatedly at the Novo Nordisk booth to watch as their newfound friends tried to scale the climbing wall!

Many, many thanks to our awesome exhibitors who had such great activities for the kids to do to enhance their learning (yes, they do learn at our conferences!), and showed such wonderful energy with them!

An outdoor buffet in the Ballroom Port-Cochere rounded out the evening. The many different roasts, finger foods, and side dishes were delicious, and carb counts were provided for every food item. Many thanks to CWD dietitian Mike Schurig for countless hours of work on menus, ingredients, and carb counts! Kudos also to all the CWD moms and dads who worked with Mike to provide special menus for kids who required gluten-free and other special meals!

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Acrobatic pilot Michael Hunter about to open the conference
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With the number of families growing, the collages of kids now span three panels.
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Finding yourself or your kids was fun
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Teens signed in with Natalie and Jim
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Families attended focus groups during the day
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Families filled the hallway waiting
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The face painter at the Sanofi Aventis booth was spectacular
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Fran Kaufman and Jim Hirsh met in the exhibit hall
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The exhibit hall was full of activity on opening night
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Ellen had her eyes photographed, thanks to Topcon and the ADA
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Nicole Johnson Baker met with Megan and many other kids and parents
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The BD booth was busy, like everyone was on opening night
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Michael Hunter's Flight Simulator was a huge hit
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Last Updated: Tuesday October 05, 2010 10:44:32
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