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  Back to Friends for Life UK 2012 Friends for Life UK 2012 Faculty

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Francesca Annan RD, qualified as a dietitian in 1990 and has worked as the paediatric diabetes dietitian at Alder Hey Children's Hospital for the last 15 years, working with children and families both in hospital setting and on activity holidays and weekends. As a former track athlete she has combined a love of sport and an interest in nutrition to develop the only "exercise and diabetes" clinic in the UK for young people to access sports nutrition and diabetes management advice and is currently completing a Masters in Sport & Exercise Nutrition.

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Natalie Bellini, 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 Drexel University part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to Erin.

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A teacher with an honours degree in English Literature, Jacqui Double enjoys working with all ages of children through Theatre-in-Education; she also has worked with children as an English teacher at secondary level. Both of Jacqui's son have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes: Tom, the younger in 2000 at the age of 18 months, and Joe, the elder in 2005, at the age of 8. Happily her sons are now both using Medtronic pumps with CGM and she claims that her family is far more sane! Jacqui sits on several groups and working parties pertaining to National Diabetes Care. She also presents talks about pumping and about coping with diabetes, and is active in her local area promoting better care at school for children with long term medical conditions. She is married to Olly, a university lecturer, and enjoys living by the sea in Kent.

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Oliver Double is a senior lecturer in drama at the University of Kent, but in a former life he was a professional comedian. His sons Joe and Tom both have type 1 diabetes, and in 2006 this inspired him to write and perform a solo stand-up show, Saint Pancreas, which is now available on DVD ('A tender and uplifting monologue that's surprisingly funny.' Guardian. 'Funny, charming, touching.' Arthur Smith, Balance). He has just started writing a regular column for Diabetes UK's Linkup magazine, in spite of being, by comparison with his wife Jacqui, slightly rubbish at dealing with diabetes.

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Ashley Head is a CWD dad on both sides of the Atlantic – at Friends for Life Orlando and Friends for Life UK! Ash has been a Trade Show Professional for the last 30 years, specializing in international event logistics; he has coordinated shows all over the world. Ash also serves on the Challenge Events Committee for the JDRF UK. He is married to Shayne, and dad to 17 year old Phoebe who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001. He is also dad to Jake, age 23.

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Peter Hindmarsh is Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at University College London and Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at University College London Hospitals and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. He has worked closely with the UK Department of Health to assess Paediatric Diabetes Care and practices diabetes within an inter-disciplinary team based on a flat system model. His research interests are in long term complication in diabetes and the mathematical modelling of data sets

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Sir Michael Hirst from the United Kingdom is currently the President-Elect of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). He will take the office of President of the Federation in 2012. He became interested in diabetes over twenty years ago when his youngest child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a very young age. Then a Member of the British Parliament, Sir Michael championed the cause of diabetes in Parliament, as a result of which he was co-opted to the Board of Trustees of the British Diabetic Association, now Diabetes UK. There he served as a trustee in a variety of capacities for 17 years, most recently as the first non-medical Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2001-2006. As Chairman, he oversaw major changes in the operations and governance of Diabetes UK, Europe's largest organisation for people with diabetes. Sir Michael Hirst is a graduate in law of the University of Glasgow, and was an exchange student at the University of Iceland. He later qualified as a chartered accountant and became a partner in KPMG, the international accounting firm, until he entered the British Parliament. Sir Michael held a number of senior positions in frontline politics until 1997 and was knighted for political and public service in 1992. He has also served on the board of a number of leading charities and public bodies, and is currently Chairman of two companies in the UK.

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Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president of Children with Diabetes. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff worked in high tech and traveled the world, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. He worked in defense related industries until 1995, when he started a small Internet company and launched Children with Diabetes. He subsequently worked at LEXIS-NEXIS and Pearson plc on Internet initiatives, and now works full time bringing Children with Diabetes to you.

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Korey K. Hood, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Staff Psychologist at UCSF's Madison Center for Pediatric Diabetes. Dr. Hood directs NIH-funded research projects and provides clinical care aimed at promoting health and quality of life outcomes in youth with diabetes and their families. He also serves on national committees for the American Diabetes Association and is on editorial boards for Diabetes Care and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Hood is the author of Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes. His research, clinical care, and service are fueled by his personal experience with type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed as a young adult and has spent more than a decade managing diabetes. He is passionate about helping children and teens with diabetes, and their families, make diabetes a part of their lives while not letting it run their lives.

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Jackie Jacombs became involved in the CWD parents mailing list in the United States shortly after her daughter Sasha was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999. There was no equivalent support mailing list or website in the UK, so Jackie asked CWD Founder Jeff Hitchcock if he would set up a mailing list for UK families. Jackie now manages that list. This was the start of a strong on-line community in the UK and many hours on the computer each day. Jackie is also involved in working with INPUT, a patient led organization raising awareness of Insulin Pump therapy in the UK. Three years ago she organised a patient-led UK advocacy group for families of children with diabetes. The advocacy group has been working with JDRF, INPUT, and Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the need for support in schools for children with type 1 diabetes and to help families who are trying to get insulin pumps. Jackie has twin 17 year old daughters, both of whom have coeliac. Sasha has type 1 diabetes and has been a pumper since 2004. Jackie is also a lay member of the Science and Research Advisory Group for Diabetes UK.

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Lesley Jordan was 18 months old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She started using a pump in 2002 and saw the benefit immediately. Disappointed to hear how difficult it is for some people to get a pump, she started volunteering with INPUT (a patient-led group) in 2005, and when John Davis MBE retired in 2011 she took over as Chairman. She is a passionate advocate for access to all diabetes-related technology, and loves using technology in her work, too - maintaining INPUT's website, Facebook page and Twitter account. She is "mum" to two cats and a husband!

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Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is commonly known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad, used virtually everywhere, including his monthly column which appears at www.dLife.com/diabetesdad. He's been active since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of two. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom has been introduced to the NY State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., appeared at diabetes-related events at the United Nations and has lectured across the US about being a Diabetes Dad. He received numerous commendations for his work in the Katrina efforts where he was instrumental in organizing aid to over 10,000 people with diabetes. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from CWD in 2008 among many other awards from groups and organizations. For 12 years as an actor, he starred in the New York Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding, with the original Company and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was at the Sundance Film Festival, and appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and more as well as numerous commercials. He won 13 Telly Awards, a FREDDIE Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award while Executive Producer of dLife on CNBC. Tom will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.

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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 18, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 16 ... her CWD "sig line." Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the CWD diabetes conferences since the very first gathering in Orlando in 2000, where she volunteered to make name badges. Lauren now coordinates the Elementary Programming for every CWD conference. Back home in Denver, she has served on the boards of the JDRF and CWD Foundation. She and her husband Steve have chaired and coached her local JDRF Ride team for many years. Lauren has worked as an elementary school computer teacher and now works at The Children's Diabetes Foundation at Denver as the IT Manager.

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Mark Peakman trained in medicine at University College Hospital and pursued postgraduate training in clinical immunology. After he received his PhD in immunology of type 1 diabetes, he held a senior clinical research fellowship at University of Pittsburgh. He subsequently returned to the UK and now oversees a research group at King's College London in the Department of Immunobiology. The main focus of the research is the cause of the autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D is the third commonest autoimmune disease in the UK after thyroid autoimmunity and rheumatoid arthritis. Through defining critical targets for the immune response in diabetes we have been able to examine how the immune system recognizes beta cells, and thus unravel disease mechanisms. More recently, we have used this knowledge to conduct the first clinical trial in T1D of a novel approach, called peptide immunotherapy. Going forward, a better understanding of the role of the immune response in T1D will promote the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

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Dr Tabitha Randell is a consultant in paediatric diabetes and endocrinology at Nottingham Children's Hospital. With over 350 children and young people with diabetes (over 70 using insulin pumps) attending Nottingham's paediatric diabetes clinic, it is one of the busiest in the country. Passionate about children's diabetes care, Tabitha has been instrumental in developing the Best Practice Tariff for paediatric diabetes in England. This sets out clear minimum standards of care for paediatric diabetes services and for those centres which meet them, has resulted in a huge increase in funding. The ultimate aim of the tariff is to improve outcomes and ensure the same high standards of diabetes care for all children and young people in England, regardless of where they live.

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A former National Aerobic Champion, Harold Sanco was voted Washington, DC's "Best Instructor" by both Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post. With more than 20 years of experience in youth Physical Education and fitness, Harold is an internationally acclaimed instructor and trainer who has traveled and taught across the United States, Canada and 15 other countries for some of the top fitness conferences in the world. His popular "Urban Funk" fitness class has been featured in People, Allure and W magazines. In addition to providing professional training services he is the Director of Group Fitness for Results Gym, an award-winning facility in Washington, DC. At CWD conferences, Harold motivates and encourages kids and adults to keep moving, have fun exercising in a positive way.

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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Exercise Physiologist who has had type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years. He owns and operates Integrated Diabetes Services, a private practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy for children and adults with type 1 diabetes. He and his staff of diabetes educators provide consultations throughout the world via phone and internet. Gary earned a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master of Science from Benedictine University. He received his diabetes training with the Joslin Diabetes Center. In addition to serving on the Children With Diabetes faculty, Gary is an active volunteer for the ADA, JDRF and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has written five books (including "Think Like A Pancreas") and dozens of articles on various topics in intensive diabetes management. He has received several awards for his teaching tools and techniques, and speaks regularly at regional, national and international conferences. A husband, father of five and avid sports fan, Gary has been a pump user since 1994, and a CGM user since 2006.

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Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE,, was President of InBalance Healthcare, a counseling and education service for health care professionals and adults and children with diabetes, for over 10 years. He currently works for LifeScan, as Manager of Diabetes Counseling & Training and is a faculty member of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute. Joe is healthcare professional who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 50 years, Mr. Solowiejczyk has been able to translate his personal experience into patient care. As a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist, he specializes in assessing how family dynamics impact management of diabetes and designing interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal metabolic control.


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Rebecca Thompson RSCN BSc MSc is a Nurse Consultant for paediatric and adolescent diabetes. She has been supporting children and adolescents and their families living with diabetes since 1997, when she started at University College London Hospital as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. The service now supports 350 children and young people with diabetes (using MDI and pumps), with the service winning a major HSJ Awards in 2011, for quality and efficiency in services for children and young people. Rebecca is involved in a number of national groups including the Paediatric Education Task and Finish Group looking at education of health care professionals within diabetes and the Insulin Pump Stake holder Group.

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Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D., C.D.E., Pediatric Psychologist, Associate professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 20 years and is an author of numerous research articles, and a co-author of a book on transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Dr. Weissberg-Benchell works with children, teenagers and their families to facilitate adaptation and coping with diabetes and other chronic conditions.


CWD Staff

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Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president of Children with Diabetes. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff worked in high tech and traveled the world, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. He worked in defense related industries until 1995, when he started a small Internet company and launched Children with Diabetes. He subsequently worked at LEXIS-NEXIS and Pearson plc on Internet initiatives, and now works full time bringing Children with Diabetes to you.

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A finicky connoisseur of hotel meeting space, cappuccino, and kid-friendly cheese and fruit platters, Laura Billetdeaux is CWD's VP of Education and Programs. Since 2000, Laura has organized every single CWD conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of CWD - education and support of families with type 1, and always keeping in mind why it all works – the efforts of so many dedicated individuals. Laura lives in Manchester, Michigan with husband Neal, who graciously and energetically assists with the conference teen programs. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as youth faculty at CWD conferences as time allows.

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Ashley Head is a CWD dad on both sides of the Atlantic – at Friends for Life Orlando and Friends for Life UK! Ash has been a Trade Show Professional for the last 30 years, specializing in international event logistics; he has coordinated shows all over the world. Ash also serves on the Challenge Events Committee for the JDRF UK. He is married to Shayne, and dad to 17 year old Phoebe who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001. He is also dad to Jake, age 23.

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Brenda Hitchcock is mom to Marissa (dx'd at 24 months), Kathryn, and Tim. She's worked side by side with her husband Jeff on Children with Diabetes since it began in 1995. Brenda brings a mom's perspective to diabetes care, is editor of the "Ask the Diabetes Team" section of the CWD web site, and helps out in countless ways at CWD's conferences.

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Scott and Heather Kyllo live in British Columbia, Canada with their two children, Alyssa (20) and Chad (18). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when their son, Chad, then age 2 was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were residing in Bahrain in the Middle East. The World Wide Web had just arrived in Bahrain and it brought to the Kyllo's the safety of the CWD family. Two years later, when life was becoming somewhat comfortable and routine, Alyssa, then age 7, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Chad was also diagnosed with celiac disease in 2001. The family attended their first Friends For Life conference in 2002. Getting to meet the CWD'ers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is a Chief Information Officer by day and an Aircraft Engineer by night maintaining a Piper Cherokee and a Mooney. Heather works at the local curling club as Office Manager. The Kyllo's are extensively involved in curling during the winter months. Their summers are spent enjoying the Sunny Okanagan on Shuswap Lake. They are strong advocates of the CWD conferences and believe anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one ... although warn that the conferences are much like potato chips ... hard to stop at just one.

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Mike Schurig, MS, RD, LD, CDE, serves as Conferences and Content Manager for Children With Diabetes. As a diabetes educator, registered dietitian and person with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12, Mike has had extensive experience in diabetes education with kids and parents. Mike is active with local ADA activities, regional diabetes educator groups, and the CWD website. His interests are insulin pump education and technical advances in diabetes. Mike enjoys visiting the nearby theme parks and enjoying Central Florida.

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Julia Mattingly is mom to 16 year old Hannah and 14 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was 3. Julia, Ed, and the kids have been to every Friends for Life conference and most of the regionals as well. Julia coordinates registration at each conference, and you can always find her when you need a smile and a "Hi Y'All!" Julia loves coordinating registration and being able to meet and talk to everyone who walks in the door. Her best CWD memory is from 2000 when she met all of her CWD email moms in Orlando for the first time. She also loves to see the smiles on her children's faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.

  Friends for Life UK 2012 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Schedule - Session Descriptions - Youth Schedule  
  Faculty - Youth Faculty - Sports Central Staff - Sponsors  
  FFL UK Reports from 2011 - 2010 - 2009  



                 
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Last Updated: Monday February 24, 2014 14:36:22
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