Back to Home Open Letter to the CWD Community

March 28, 2008

When my daughter Marissa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in September 1989, her pediatric endocrinologist told my wife and me, "we can make a big difference in her life." He wanted us to know that science was changing, that new tools like home glucose monitoring were allowing levels of care that were inconceivable a decade before, and that the future was very bright. He was absolutely correct.

When I began in the summer of 1995, I wanted to share my experiences with other families, so that together, we could all make a difference in the lives of kids with diabetes. The Internet was in its infancy then, and little did I realize how much the online world would develop.

Over the years, our online community has grown in ways I could scarcely have imagined. From the first few Web pages, the site now has more than 30,000. From a few visitors per day, we regularly host 25,000 daily. From visitors just from the United States, we now reach over 150 countries each month.

The growth in our conferences has been equally significant. Our first shared vacation in June 2000 had 550 people. The 2007 Friends for Life conference brought 2,500 people together at Disney World® for a week and Friends for Life 2008 looks to be even larger. Our weekend regional conferences are selling out. And requests to hold events in countries outside the United States are growing–and we're responding.

All of this from a company of two people, augmented by a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers online and at our conferences.

For the CWD family to continue to meet the needs of our visitors and conference attendees, we need significantly more resources. We struggled with how to meet this need for some time. I'm pleased to tell you we have found a new home within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, a global health care organization also dedicated to families and children, and a home that will enable us to expand in ways that we are just beginning to imagine.

To each and every member of the CWD family–from moms and dads and kids with diabetes (and their brothers and sisters and grandparents), to doctors and nurses and dietitians and social workers and all of the health care professionals we rely on, to the scientists and engineers and many good friends at diabetes companies who have transformed diabetes care for the better–I thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to working with you to ensure that the CWD you have come to know and trust will continue.

My focus is and always has been on making a difference in the life of my daughter, and by extension, in the lives of all of the daughters and sons living with diabetes. And it always will be. My commitment to our children with diabetes has not changed and will not change. The welcoming arms of CWD remain open to everyone in our extended family – all of those dedicated to the health and well-being of people with diabetes – patients, family, friends and companies, and your voices continue to be heard. With our new relationship, we will have the expanded support and resources of a large company to help ensure that we will continue to reach a larger and larger circle of concerned people and friends. We now have the amazing opportunity to make a bigger difference than ever before; and I invite you to help us continue to make a difference, by continuing to be a valuable and participating member of our CWD community.

Jeff Hitchcock
President, Children with Diabetes, Inc.

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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