Thursday's very full day began with the Keynote Breakfast and Richard Rubin Opening Keynote sponsored by Sanofi Diabetes. The featured speaker, Andrew Deutscher, was poignant and compelling in his talk, "Insulin Resilience - How Type 1 Diabetes Shapes Lives For the Better." While this was Andrew's first Friends for Life event, he had spent much time researching CWD and speaking with our families, and he clearly knew the audience. Andrew is a CWD dad himself, and the connection was very evident.
Sessions in the adults program featured a wide mix of ‘tried-n-true' discussions and presentations as well as brand new topics and speakers. In nearly every time slot, there were 7-9 choices, and for many it was a tough pick! Participants could choose from sessions focusing on science and research, legal advocacy, or the psychosocial aspects of living with type 1. They could focus on exercise or nutrition, or even the basic nuts and bolts of living with type 1 in ‘Diabetes 101' sessions.
Two ballrooms were devoted to sessions for adults with type 1 diabetes. These sessions, sponsored by Insulet, included sessions ranging from "Being the Best Patient You Can Be" to "Pregnancy and Diabetes" and "Exercise and Sports Management." As well, there were discussion groups specifically for T1 adults and their partners on both Thursday and Friday. Adults with type 1 had the option of attending either their specific track on Thursday and Friday, or attending sessions in the regular adult programming as well.
The Grandparents Program continued in full swing on Thursday after the opening hands-on workshops on Wednesday. Thursday's topics included "Common Fears" and "Grandparent Guidelines for Care," and ended with an open forum called "Ask the Experts." The sessions were consistently well-attended, and the questions were great!
Thursday's youth program included sessions for elementary (ages 5-8), tween (ages 9-12), and teen (ages 13+) groups. As well, childcare was provided for our youngest participants. CWD's Youth Program leaders have been doing this for a long time, and they pulled together the very best in terms of what activities would best lead to the learning objectives. Yes, the kids always have fun, and yes, there is always a detailed plan behind the activities! Many thanks to the leaders and to the age group program staff, who kept everything running smoothly on Thursday and Friday.
Sessions ended promptly at 4:45, and Stacey Nagel and the Banquet set-up team (50 – yes 50! – helpers) got right to work on decorating 200 tables in the Coronado Ballroom. The Family and Friends Banquet is always a highlight of the conference, and this year was no exception. Novo Nordisk once again sponsored the gala event, and the theme was "Disney Favorites." There were pirates, ice princesses, and many characters from well-loved Disney films, and Tom Karlya served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. CWD Founder and President Jeff Hitchcock presented the Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award to Manny Hernandez (to a standing ovation), and Laura Billetdeaux presented the Friend for Life award to Ashley Head from the UK and Scott Kyllo from Canada (also to standing ovations). It was very special honoring these three individuals for their longtime dedication to the diabetes community and CWD.
Another highlight of the evening was the follow-up film presentation to Wednesday's ‘Academy Awards' session. Producer Ben Stroud edited the 5 top videos submitted before FFL by the children – these were the videos voted as the best during Wednesday's session – and results were kept secret. The 8 minute film was fabulous – funny, sad, and amazingly right-on real.
The Family and Friends Banquet continued with dancing and great music by DJ Miles, who was back with us for his 12th year at FFL!
Andrew Deutscher presented the opening keynote
FFLers can be quite incredible
More and more FFLers are grown ups
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Last Updated: Monday May 29, 2017 12:40:35
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