Thank you to our FFL Sponsors

  Back to Friends for Life Orlando 2018 FFL Orlando 2018 Special Guests


Mountain Climber Will Cross has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1976 when he was diagnosed at the age of nine. Will was told that it was unlikely he would live to be 30 years old because of diabetes. In the 40 years since, he became passionate about high-altitude mountaineering and has ascended the highest peaks on all seven continents and walked to both the North and South Poles. Will seeks to get the message out that if he can control his diabetes in these conditions, no one should feel hindered by diabetes. Will's participation in Friends for Life Orlando 2018 is supported by Tandem Diabetes Care.


Jay Hewitt is an athlete, attorney and keynote speaker. He is the only person with type 1 diabetes to qualify for the U.S. National Long Distance Triathlon Team, racing three years for Team USA at the World Championships in Denmark, Sweden and Australia. He raced 14 ultra distance and Ironman triathlons - a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-marathon mile run—140 miles in one day, all while injecting insulin and managing his blood sugar. At the same time, he balanced work and life practicing law and presenting appeals to state and federal courts around he country. Jay has been featured on the cover of Diabetes Health, Diabetes Forecast, and many other national publications, and profiled in television documentaries on CNBC, WGN and Lifetime TV. He speaks nationally to business groups and the public about health and wellness, overcoming obstacles and achieving goals, and is the author of the newly-released motivational book Finish Line Vision. He is married with three children and lives in Greenville, S.C.


In 1989, Douglas Cairns was a Royal Air Force jet pilot and instructor at the age of 25 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and consequently lost his flying career. In 2000 he regained the freedom to fly in the USA as a licensed private pilot, and in 2003 Douglas went on to complete Diabetes World Flight, a round-the-world flight. Since 2009 Douglas has run “Flying With Diabetes”, an initiative to raise positive awareness for pilots with diabetes, by setting solo and group aviation world records including “Diabetes Polar Flight” in 2011 to the North Pole and landing on the polar ice. Douglas is a co-founder of “Pilots With Diabetes”, an aviation policy advocacy group for pilots with insulin-treated diabetes. Douglas is passionate about raising positive awareness of diabetes and gives regular talks to conferences and meetings, highlighting that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions.


Amanda Jo is a country/Americana singer, songwriter, and entertainer from Nashville, Tennessee. She has been living well with Type 1 Diabetes for the past 17 years. She currently performs 200 shows a year across the United States in the duo Truckstop Honey. She has opened up for such national acts as Maddie and Tae, Chris Janson, Tyler Farr, and Marshall Tucker Band. Fueled by a love for music and a passion for people, Amanda Jo is an advocate for people with diabetes both on and off the stage. She recently recorded “Needle Free” with American Idol contestant Adam Lasher, supporting research for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. You can find out more information about her on her website,


Billy Lee is a country/Americana singer, songwriter, entertainer, and guitar player extraordinaire from Nashville, Tennessee. He currently performs over 200 shows a year across the United States in the duo Truckstop Honey. He has opened for such acts as John Mellencamp, David Allan Coe, Marshall Tucker Band, and Steve Wariner. He is also a proud Type 3 Diabetic. When he started dating his girlfriend Amanda Jo, he learned as much as he could about diabetes. The more he learned about diabetes, the more passionate he became in helping and encouraging those living well with it everyday. He co-wrote the song "Needle Free," which was recorded by Amanda Jo and American Idol contestant Adam Lasher, supporting research for a cure for type 1 diabetes. You can download the song for free at


Courtney Duckworth is two-time Boston Marathoner, spokesperson for Abbott Global, and a professional cheerleader who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 14 years. She is also the author of The Marathon We Live: Training for a Personal Best in Life with Type 1 Diabetes. Partial proceeds from the book support the Every Step Counts Scholarship Program she created to reward young adults for their efforts to live their healthiest lives with T1D. In August, she will attend the University of Virginia School of Medicine to continue her mission to give back to the medical community.


Lauren Salko began alpine ski racing while attending high school in Maine. She continued to compete as a member of the Saint Anselm College varsity women’s team. She raced all over the world and placed in the top 10 at collegiate nationals which earned her All-American status. Post-college, Lauren is competing full-time. Between competitions, she volunteers as an elite coach for Riding on Insulin’s ski and snowboard camps. In 2016, as a member of the Riding on Insulin Endurance Team, Lauren competed at Ironman Wisconsin while fundraising for the organization. Lauren is often accompanied by her diabetes alert dog, Silas. Lauren’s participation is part of Tandem Diabetes Care’s Live Life in Full Color speaker series.


Colt Scott, age 23, competed last fall on the second season of the Netflix series Ultimate Beastmaster. Colt represented himself as the self-proclaimed “Diabadass” to show that despite his condition, he — and others just like him — are capable of greatness. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was only 18 months old, Colt understands the struggle of maintaining a healthy blood sugar day in and day out. He believes that this mentality of overcoming this obstacle gave him an edge when it came down to defeating “the Beast.” His goal was to prove that even though the world may see you in a position of disadvantage, you have the power to turn that into an advantage.

  Denotes special guest with diabetes

  Friends for Life® Orlando 2018 Conference  
  Introduction - Registration Information - Conference Registration - Sponsors - Exhibitors - FAQ  
  Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - Sports Central Staff - Retinal Screening Staff - CWD Staff - Fellows - Special Guests  
  Teen Staff - Tween Staff - Elementary Staff - Child Care Staff - Orange Team Staff  
  Conference Schedule: Parents & Adults Program - Youth Program - Meet Ups - Child Care Registration  
  Reports from 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  

  Back to Friends for Life Orlando 2018 Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Wednesday April 25, 2018 12:14:03
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.