Teen Programming Staff
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.
Sam Billetdeaux, diagnosed at age 8, is determined that diabetes will never get in the way of his life dreams. Sam is an active member of the CWD Young Adult program and has traveled to Denmark, Italy, the UK, and all across the United States to exchange ideas with other CWD teens, young adults, and their families. Sam is an avid athlete and enjoys running and working out with friends. He recently graduated from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Robert Bulgarelli is the Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine for Main Line Health and Board Certified cardiologist at Riddle Hospital in Media. He serves on the Main Line Health Healthy Workforce Council and chairs Riddle's Medical Nutrition committee, amongst others. Dr Bob, as his patients call him is Co-Founder of Whole Life Health, a Behavioral Health company who's mission is the transformation of Health Care Delivery in the world. Dr. Bulgarelli's main area of interest and expertise is in the growing field of Mind / Body Spirit medicine and the emphasis on healthy behaviors and choices as the key to vitality and longevity. His company is on the leader in the training of Health Coaches and he utilizes their expertise in his practice of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine. He is a skilled practitioner and teacher of meditation and is a Board Certified Medical Acupuncturist. In 2002, Dr. Bulgarelli was the 1st Cardiologist in the world to complete the two-year long Associate Fellowship in Integrative Medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. Dr Bob remains a faculty member with the Associate Fellowship, consulting on and moderating the cardiology and cardiovascular nutrition curriculum. He has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6ABC and CN8. He has been published and quoted in many local and national magazines, including Main Line Today, Men's Health and Shape. A graduate of Philadelphia College of Medicine in 1990, Dr. Bulgarelli completed his medical internship at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Darby, PA and his medical residency and cardiology fellowship at Lankenau Medical Center. Dr Bulgarelli has been a part of Main Line Health his entire clinical career that now spans over 20 years.
Deborah Glassborow celebrated the start of her third decade of living with diabetes in 2010. She has been using an insulin pump since 2002 and felt so inspired by her positive personal experiences that she wanted to spread the word. Initially employed by Disetronic, Deborah has worked with Animas since 2005 where she has helped establish the business in the UK. In her spare time Deborah is a keen traveller and has always been determined that diabetes wasn't going to get in the way of living, so embarked on a solo trip across Africa whilst on injections. She likes to take to the hills to walk whenever possible, loves music and literature and has recently made steps to follow her childhood dream of studying falconry.
Marissa Town, BSN, RN, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 24 months old. She completed her bachelor of science in nursing in 2009 and works as a nurse in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. She loves working with kids who have diabetes. Marissa brings her experiences as a diabetes camp counselor, nurse, and young adult with diabetes as she works with kids and teens at CWD's conferences.
Chris Tull is first and foremost Trevor's dad and Bernadette's husband. Since Trevor's diagnosis in late 2002, Chris served as a Legislative Chair and Diabetes Advocate, lobbying in his local districts and on Capitol Hill for diabetes funding and awareness. After attending his first CWD conference in 2003, Chris became very involved with CWD conferences, serving as staff for the teen program and overseeing all security matters for each and every conference. His diabetes claim to fame? In his eagerness to remove the air bubbles from Trevor's syringe the first time he gave a shot, he flicked it so hard that he bent the needle, causing his son to proclaim, "Oh, Dad's going to be good at this!" Chris is a police officer in Virginia Beach, and a former Marine.
Jim Vail was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19 while he was a sophomore at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Jim graduated with a degree in Media Communications and was a producer for CNBC Business news in Washington, D.C., for nine years all the while wrestling with the unpredictability of NPH and Regular insulin. After finally going on a pump in October of 2001 and 'getting his life back,' Jim pursued Animas Corporation, the maker of his insulin pump, for a job and a chance to reach others with diabetes. Jim made the jump from CNBC and has been with Animas Corporation since April 2002.
Tween Programming Staff
Justin Abel attended his first CWD conference in 2002 after his daughter Sailor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December 2001. Once he started attending more CWD conferences, his wife Sunshine did not have to twist his arm for him to realize he wanted to get more involved. He is also dad to Sierra, who is a young adult volunteer with CWD.
Carolyn Billetdeaux graduated from NYU with a degree in international business and Spanish and currently works as a sustainability consultant. She is older sister to Sam, who has had diabetes for over 13 years. Carolyn presents type 1 diabetes as a family disease: it affects everyone. She was a founding member of IDYA and founded the Supplies branch of the Children with Diabetes Foundation in 2003. She loves traveling and meeting other CWD families.
Paul Cheverton had such a great time at last year's CWD Conference and is delighted to have the opportunity to come back and help out again this year. Paul has a longstanding history of type 1 diabetes in his family and has spent the last three years working for Animas UK & Ireland supporting other families with insulin pumps. He enjoys sports and games of all kinds and can't wait to meet up with everyone at the conference.
Liz Gillum is mum to Jack, age 16, and Chloe, age 19, who was diagnosed with type 1 at age nine. Liz joined CWD 10 years ago after finding much needed support from its list members. Liz and family fundraise and volunteer for JDRF, helping to raise funds and awareness of type 1 and hoping one day for a cure. At Friends for Life, she has volunteered for the last two years with the Elementary group and this year is back to help out with the Tweens.
Kelsey Martin was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 12, and attended her first CWD conference two months later. She's since become an active volunteer and plans any vacation/free time around coming to CWD events. Kelsey remains active with her local JDRF chapter, and was the sole Kansas delegate to the 2007 Children's Congress. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism and business, and works in the public relations industry.
Melissa Pawlowski is a public relations major at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age four. Melissa has three siblings, Sarah, Kayla and Matthew. Matthew also has type 1 diabetes. Melissa enjoys attending Friends For Life Conferences and has been attending since 2003 with her family. Melissa loves working with CWD kids and is glad to be part of the CWD staff.
Kenny Rodenheiser, 21, earned his Bachelors in Nursing from Ramapo College of New Jersey in the spring of 2012. Kenny would eventually like to become a CDE. Kenny was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003 and has continued to be as energetic as before he was diagnosed. He has been an active part of the CWD community for eight years, and looks forward to helping others enjoy similar conference experiences. Kenny enjoys sports, especially soccer, volleyball, and hockey.
Adam Town, BSN, RN, graduated from the University of Cincinnati's nursing program in 2009. Adam enjoys working with all children and is interested in pediatric nursing. He lives and works in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Adam enjoys sports of all kinds with a particular interest in baseball. Adam's wife Marissa has had type 1 diabetes for over 23 years.
Elementary Programming Staff
Sunshine Abel, LVN, is the mother of two beautiful girls, Sierra and Sailor. She attended her first CWD conference with her family in 2002, after Sailor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Sunshine immediately knew she had found a new family and a new home where kids were experiencing the same thing as Sailor. She then made it her mission to involve her whole family. Sunshine and husband Justin have volunteered for several years at Friends for Life and CWD conferences.
Laura Bailey has volunteered at Friends for Life UK since the first conference in the summer of 2009! Laura, who has a family history of type 1 diabetes, has been involved in research and in fund-raising for the past decade. She performed diabetes research as part of her Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2003, and continued that work in her professional career. She also volunteers with Diabetes UK and raises funds for diabetes research. Her interests include playing the trombone, singing, and sculpting polymer clay. She is looking forward to working with the children at the 2012 UK conference!
Martyn Carr, age 24, lives in Scotland. He is a qualified car mechanic and is studying a HNC Care and Administrative Practice, and is attending university to study nursing to study nursing. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was five years old. Martyn and his family have participated in the last eight Friends for Life conferences and helped out at the last three UK Friends for Life conferences. Martyn has worked with the Elementary and Tween age groups. He loves helping out and being with his other friends at CWD conferences.
Aileen Durkan attended her first CWD conference in 2009 and had such a wonderful time volunteering with the elementary group that she's coming back again this year. She has a younger brother with type 1 diabetes, and she has worked with LifeScan and Animas in Ireland for the past 10 years. She believes it is important to be at the forefront of what's happening in diabetes care, and she enjoys keeping her brother well-informed and motivated. Prior to working in the diabetes world, Aileen was a midwife for 13 years. In her spare time she volunteers for charity work involving children, believing that every child deserves the best possible chance in life. She also enjoys salsa dancing, attending sports games - especially rugby, travelling and meeting new people.
Grace Grande-Cassell recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English. She began her career with an internship at Vogue in New York City this summer. Grace has grown up with a connection to type 1 diabetes because of her grandfather who was diagnosed at age 14. This is her second Friends for Life conference, and she is very excited to be part of the Children With Diabetes community.
Jen Hanson was diagnosed at three years old and has been living life with diabetes for 23 years. She spent 18 summers of her life at Camp Huronda, an Ontario based camp for children with diabetes, as a camper, climbing staff, pottery instructor and program director. Jen has completed a bachelor of kinesiology as well as a bachelor of education degree. She is currently completing her master of education degree and research experiential diabetes education. Jen works with Connected in Motion—an active and adventurous community of adults with Type 1 diabetes based in Canada. She has been involved with Children with Diabetes FFL since 2009.
Becky Jacombs is 18 years old and is studying Law at the University of Bristol. Her twin sister was diagnosed with diabetes 14 years ago, so she is keen to be involved in the diabetes community. Becky attended the first UK Friends for Life conference in Windsor in 2009, and has been coming ever since. She is excited to be part of the elementary team this year.
Kim Kaar has been involved with CWD as both parent and volunteer since her son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months old in February 2000. When not advocating, educating, or raising research funds for pediatric disease, Kim enjoys any opportunity to work with special needs children in her local school system. It is there that she also enjoys her involvement with bringing Cultural Arts into the school via the PTA. Convinced that "knowledge Is Power" and "Support Is Crucial" for families of CWD, Kim is both grateful, and committed, to the organization that she calls "family."
Kaitlyn Karlya is a CWD kid and recently graduated from Stony Brook University with her Bachelor's in Health Science. In the fall of 2012, she will begin her post-graduate studies on a pathway to become a Physician Assistant with an emphasis in diabetes, and currently works as a Direct Support Professional at AHRC. She is also a member of the Medford Ambulance Company in her hometown on Long Island where she was recently elected an officer. She has had diabetes since she was diagnosed at age two in 1992 and has been an advocate for many years. Her experience working with kids includes an assistant group leader position at her local school district as well as a camp counselor for three years for the Barton Diabetes Center at their summer camp held on Long Island.
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.
Al Piper's first experience of CWD was at Friends For Life in Orlando 2008. A week of running around with signs and generally getting involved got her hooked! She was part of the team that worked on making dreams of the first UK conference a reality in 2009 and has come back every year since as a volunteer. She is really looking forward to catching up with old friends, making new ones, and meeting all of the children in the Elementary Program this year!
Michelle Rago is an attorney and mom of two children with diabetes. Her son Trent was diagnosed at age 4 in 2000. Her family adopted daughter Maya -- diagnosed at one month -- from foster care in 2006. Her daughter Michela is proud to be a "Type 3" caregiver. Michelle is active with the American Diabetes Association Legal Advocacy group. She was awarded the Ben Teel Memorial Prize for Public Service at Harvard (where she founded a homeless shelter); the Charles Evan Hughes Fellowship for Public Service at Columbia Law School (where she represented children in foster care and worked on desegregation); and the Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award (for her work with CWD families).
Mary Babin Bulgarelli, RN, BSN, CDE is one of the first clinical employees at Animas Corporation and the first coordinator of childcare at the CWD conferences. Mary leads a team of certified diabetes educators providing care and fun in a safe environment for kids under age six with and without diabetes. Providing this service alleviates the concerns of many parents of kids with diabetes – allowing them to attend the sessions with peace of mind knowing that their children are cared for by skilled professionals. This supports Mary's belief that education is the key to successful blood glucose management. As National Director of Clinical Services at Animas Corporation, she is responsible for overseeing diabetes and pump educators throughout the US. Mary has devoted her career to the world of medicine. As a graduate of Eastern University and Presbyterian School of Nursing, Mary has been in intensive care nursing for over 25 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for 17. This busy mom and devoted professional has been involved with CWD since 2001. You can spot her at the conferences-she’s the one with the trail of kids behind her!
Audrey Greenfield has been involved with CWD conferences since 2001. A strong advocate of empowerment through knowledge and support, Audrey has stressed the importance of Friends for Life conferences to CWD families and to her colleagues within the Diabetes Franchise of Johnson and Johnson. Early in her career, Audrey was a schoolteacher in Brooklyn, New York; she has always enjoyed working with children. Recently retired from her position as Worldwide Vice President of Advocacy and Professional Relations for the Diabetes Franchise of Johnson & Johnson, Audrey now focuses on her most important job -- Becky’s mom! She is thrilled to be working with the childcare program at Friends for Life.
Chloe Gillum was diagnosed with diabetes at age 9. In 2009, she began using an insulin pump. The same year she and her family attended the first Friends for Life conference in Windsor, and they have been coming since. Currently studying Children's Nursing at the University of the West of England, Chloe hopes to specialise in diabetes once qualified. She also enjoys volunteering with JDRF, raising awareness of type 1 diabetes. Chloe is looking forward to working with the younger children at this year’s FFL!
Sasha Jacombs, age 18, was diagnosed at age 4 and began using an insulin pump 7 years ago. She is currently studying Biomedical Science at the University of Reading in hopes of entering a career which will allow her to do further research into the cause and cure of diabetes. Sasha attended the first UK Friends for Life conference in Windsor in 2009, and has been coming ever since then! She is now very excited to be a part of the childcare team.
Jill Karlya is a mom with three children, two with diabetes. She has been active in virtually every diabetes organization there is either helping to organize an event or implement a neighborhood letter writing campaign. She has consulted with families and implemented numerous endeavors helping children with diabetes across the United States acclimate themselves within the school district. She has also has been instrumental in her local PTA chairing many events, offices, and fund raising events to help the district. She was the Administrative Assistant to a New York State Senator for years and presently works in the Administration Office of the Patchogue-Medford School District. She resides on Long Island.
Helen Rodio, 23, is a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey. Helen has a strong dance background and spent last summer traveling the country teaching middle school and high school dance teams with Universal Dance Association. Currently, Helen is teaching first grade at Folsom Elementary School. This is her second year at the Friends for Life conference, and she is thrilled to be back!
Shayne Weldon has been involved in JDRF UK since 2003. She has attended Friends for Life Orlando with husband Ashley and daughter Phoebe, who was diagnosed with type 1 in 2001. This year, as she has done at previous Friends for Life UK conferences, Shayne will assists in coordinating and providing childcare for the 'under 6' group. Shayne has been a Community Nursery Nurse in the UK since 2004 and a healthcare professional since 1981. In her spare time, she enjoys horse riding, reading, movies, and listening to music.
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
Last Updated: Monday February 24, 2014 14:36:22
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