Teen Programming Staff
After having spent years on the sideline as the "spouse" of one of the faculty members, Neil Benchell decided it was time to get involved with CWD and Friends for Life®. As one of the Teen Staff members, Neil is always in the thick of trying to make the conferences a more memorable experience for all. In addition to his work with CWD, Neil is an attorney practicing in the area of intellectual property litigation, and has represented a number of diabetes-related organizations.
Jake Head age 26, travels the world coordinating shipping, Customs and material handling services for international trade shows. Since his sister was diagnosed when he was eleven, Jake has been actively involved in caring for Phoebe. He has a keen interest in motorcycles and traveling.
Alanna Landry RN, CDE, has been working as a pediatric diabetes nurse educator for 17 years at Markham Stouffville Hospital in Ontario, Canada. She has the privilege of working with 450 families with type 1 diabetes. After attending her first CWD FFL conference in 2004 she was hooked on the incredible experience and wants to continue to share this experience with the wonderful people she has met and encourage as many families as possible to attend. Working with the teen program has been something she looks forward to each year.
Emily Storr has been a Paediatric nurse since 2007 and worked at UCLH, initially on the adolescent unit, and later with the paediatric diabetes team. She is passionate about working with teens, particularly helping them find the ways and motivation to gain good control of their diabetes. She enjoys working through particularly complex and challenging situations, and partnering with patients and families throughout their diabetes journey. Emily teaches both established and newly diagnosed families, as well as nursing and school staff, about good, safe diabetes management that can be incorporated into the daily home routine.
Shayne Weldon attended Friends for Life Orlando in 2008 with husband Ashley Head and daughter Phoebe, who was diagnosed with type 1 in 2001. Phoebe is now 19 and in her second year of a degree in contemporary dance at LCDS, London. Shayne has been a Community Nursery Nurse in the UK since 2004 and a healthcare professional since 1981. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travel, movies, and listening to music.
Tween Programming Staff
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 FFL UK conference.
Martyn Carr lives in Scotland. He is studying his Bachelor of Science Adult Nursing degree at the University West of Scotland. Martyn would eventually like to become a Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN). He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was five years old. Martyn met his wife Chelsea at the Friends for Life Conference in Orlando. Martyn and his family have participated in the Friends for Life conferences and the UK Friends for Life conferences. He has worked with the Elementary, Tween and Teen age groups, and he loves helping out and being with his friends at CWD conferences.
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.
Marc Hillis, 22 from Glasgow, has just completed his BSc in architecture and is continuing to study for his masters degree. He is also an avid campaigner for equal access to insulin pump therapy in Scotland. Marc attended the first CWD uk conference in 2009 where he felt normal for the first time since his diagnosis. He has since attended several conferences in the uk and enjoys seeing other kids experiencing the same sense of community as he does.
Kenny Rodenheiser, BSN, RN, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003. Through his involvement with CWD, ADA, JDRF and other local organizations, he realized his passion is to help people with diabetes learn about their disease and how to cope with it. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Ramapo College of New Jersey and currently works for Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. Kenny is striving to become a Certified Diabetes Educator and hopes to reach that accomplishment within the next two years.
Deb Ruppert's connection to diabetes began in the 1990's when her dad was diagnosed with type 2 and her uncle with type 1. Deb has participated as Sports Central staff at Friends for Life Orlando for several years, and more recently as Tween and Teen program staff. She states, "I feel so lucky to have found CWD and FFL, and I love being able to share what I learn from families who have diabetes as a part of their lives with my own family."
Elementary Programming Staff
Sunshine Abel, LPN, is the mother of Sierra and Sailor. She attended her first CWD conference with her family in 2002, after Sailor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 2. 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 is continuing her education working towards her RN degree. Sunshine has been working as a nurse and leader in the youth programs since 2006.
Chelsea Carr has grown up around diabetes; her brother Jeremy was diagnosed in 2000. She attended her first Friends for Life conference with her family in 2003 and has been to many CWD regional and annual conferences since that time. It was through the FFL conferences that she first met her husband, Martyn. Chelsea now lives in Glasgow and recently completed her masters degree in history at the University of Edinburgh. She loves working with kids and has worked as a dance and acrobatics teacher for young children. She is also an aerialist and spends all of her free time hanging from the rafters on a trapeze!
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.
Chloe Gillum, BSc, RCN, is 22 years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. She is a Qualified Children's Nurse currently working at Bristol Children's Hospital on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and studying for her first masters module in critical care. In 2009, Chloe began using an insulin pump. The same year, she and her family attended the first Friends for Life conference in Windsor, and has since attended five times, as both a member of the teens and a helper with childcare and elementary groups. This year Chloe looks forward to helping with the elementary children again.
Jack Gillum attended his first Friends For Life Conference in 2009, the first UK conference. Jack has an interest in type 1 diabetes from when his sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. Jack is a fundraiser and is a T1 Youth Ambassador for JDRF UK. Jack enjoys debating and swimming in his free time. He is looking forward to volunteering in the youth faculty again this year.
Intissar Ben Halim, MSS, is mom to Maryam, Zakariyya, Abdalla, and Yaseen, and wife to Nabil. She and her family been involved with CWD conferences since 2004. She enjoys meeting other CWD parents and families and sharing stories and challenges. Intissar loves her work as a clinical social worker at a nonprofit agency in West Chester, Pennsylvania, as well as her work as an associate at Cultivating Wholeness, a private practice in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. She and her family reside in King-of-Prussia.
Carolyn Billetdeaux has been attending FFL conferences since the age of 13. After growing up through the Teen and College Age programs, she now works as Coordinator of the Sibling Program. She presents diabetes as a family disease and focuses on sharing the sibling side of the experience. Carolyn majored in management and organizational behavior at New York University, and currently works as a Sustainability Consultant in the metro-DC area.
Rebecca Thompson RSCN BSc MSc is a Nurse Consultant for paediatric and adolescent diabetes at University College London Hospital. She has been supporting children and adolescents and their families living with diabetes since 1997, with the service now supporting 450 children and young people with diabetes (using MDI and pumps). The service won awards in 2011, for quality and efficiency and 2014 for initiatives to support self-care. Rebecca is involved in a number of national groups looking at the education and competencies of health care professionals within diabetes and Insulin Pump therapy.
Mary Bulgarelli, RN, BSN, CDE, has served as the childcare coordinator since the very first CWD conference. Mary leads a team of certified diabetes educators providing care and fun in a safe environment for kids under age five 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 diabetes management. Mary has devoted her career to the world of medicine. As a graduate of Eastern University and Presbyterian School of Nursing, Mary currently works as a pediatric endocrine speciality nurse and has been a CDE over 20 years! 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!
Phoebe Head, age 20, graduates from the London Contemporary Dance School in 2016 after a three-year degree course studying contemporary dance and working with some of the finest choreographers in the world. Attending Friends for Life since 2008, Phoebe is keen to share her experiences and show others that diabetes doesn't stop you following your dreams.
Rebekah Sutherland was diagnosed with T1 immediately after her 3rd birthday in 1998, attended her first CWD UK conference in 2010, her first CWD Orlando conference in 2013 and has attended both ever since, now as a member of the childcare team. Bex studies Social Science at Aberdeen College in Scotland with a view to becoming a Diabetes Psychologist and Educator. She is a JDRF T1 Youth Ambassador, and, since she was 13, has delivered many speeches on Life with Diabetes at business lunches, a JDRF Ball, to Oil Industry employees, at fund-raising events, school assemblies and competitions. She also talks to parents of newly diagnosed T1s to show them that despite T1 you can still achieve your dreams and ambitions; she now speaks to the second year medical students at Aberdeen University. In her spare time she is a swimming teacher, loves reading books, swimming, going to the gym, spending time with her dogs and keeping up with her friends wherever they are in the world.
Friends for Life UK 2015 Conference and Expo Introduction - Registration - Faculty - Youth Faculty - Nightscout Faculty Schedule - Youth Schedule - Nightscout Parts List FFL UK Reports from 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Last Updated: Tuesday September 29, 2015 19:45:22
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