Report from Friday
Friday featured the second year of the Spanish-language track. Sponsored by Dexcom, Insulet, and Telemundo Orlando, the Spanish Track offers a day of programming for families whose first language is Spanish. Sessions included diabetes basics, nutrition, and the psychosocial aspects of living well with type 1 diabetes.
Friday strongly featured psychosocial sessions – both in presentation and discussion format – by longtime faculty such as Korey Hood, Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Marisa Hilliard, Henry Rodriguez, Henry Anhalt, Diana Naranjo, and Laura Smith. A couple of new topics for 2017 included "Caring for Siblings" and "Parenting Young Children." The Moms Discussion Group and Dads Discussion Group also drew a big crowd on Friday afternoon, as they always do. The sessions ended with everyone wishing they’d had more time together!
Stacey Simms, who many know as the host of Diabetes Connections, presented the Closing Keynote, "Your Diabetes Connections at Home." Both funny and emotional, Stacey brought home the importance of keeping the diabetes community and support networks present in one’s life, and how easily that can be done with the current resources available to all of us. It was the perfect message, bringing closure to three full days of educational sessions.
In another part of the convention center, the Teens headed off bright and early (very early) on Friday morning for their day at Animal Kingdom! Held every single year, this special teen day encourages the participants to put into practice all of the things they’ve learned and talked about on Wednesday and Thursday at FFL, in the context of a day at the theme park. Accompanied by their teen program staff, including six medical staff, the teens had breakfast at Restaurantosaurus and home base throughout the day at the Dino Lounge. There were strict check-in guidelines throughout the day. They were otherwise free to enjoy the park (including the newly-opened attraction Avatar Land), to make their own choices about lunches and snacks, and to deal with the additional challenges of heat and excitement. Many thanks to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for sponsoring this very special part of the teen program.
Friday evening was a whirlwind of social events – something for everyone! The college-age crew – both participants and youth program staff – had a wonderful dinner together. It was a great opportunity to sit together at the end of a long and exciting week and compare notes before embarking on the Friday night social events.
For the young and young-at-heart, Dexcom sponsored a Family Movie Night, featuring the film Trolls. Dexcom handed out blankets, and there were pillows, popcorn, beverages – and good friends. What could be better?
Tandem Diabetes Care once again sponsored the extremely popular T1 Country Night, a high energy and very fun country-themed evening for T1 adults and their friends. This event draws high praises year after year from those folks who like nothing better than spending an evening with best buddies, enjoying some great food, beverages, games, and music, and in general having a blast. Check out the photos!
Finally, Friday night closed with the Dessert and Posters with the Faculty, sponsored by Ascensia Diabetes Care, which was an opportunity for participants to meet the faculty and researchers face to face and learn about their work and research. This event always goes late into the evening, and we so appreciate the time that our FFL faculty take to answer questions and explain their work in detail. It is such a valuable learning experience because it offers the opportunity to ask about things presented earlier in the conference after one has had the opportunity to reflect and process – it’s simply great follow-up.