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FFL Orlando 2019 Horizontal 20th X

Report from Wednesday

As in past years, Wednesday was a packed day from start to finish, and every inch of space in the Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort convention center was in use! Registration opened at 7:30 am, closed at 9 pm, and had lots of excited attendees checking in all day long.

Many focus groups were held on Wednesday. There was quite an array of topics and discussions extending throughout the day:

  • Sanofi discussed connected devices.
  • Lifescan asked “What do you want in a CGM?”
  • Omnipod discussed DASH and “what’s on the horizon.”
  • Roche presented a new Patch Pump coming soon.
  • Senseonics shared plans for a long-term implantable CGM.
  • Medtronic talked about separation anxiety.
  • Mannkind discussed the future of inhaled insulin.
  • Lilly Diabetes prepared us for severe low blood sugars.
  • Dexcom asked for feedback on CGM Alerts.

There was so much to talk about and share ideas on this year! Many participants also joined CWD facilitators for conversation about CWD’s future, relating to Friends for Life conferences and company sustainability. We appreciated your ideas and feedback!

In addition to the Focus Groups, the Youth Program offered a full day of activities from 9am-4:30pm. The kids enjoyed the extra time with their peers while the parents attended focus groups and sessions. A win all around! Kiddie Kove (ages 0-5) sessions included playing outdoors, music and dancing, movie and rest time. Elementary programming (ages 6-8) included games, fort building and a movie. Tween Programming (ages 9-12) included ice-breakers, Diabetium and a Podding session. The Teen Program (13-17) included ice breakers and a talk from Oren Liebermann about his travels across five continents with one backpack (and a T1D diagnosis!). The Elementary, Tween and Teen programs also all had a session with Dancing with Diabetes (Elizabeth Forrest and her very talented team of instructors and dancers).

The First Timers Orientation was held on Wednesday morning this year. Many thanks to Dexcom for their incredible support.

Wednesday’s adult program offered quite a variety of sessions. Janet Rodriguez led a hands-on pump, pens, glucagon and meter training session for those wanting to familiarize themselves with the tools of type 1. Ryan Gagnon presented his research on the impact of Diabetes Camp. Type 1 Pilot Douglas Cairns shared his amazing story about flying (record-breaking!) with type 1. There were DIY looping sessions and Docu-Diabetes videos. Discussions about Legal Rights with Type 1, and stories of strength and willpower. Dr. Stephen Ponder even joined us for a quick morning at FFL to present a Sugar-Surfing double session to an enthusiastic crowd.

Our Social Meet-Ups on Wednesday included a Mom’s morning walk around the lake, MOFFLs and Waffles, Moms and Margaritas, a Scrambled Dads and Eggs breakfast, and a Young Adult Meet and Greet. Sports Central was also open throughout the day and then offered special evening hours.

At 6:00 p.m. sharp, the Exhibit Hall was ready for the Grand Opening! This year, four very special attendees assisted with the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Max, a first-time attendee from New Zealand (the first time we have ever had an attendee from this country!), Alexandra, another first-timer, Tracey Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Diabetes Association, and Mark Andrews, tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. Countdown … giant scissors … ribbon cut … and the Exhibit Hall was officially open! Following the wild rush of a couple thousand excited people anxious to get into the hall, it settled down to a steady, well-behaved and energetic large crowd all evening and throughout the next couple of days. The sponsors and exhibitors were absolutely wonderful, offering activities, goodies, and information for everyone, whatever age. Our food and beverage team, Jo Stroud, Kristen O’Dell, and Marilyn Fry, along with Disney’s Chef Rob, moved the food inside the exhibit hall this year and it was a well-received change!

It's great to reconnect with FFLs in Orlando
It's great to reconnect with FFLs in Orlando
Dr. Stephen Ponder explained Sugar Surfing
Dr. Stephen Ponder explained Sugar Surfing
The Loop Build Session was packed
The Loop Build Session was packed
Proudly sporting a First Timer ribbon
Proudly sporting a First Timer ribbon
FFL's Retinal Screening is the best in the world
FFL's Retinal Screening is the best in the world
And with that, the ribbon is cut
And with that, the ribbon is cut
Families enjoyed the Grand Opening of the Exhibition Hall
Families enjoyed the Grand Opening of the Exhibition Hall