Friends for Life® Indianapolis 2020
Coming to Friends for Life means you'll immediately be welcomed, celebrated, and inspired by this community. Our presenters are world-renowned clinicians, physicians, and community experts that will walk you through the latest in diabetes care and support. You'll learn about cutting-edge diabetes management concepts, participate in discussion groups with your peers, and find motivation and inspiration alongside your fellow PWD and caregivers.
We keep saying "this is a conference you'll never forget!" because it's true: attending Friends for Life means you're not alone and that you're part of the CWD family. Come hang out with us in Indianapolis!
Registering for the Conference
Every participant needs to register for the conference
Registration pricing for everyone age 6 and older:
- Early registration - $155 through November 30, 2019
- Regular registration - $165 through March 26, 2020
- Full registration - $185 on site beginning March 27, 2020
- Children ages 0-5 are $50
Registering for the hotel only registers you for a hotel room and registering for the conference only registers you for the conference itself.
All sessions for adults and children ages 6-17
Kiddie Kove for children ages 5 and under
Friday evening reception
Saturday breakfast, lunch, and morning/afternoon beverage and snack breaks
Sunday breakfast, lunch, and morning/afternoon beverage and snack breaks
One t-shirt per person
Cancellation Policy: Cancellations prior to March 1, 2020 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. Beginning March 1, 2020, no refunds are available.
The weekend program is designed to offer a variety of educational sessions all day Saturday and Sunday. Following sessions, late afternoon and into the evening, there will be free time. During some sessions, there will be a choice of speakers. The program will end late afternoon on Sunday.
The Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station is now accepting reservations for Friends for Life Indianapolis 2020. Rooms are $159/night + tax. You may reserve a room by calling 877-270-1393 or by using the Crown Plaza's online reservation system.
Please make sure to state that you are with the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Indianapolis 2020 conference. Subject to availability of group rate rooms, you may reserve guest rooms at these rates for three days prior to and following the conference. Check-in is 3:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m. Paid parking is available.
Note that there is a conference registration fee per person and that reserving a room does not register you for the conference. Rates vary according to the date of registration.
Cut off for hotel reservations within the Friends for Life conference group is March 1, 2020.
Cancellations prior to March 1, 2020 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. Beginning March 1, 2020, no refunds are available.
Should I Attend?
CWD has invited some of the top experts in the research and clinical care to share their ideas with you. In addition to the scheduled presentations, the conference faculty will be available during meals and breaks for more personalized discussion. Our faculty are very approachable - don't be shy about asking questions! This is a time to discuss anything on your mind relating to diabetes management. It's a great opportunity to network, share ideas, and interact with CWD's most wonderful and caring professionals!
"How can you not feel good about managing diabetes when you’re in that environment, soaking in the newest research, getting the chance to see cutting-edge technology up close, and connecting with new friends and old who just get it?"
Is FFL just for children and their families?
Friends for Life® began when Laura Billetdeaux asked CWD families if they wanted to vacation together. That annual gathering turned into the conference it is today, and includes T1 adults, grandparents teens, tweens and toddlers, and siblings.
But Friends for Life is not just for children. Friends for Life brings together all kinds of people impacted by diabetes, providing support and education for children, adults, caregivers, spouses, and friends. There's no limit to our community, or the inspiration you'll find there.
Thinking about attending? There's something for everyone, from the newly diagnosed family to the folks who have been living with diabetes for decades.
Families & Individuals
with type 1 diabetes including toddlers, tweens, teens, and young adults, including siblings
and their significant others, children, and friends
Grandparents and Other Caregivers
who are supporting their family members with type 1 diabetes
who, even though they don't have diabetes, they still live with diabetes
Health Care Professionals
who work with type 1 diabetes (CEUs are not offered)
" Sometimes, when days are kind of rough, I’ll put on a green bracelet to remind myself that I am not alone. "
FRIDAY, MARCH 27 - 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Registration and Reception / Exhibits Open
Registration Opens at 6:00 — Exhibits and Food Open at 7:00
SATURDAY, MARCH 28 - 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buffet breakfast, numerous presentations, buffet lunch & refreshment breaks throughout the day. Youth events all day. Dinner on your own.
SUNDAY, MARCH 29 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Buffet breakfast, numerous presentations, buffet lunch & refreshment breaks throughout the day. Youth events all day.
Faculty, Experts & Youth Staff
CWD has invited some of the top experts in the diabetes community to share their experience and wisdom with you. In addition to the scheduled presentations, the conference faculty will be available during meals and breaks for more personalized discussion. Our faculty are very approachable - don't be shy about asking questions! This is a time to discuss anything on your mind relating to diabetes management. It's a great opportunity to network, share ideas, and interact with CWD's most wonderful and caring professionals!
Collector of Orange and Green Wristbands, Leigh Fickling is the Executive Director of the Disability Management System at Duke University and Health System. With over 20 years of higher education administration experience, Leigh is an expert in college and workplace accommodations for individuals with disabilities. As a former solo legal practitioner, Leigh’s law firm specialized in education law, disability law, and family law. Leigh is the mom to twins, Ava (green band) and Davis (orange band), and can most often be found in the FFL hallways shouting, “SLOW DOWN!” Leigh feels that FFL is the number one most important tool in her diabetes tool kit and can’t imagine trying to dia-beat-this without the strong support from her friends for life. FFL Conferences are the highlight of the year for the Fickling family and they can’t wait to welcome new and returning families into their circle of friends! #greenandorangeforlife
George Huntley is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Theoris Group, Inc., a professional services and software company based in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices throughout the US and Europe. He has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1983 and has been an active volunteer in the fight against diabetes since 1986. George has held many leadership roles with the American Diabetes Association including Chair of the National Board of Directors. George is a founding member and current officer of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council, a 501c3 organization dedicated to patient advocacy to improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes. George also serves on the board of Children with Diabetes.
R. Stewart Perry grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. Since 1983 he has been the co-owner of Perry & Perry State Farm Insurance, one of the largest State Farm Insurance agencies in the state of Kentucky and is a Diabetes Consultant and Advocate. Stewart’s family has been dramatically affected by diabetes. His son has type 1 diabetes, both parents, and sister have all had diabetes during their lifetime. He has lost an uncle, grandfather and great grandmother to complications of diabetes. Stewart was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1990. Since that time, he has been actively involved in the American Diabetes Association. Stewart was the Chairman of the National Board of Directors and Chair of the National Advocacy Committee for five years, He was Chair Bluegrass Chapter for a number of years and helped organize many of the fundraising events still in existence. He served as the Kentucky Affiliate Board of Vice-Chair and was Chair-Elect when it became a part of the Southern Region where he served as the Chair of the Southern Region. He also is a former member of the National Board of Directors. He is the State of Kentucky State Advocacy Chair for ADA. Stewart is a member of the Kentucky Diabetes Network and a founding member of the Fayette County Diabetes Collation. Stewart was appointed by two different Governors of Kentucky to the GET FIT KY Board and The Diabetes Research Trust Fund Board where he currently still serves. Stewart is one of the founders of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council and currently serves as an officer of that organization where he has been instrumental in passing Diabetes Action Plan legislation in 18 states over the past four years. Stewart serves on the board of Children with Diabetes.
Matthew Point, MS, is a Development Manager for the Eastern PA Chapter of JDRF International. Prior to joining JDRF International, Matt worked in higher education administration and, he holds a Bachelor’s in Spanish and a Master’s in Higher Education. As part of his role on campus, he managed special accommodations for housing and dining plans for students with disabilities or dietary restrictions, and he was also responsible for all on-campus emergency management. Matt began attending CWD events in 2013 to support his partner, Brian, who has type 1 diabetes. Matt looks forward to attending every conference, specifically to see all of his “type 3” friends (significant others of people with type 1) and to learn about new technology.
Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services, a practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy and advanced education for children and adults. He and his staff provide consultations throughout the world via phone and the internet. Gary is a Masters-level exercise physiologist. He has been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 19 years, and served as the 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year. He has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years and makes personal use of insulin pump therapy and CGM. Gary has written dozens of articles for diabetes trade publications and six books, including the popular Think Like A Pancreas – A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin. He lectures nationally and internationally for people with diabetes as well as professionals in the healthcare industry. In addition to serving on the faculty of Children With Diabetes and the Board of Directors for JDRF, Gary volunteers for the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Sisters, and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has been happily married for 25 years and has four wonderful kids. A fitness fanatic, he enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling and cheering on his Philadelphia sports teams.
Stacey Simms is the host of the award-winning podcast Diabetes Connections and was named one of Diabetes Forecast Magazine’s “People to Know: 2017.” Stacey’s son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2006, one month before he turned two, and Stacey started blogging about her family’s experience with T1D a few week later. For more than a decade, she hosted Charlotte’s Morning News on WBT-AM, the city’s top-rated morning radio news show. Stacey’s been named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s Forty under 40 and as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Mecklenburg County by the Mecklenburg Times.
Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986, diagnosed at the age of seven. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.” Kerri is an internationally recognized diabetes advocate. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, which from May 2005 to May 2019 was one of the most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, caregivers, and industry. She has been featured on NPR, US News and World Report, CBNC, Yahoo! Health, LA Times, The Lancet, Whole Living, Disney’s Family.com, and Family Circle, among other national outlets. In addition to her writing, Kerri is a highly-rated speaker and has presented the patient perspective to audiences around the world. She works to raise awareness for diabetes, patient advocacy, and the influence of social media on health outcomes. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), looks at type 1 diabetes in the context of “real life.” Kerri and her husband live in Rhode Island, USA, with their two children. You can follow her writing and the release of her next projects at KerriSparling.com. Kerri’s participation is part of Tandem Diabetes Care’s Live Life in Full Color speaker series.