Children with Diabetes®
Friends for Life
Orlando 2019
July 16 -21, 2019
Disney's Coronado
Springs Resort
FFLOrlando2018-CWD2018-3128-20180713-Hero - copy
Children with Diabetes®
Friends for Life®
Orlando 2019
July 16 -21, 2019
Disney's Coronado
Springs Resort
FFL Orlando 2019 Horizontal 20th X
" One of the most magical times for people with diabetes happens every year in July, with the annual Friends For Life® Conference hosted at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. "

Join us for our 20th Anniversary!

Yes, this year, Children with Diabetes presents our 20th annual Friends for Life conference! Join our international group of world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians, adults, children, and families with diabetes -- including siblings and children of adults with type 1 diabetes -- to learn the most current information in diabetes care. Attend educational sessions and get cutting-edge diabetes management ideas. Participate in discussion groups, share your story, and help motivate and support others who walk in similar shoes. Watch toddlers and teens, college students and professionals, young parents and grandparents, new and practiced diabetes clinicians make new and lifelong friendships. This is a conference you'll never forget! 

Have Questions? We Have Answers!

Do you have questions about the conference?  Visit our Friends for Life Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.  Click the button below!

Join Us

Registration is open!

Speakers at a Glance

Meet our world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians and community members.

Conference at a Glance

Learn more about our educational sessions and shared cutting-edge care and management ideas.

Photo Gallery

Check out the fun activities, world-class speakers, special events, and VIP guests.


View All Sponsors →

Registering for the Conference

Every conference participant needs to register for the conference

Pricing information is online on our Registration Page. Note that pricing information is on a per person basis. Registering for the conference is a separate process from making hotel reservations – please make sure that you do both*.

Regular registration extends until July 1. After that, you may register for the conference on site, and the cost is $200 per person for ages 6 and older, $50 per person for ages 0-5.

*Registering for the hotel only registers you for a hotel room and registering for the conference only registers you for the conference itself.


Registration includes:

All sessions and session materials for adults and children
Childcare for children age 5 and under
Wednesday Grand Opening Reception (6:00 p.m.)
Thursday breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks
Thursday Family and Friends Banquet (dinner)
Friday lunch and snack breaks
Friday Off-Site Day for teens
Saturday events
Sunday Farewell Breakfast
All of the various receptions/socials
(Teen Dance, Tween Social, Dessert with the Faculty)
One t-shirt per registered person


Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations prior to June 1, 2019 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. After June 1, 2019, no refunds are available.

Kiddie Kove for our FFLs age 5 and under

FFLs age 5 and under will enjoy Kiddie Kove, a place to meet other kids and have a lot of fun. Parents need to sign up their kids before hand so we know how many Kiddie Kove staff to bring to Friends for Life Orlando. Use the link below to visit the Kiddie Kove registration form. After you've registered your child, please download, print, and return the medical information sheet. Thanks.

Hotel Information

Hotel Reservation Information

Reserve your room online at www.mydisneygroup.com/ffl2019. You can also order discounted park tickets there.

A few things to note in regard to this online room registration process:

  • Disney’s Online booking site is available for booking, modifying and canceling reservations 24/7. Should you need assistance while booking your reservation, please contact Group Reservations by calling 407-939-4686 during business hours – Monday - Friday.
  • The dates offered on the site for room reservations are those dates that CWD has contracted. If you would like to book hotel nights before or after that, you will need to contact the Housing office to inquire about availability. The room rate is $168/night plus tax.
  • Please put the names and ages for any children in your group under the “other information” section of the guest information landing page.
  • Note that the cut off for reserving a room in the CWD room block is June 14, 2019. After that, the price of the room will go up.

You may book Disney’s Magical Express reservations by visiting www.disneyconventiontickets.com/disneyworld/transportation or by calling (407) 827-6777 with your flight information AFTER your hotel reservation has been entered into the system and you have received the Resort Confirmation email.

For more conference information, including sponsorship and exhibitor information, contact Laura Billetdeaux at 734-353-9294 or [email protected].

Discounted Food and Shopping at Disney Springs

Many shops and restaurants at Disney Springs offer discounts for conference attendees.

Conference Scholarships

Children with Diabetes offers scholarships for families and young adults. Applications must be received by April 15, 2019. Recipients will be notified by May 1, 2019. 


Information for Exhibitors

Details for conference exhibitors, including floor plan, application documents, and registration information.

Read reports from Orlando 2018 and Orlando 2017 to see what the conference is all about

Important Screenings at Friends for Life®

Friends for Life® Orlando offers valuable opportunities to try products including insulin pumps, and important screenings for TrialNet as well as retinal screening.

Insulin Pump Trials

Insulin pump companies offer would-be pumpers a chance to try their products using saline. And if you already use a pump, here's a chance to try out a new one. A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline." If you plan to try more than one pump, be sure to bring a prescription for each.

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information, contact:

Wednesday through Friday in El Paso 2 behind North Registration
Email Janet Tedeschi at [email protected] to sign up and for instructions.

Wednesday through Friday in El Paso 1 behind North Registration
Sign up online at go.tandemdiabetes.com/CWD-Pump-Trial.html

TrialNet Screening

A TrialNet team will be on site performing screenings beginning on Tuesday and continuing through Friday in Central Registration / Laredo 1. Family members who do not have type 1 diabetes can be screened for risk factors and can participate in important clinical trials. For more information about this important study, visit the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet web site.

Retinal Screening

Once again this year, a team of eye care specialists from the Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science from the New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University will be on site performing free, non-mydriatic (no pupil dilation) retinal screenings to kids and adults with type 1 diabetes, beginning on Monday and continuing through Friday in the Acapulco / Baja / Cancun rooms. Pre-conference sign up is required and is done when you register for the conference.


Should I Attend?

"At this conference, dreams come true. It’s where, for one week out of the year, diabetes kids are the cool kids." - Alice Morgan


"This is the power of a community. This is what they meant when they said 'it takes a village.'"

Noor Alramahi

"Friends for Life personally changed my own life. It showed me that there is a place for everybody in this world."

Michelle Auerbach

"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?"

Amy Beven
I'm a T1 and a Friend for Life

" Sometimes, when days are kind of rough, I’ll put on a green bracelet to remind myself that I am not alone. "


Is this just for children and their families?

In 2018, over 2,000 people came from 46 states and a dozen countries, including 700 first-timers.

47% of people with diabetes were adults

Friends for Life® began when our amazing 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 of people with diabetes.


Families & Individuals

with type 1 diabetes including toddlers, tweens, teens and young adults, as well as siblings


Adult T1s

their partners and spouses, and their children and friends

FFL Orlando 2018 sisters


who, even though they don't have diabetes, they still live with diabetes


Grandparents and Other Caregivers

who are supporting their family members with type 1 diabetes


Health Care Professionals

who work with people living with type 1 diabetes (CEUs are not offered)

Why Friends for Life matters ...

"So many green bracelets symbolized those of us living with diabetes. Our loved ones wore orange. And everywhere I turned I didn’t feel the need to explain when I started to beep."  - Cara Richardson


Conference Schedule at a Glance

Day 1

MONDAY, JULY 15 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Move-in day for Registration and Sports Central. Lots of families will be on site already. Wear a T1 t-shirt and find some FFL families at the pool or park! Retinal screening day for staff with T1.

Day 2

TUESDAY, JULY 16 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Registration is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., so pick up your name badge, conference t-shirt, and green/orange bracelets nice and early! Retinal screenings begin for attendees with T1. TrialNet screening begins. Pump Trials begin. It's very easy to find other FFLs – look for the bracelets and conference tees! Sports Central opens. Discussion groups and informal social get togethers will be held to help people meet each other. For Youth Program Staff, training is from noon to 5 p.m. Staff dinner and team-building at Splitsville. 

Day 3

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

First Timers Orientation begins at 9 a.m. (this is for adults; children are invited to participate in their age group activities down the hall). Focus groups, discussions, and presentations will be held all day. Drop-In Youth Program activities for elementary age kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12) are offered in Fiesta 5 and Fiesta 6. Childcare for little ones age 5 and under is available by pre-registration only in Monterrey. The Teen program is a full day of activities in Coronado L-T. Sports Central is open. Screenings (Retinal and TrialNet) continue. Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall opens at 6:00 p.m., in conjunction with a Grand Opening Reception with lots of food. The Quilt for Life opens in the Exhibit Hall.

Day 4

THURSDAY, JULY 18 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Sessions for adults and children are offered all day. Free full day childcare available for 5 and under, preregistration only. Sports Central, Screenings, and Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall is open all day. The Family and Friends Banquet and Dance from 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. – with DJ Miles – includes everyone – no tickets required if you are registered for the conference! This year is our very special Friends for Life 20th Anniversary Ball. Yes, it’s a fancy ball ... dress up… whatever ‘fancy’ means to you. We will have some very special Disney guests for photos and meet-and-greets once the celebration begins.

Day 5

FRIDAY, JULY 19 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Sessions for adults and children all day. Free full day childcare available for 5 and under, preregistration only. Teens are offsite at Epcot Center. (Important note: Teens must attend all four sessions on Thursday in order to participate on Friday); Sports Central and Screenings continue. Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall closes at 4 p.m. There will be a Young Adult Dinner for ages 18-25. Dessert and Posters with the Faculty is back (all ages welcome), as is the T1 Adults Social Event (T1 Adults and their partners) and Family Movie Night (for the younger crowd and their parents). 

Day 6

SATURDAY, JULY 20 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Advocacy Keynote in the morning. Fun at Coronado, or head to a park on your own during the day. Saturday evening features the Teen Dance and Tween Social. The Family Fun Night (for any age) will also be back this year. Sports Central is open until 3:00 pm 

Day 7

SUNDAY, JULY 21 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Farewell breakfast and tearful goodbyes.


Can you show what life with diabetes is really like in 60 seconds or less? Share a glimpse in your diabetes life - highlight the funny, the serious, the insightful, the inspiring … whatever feels right. Use your cell phone, movie camera, or iPad to record. You’re the director!

Videos are due by July 5th, 2019

Focus Groups and Sessions that Require Pre-Registration

These focus groups and sessions require pre-registration. 

Dexcom Filming: Wednesday by Appointment in Coronado B

Dexcom is looking for a few dozen kids ages 4-9 who can tell us what they’re passionate about, what makes them tick, what they’d like other kids to know about them. It could be a skill, a hobby, a special trip they took, a thing they know. We are only requesting a half hour of their time. If they want to bring something that shows what they’re talking about – a picture, a small object, a prop relating to their hobby, feel free! But it’s not necessary. To enter, please submit your child’s name, date of birth, a recent photo or short video, and a sentence explaining what your child would want other kids to know about them (in their own words). Please send to [email protected] no later than Friday, June 14th.

Dexcom Focus Group: Wednesday from 1:30 - 2:45 in Coronado D

Dexcom invites parents, children, and young adults with T1D currently using Dexcom CGM for an interactive group session to help us design next-generation CGM alerts. To register, visit https://ticketbud.com/events/b5b85f70-83cb-11e9-9468-42010a717005.

Omnipod Focus Groups: Wednesday from 9:00 - 10:15 and 10:45 - 12:00 in Coronado C

The Omnipod® Team is looking for adults and parents of children with T1D who take Multiple Daily Injections to participate in a focus group to gather insights for shaping their next-generation automated insulin delivery product, the Omnipod HORIZON™ System. For the 9:00 am group we are looking to talk to adults or parents of kids with T1D who take Multiple Daily Injections. The 10:45 am group of people with T1D who use an Omnipod pump and a CGM is now FULL. To register, visitTo register, visit https://tinyurl.com/dQAFocusGroups.

Insulet Research: Wednesday all day in Coronado Q

Calling caregivers and/or carepartners of multiple children with diabetes!

  • Are you a school nurse, diabetes camp counselor, or parent of multiple children with diabetes?
  • Do you have a lot of experience actively managing multiple kids with diabetes?

If yes, we want to hear from you!!

Insulet would like feedback from these special individuals in order to improve our next generation products. If interested, please complete the brief online questionnaire (https://www.research.net/r/CWD-2019). Please note a confidentiality agreement will be required prior to giving feedback!

Requirements to participate:

Participants will receive a $50 American Express gift card. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Hey Podders™!

Insulet’s Marketing Team is looking for people who currently use the Omnipod® System® to feature on our web site, in social media and more! Come see us in Coronado S on Friday July 19 between 10am - 4pm and share your story! You may be filmed and/or photographed and will be asked to sign release forms. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, email Amy Drauschke, Content and Community Manager, at [email protected].

Roche Focus Group: Wednesday from 9:00 - 10:15 in Coronado N

Taking the Mystery out of Insurance and Pumping. Are you ever frustrated with the insurance process for pumps? Want to help change the way things are? Roche Diabetes Care, Inc. cordially invites caregivers of kids and adults (18 years+) who are experienced pump users or new to pump therapy to join an interactive group session to help design the ideal journey for going through the process of getting an insulin pump. We’ll start by exploring your recent challenges and triumphs. Then we’ll work together to identify the most compelling opportunities, and refine them to best suit your needs. To register, visit https://rochefocusgroup1.eventbrite.com.

Roche Focus Group: Wednesday from 10:45 - 12:00 in Coronado N

Sound off on a new patch pump coming soon! Do you want to help define the next generation of diabetes care technologies and products? In this interactive session you’ll get a sneak peek at some interesting stuff! Roche Diabetes Care, Inc. cordially invites kids, accompanied by a caregiver, and adults taking multiple daily injections to come learn about a new insulin patch pump coming to the market. In this session, we will show you the product, explain its features, and seek your feedback. Please join us and let us know what you think! To register, visit https://rochefocusgroup2.eventbrite.com.

Roche Focus Group: Wednesday from 1:30 - 2:45 in Coronado N

Sound off on a new patch pump coming soon! Do you want to help define the next generation of diabetes care technologies and products? In this interactive session you’ll get a sneak peek at some interesting stuff! Roche Diabetes Care, Inc. cordially invites kids, accompanied by a caregiver, and adults already using an insulin pump to come learn about a new insulin patch pump coming to the market. In this session, we will show you the product, explain its features, and seek your feedback. Please join us and let us know what you think! To register, visit https://rochefocusgroup3.eventbrite.com.

Roche Focus Group: Wednesday from 3:15 - 4:30 in Coronado N

Help us to help you! Explore new ideas to save you time and money with your pump therapy. In this interactive session, you will explore what the future could look like for families and individuals embarking on or continuing an insulin pump journey. We’ll discuss your ideas to alleviate the hassles of insulin pumping – things like pump supplies management, ordering (and re-ordering) supplies, dealing with distributors, and your thoughts around financial assistance solutions in this co-creation session! To register, visit https://rochefocusgroup4.eventbrite.com.

Participants in Roche focus groups will receive a $50 gift card in exchange for their feedback in this market research. Roche Diabetes Care, Inc. is obligated to report any transfer of value as required by federal or state disclosure laws, as applicable.

LifeScan, Inc. Focus Group: Wednesday from 1:30 - 2:45 in Coronado A

LifeScan, Inc. cordially invites children (with their parent or caregiver) who are current CGM users and those interested in CGM to a group session to help understand what is great, not so great and any needs or wants for CGM products. Adults/caregivers of children are welcome to attend with your child, but please only reserve one spot per CGM user / interested in CGM participant. Sign up at https://lifescanincfocusgroup.eventbrite.com.

You will receive a $75 gift card in exchange for your feedback. Unfortunately it is not possible to join the group if anyone in the household works in advertising, marketing/marketing research, pharmaceutical / medical devices or if you are a medical doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional.

University of Florida Reception: Wednesday from 4:30 - 6:00 in Durango 1

After the UF Research Update Session, please join our international group of world-renowned clinicians and researchers for an opportunity to mingle and talk one-on-one with the UF Diabetes Institute team. Ask questions regarding type 1 diabetes care and research while enjoying refreshments and light hors d’ouvres. Please register online at https://giving.ufhealth.org/fflreception/.



Faculty and 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!

Photos from Past FFL Conferences