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!
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.
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
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. Thanks.
Hotel Reservation Information
You may reserve a room online at www.mydisneygroup.com/ffl2019.
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.
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]
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
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
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.
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
" 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
their partners and spouses, and their children and friends
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)
"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
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.
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 and monogenic diabetes screenings begin. 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.
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, TrialNet, Monogenic) 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.
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.
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).
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
SUNDAY, JULY 21 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Farewell breakfast and tearful goodbyes.
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!