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" 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 in Orlando!

After careful consideration, we're bringing Friends for Life back to Orlando, in-person! This summer, Children with Diabetes presents our 22nd annual Friends for Life conference, taking place in Orlando, Florida! Join our dedicated 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 kids and teens, college students and professionals, young parents and grandparents, new and practiced diabetes clinicians, all make new and lifelong friendships. We'll be together, while working to keep one another safe and sound.

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!

If you've been to Disney World before, it might not look the same. Be sure to read these important messages from Disney.

Know Before You Go: New Health and Safety Requirements
Directions to set-up a My Disney Experience (MDX) Account
Know Before You Go: Your Resort Hotel Stay
How to Make a Disney Park Pass Reservation
Friends for Life Ticket Store/Book a Room
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Join Us

Registration is open!

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Speakers at a Glance

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

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Conference at a Glance

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

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Photo Gallery

Check out the photo gallery from our last FFL Orlando conference

THANKS TO THIS YEAR'S SPONSORS

Learn More About Our Sponsors
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Registering for the Conference

Every conference participant needs to register for the conference

Registering is $200 per person for ages 6 and older, $50 per person for ages 2-5.

For 2021, due to COVID mitigation protocols, we are unable to provide Kiddie Kove programming for our youngest Fiffles - children under the age of 24 months. In an abundance of caution, kids under the age of 24 months are not permitted in the conference center.

Families who bring children younger than 24 months may be able to book in-room childcare through Disney’s preferred program, Kids Nite Out: https://kidsniteout.com/in-room-sitter/

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

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Registration includes:

All sessions and session materials for adults and children
Kiddie Kove for children ages  2-5
Wednesday Grand Opening of the Exhibition Hall (6:00 p.m.)
Thursday breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks
Thursday Family and Friends Banquet (dinner)
Friday breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks
Friday Off-Site Day for teens
Saturday events
Sunday Farewell Breakfast
All of the various receptions/socials (specifics TBD)
One t-shirt per registered person

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Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations prior to June 1, 2021 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. After June 1, 2021, no refunds are available.

Virtual Conference Plans

With limits on registration this year due to COVID, we plan to live stream and record several "main stage" sessions and to have several virtual meeting rooms to connect with your far away FFLs. Registration for virtual attendees will open closer to the start of the conference. More details to come.

Hotel Information

Hotel Reservation Information

VERY IMPORTANT: Booking a room at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort does not mean that you are registered for the conference. Please register for the conference first and then book your hotel room. FFL Orlando 2021 will have reduced capacity this year due to COVID mitigation protocols. We expect the conference to sell out, and we will not be accepting in person registrations at the conference.

Reserve your room online at www.mydisneygroup.com/cwd21. 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 $176/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 15, 2021. 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]

Conference Scholarships

Children with Diabetes offers scholarships for families and young adults. Applications must be received by May 15, 2021. Recipients will be notified by June 1, 2021, at which time they will be provided with instructions on how to register for the conference.

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Information for Exhibitors

Details for conference exhibitors, including floor plan, application documents, and registration information. All exhibitors must register and complete a COVID liability waiver.

Read reports from Orlando 2019 and Orlando 2018 to see what the in-person conference is all about

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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

LeighFickling2019TR

FFL is always important to everyone but now, even more than before, it’s “essential.” We need our community and we need normalcy. FFL in July is normalcy. We can’t let COVID take that from us, too. It may look different but it will still be the same for so many of us.

Leigh Fickling
CWD Mom
MichelleAuerbach2018TRV2

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

Michelle Auerbach
PWD
AmyBevan2015TR

"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
CWD Mom
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. "

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Is this just for children and their families?

In 2019, over 2,027 people came from 41 states (plus DC and PR) and seven other countries, including 510 first-timers.

48% 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.

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Families & Individuals

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

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Adult Living with T1D

their partners and spouses, and their children and friends

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Siblings and Children

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

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Grandparents and Other Caregivers

who are supporting their family members with type 1 diabetes

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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

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Conference Schedule at a Glance

Day 1

MONDAY, JULY 5- 9:00AM - 4:00PM

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

Day 2

TUESDAY, JULY 6 - 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! 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 7 - 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. Kiddie Kove for little ones ages 2-5 is in Monterrey. The Teen program is a full day of activities in Coronado M-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 modified Grand Opening Reception.

Day 4

THURSDAY, JULY 8 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Sessions for adults and children are offered all day. Screenings and Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall is open all day. The Family and Friends Banquet begins at 6:30 with an abbreviated program. Watch for more information about other evening social events.

Day 5

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

Sessions for adults and children all day. Teens are offsite at Splitsville in the afternoon. Screenings continue. Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall closes at 4 p.m. Dessert and Posters with the Faculty in the evening. Additional social events are in the works.

Day 6

SATURDAY, JULY 10 - 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's social events will look different this year -- details to follow.

Day 7

SUNDAY, JULY 11 - 9:00AM - 11:00AM

Farewell breakfast and tearful goodbyes.

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Photos from Past FFL Conferences

Our Sponsors Make Friends for Life Possible