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.
Disney COVID protocols have been updated. You can read their latest protocols on the Disney website. In an abundance of caution, CWD will continue to require masks for all youth program sessions.
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. Note that Disney's guidelines and protocols change, so please keep up to date.
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.
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
Sunday Farewell Breakfast
All of the various social events
One t-shirt per registered person
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 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]
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.
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.
The exhibit hall is sold out.
Read reports from Orlando 2019 and Orlando 2018 to see what the in-person 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:
Tuesday through Friday in Toluca B
Sign up online at https://www.cvent.com/d/smq7vy
A TrialNet team will be on site performing screenings beginning on Tuesday and continuing through Friday in Cancun. 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.
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 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.
Families & Individuals
with type 1 diabetes including toddlers, tweens, teens and young adults, as well as siblings
Adult Living with T1D
their partners and spouses, and their children and friends
Siblings and Children
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 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.
TUESDAY, JULY 6 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Registration is open from 10 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.
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 L. TrialNet Screenings continue. Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall opens at 6:00 p.m., in conjunction with a modified Grand Opening Reception.
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.
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 pm. Family Movie Night from 7 - 9 pm. Adult Beach Party from 7 - 9 pm. Dessert and Posters with the Faculty from 9-11 pm.
SATURDAY, JULY 10 - 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Family Carnival Night: Veracruz Porte-Cochere and Veracruz ABC, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Join us for old-style carnival games, music, and delicious carnival snacks!
SUNDAY, JULY 11 - 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Farewell breakfast with character meet-n-greets.