First Timers Team

Our First Timers Team helps new Fiffles get the most out of the conference

David Jarcho has been a CWD Dad since 2011. His son was diagnosed at age 12 in 2010. Like most dads, David attended his first Friends for Life Orlando conference to support his son and family and learn all he could about type 1 diabetes. The experience was life-changing and he has volunteered at Friends for Life ever since. You can find David at the First Timers area (near Registration), welcoming new families to the Friends for Life community.

Marie Jarcho lives in Connecticut with her husband David and son Max (dx'd 2010, now in college). At their first FFL conference nine years ago, they saw immediately how impactful all the support they found there would be to living well with type 1 and the family has been helping out ever since. Marie is the coordinator of the Buddy Program for First Timers, is on the First Timer's Orientation Team and helps out at Registration welcoming FFL attendees. Back at home she works in Logistics for a battery/energy storage company.

Lauren Lanning

Lauren Lanning is the very proud mom of Monica, dx 8/96, a recent Physician Assistant graduate, and Sarah, an engineer. Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after Monica was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the conferences since the very first gathering in Orlando in 2000, where she volunteered to make name badges. Since then, Lauren has run Registration and then the Elementary program. This year, Lauren is excited to continue as leader of the MOFFLs and First Timers. She lives in Colorado and loves traveling, riding her bicycle and volunteering as a JDRF Ride coach.

Tina Ghosn has three children with diabetes. Her daughter completed two undergraduate degrees this spring and will begin working toward her graduate degree this fall. Her oldest son completed his second year of college, and her youngest will begin his first year of college this fall. Tina isn’t entirely sure how she will cope with an empty nest; thank goodness for three dogs, three cats, and a whole lot of friends. FFL 2023 will be her 11th FFL Orlando conference since her youngest son was diagnosed in 2007. Tina says, “Friends For Life is more than learning about new technology or the most recent cure research, it’s more than meeting people with diabetes who summit mountains, race cars, win extreme challenge courses, become pro-athletes, or write and perform music. Friends For Life is about the powerful feeling in your chest as you hear the words ‘Us, too’ while you chat with strangers who are just like you and meet kids who are just like yours; it’s in those moments the universe feels smaller and more manageable.”

Marty Kamrada retired from Disney in 2018. He had the privilege of working with the Friends for Life Conference Staff on the Hotel arrangements at Coronado Springs starting in 2001. Through the years he gained an enormous respect for CWD’s commitment and passion for education and support to families with type 1. He has observed how the conference makes a positive impact on the families who attended. As Orlando residents, Marty and Sally are honored to return in 2021 for their second year as volunteers. Both have a family history of diabetes and Marty has type 2.

Sally Kamrada is a Friends for Life conference volunteer for a second year. "Having several family members with diabetes, I am grateful to be a part of this conference. The incredible information sharing, supportive environment and networking provides something for everyone attending to change their lives for the better - forever." Sally is a Broker Associate - Realtor in Orlando. She joins her husband, Marty as a volunteer.

Tom Karlya, Senior Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad. He's the creator/author of www.diabetesdad.org, a daily syndicated column. His daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed at age two in 1992. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom is known for his advocacy for the rights of PWD including better insulin prices and also the missed-diagnosis of T1D.

Pam Loebner was a California public elementary school teacher who worked in both special education and regular education classrooms for 38 years. Since becoming a CWD mom, Pam has assisted the district nurse with education for families and teachers when newly diagnosed or newly enrolled students arrive. While always working as an advocate for student needs, Pam focuses on being an advocate for equal access to all school activities for children with diabetes. Pam and her family discovered the CWD website 30 minutes after her daughter's diagnosis in June 2002 when Sarah was 9 1/2, and attended their first conference just a month later. "It was like coming home," she says.

Lauren Salko lives in Park City, Utah and is graduate of Saint Anselm College. Lauren is professional skier who competes around the world in SkiCross. When she is not skiing, Lauren loves mountain biking and doing triathlons. As a person with diabetes, Lauren is very passionate about working with Children with Diabetes and could not be more excited to be a part of the First Timer staff this year!


Indicates First Timer Team member with diabetes