Our Registration Team helps everyone with their badges and t-shirts and questions
Julia Mattingly is proud mom of Hannah and Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in July of 1998 at 10 months old and started pumping when he was three years old. Julia has attended every Friends for Life conference and most of the regionals as well. Julia coordinates registration at each conference, and you can always find her when you need a smile and hug. Julia loves coordinating registration and being able to meet and talk to everyone who attends. Her favorite Friends for Life memory is from 2000 when she met all of her CWD email moms in Orlando for the first time. She also loves to see the smiles on her children’s faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer. "Coming to Friends for Life has changed our lives, I have friends that 'get it' and what we as moms go through. But mostly it has helped teach Ethan how to take care of himself, to live his best life on his own and taught us all how to give back to the CWD community."
Lynet Fox is the mother of three girls, Marisa (29), Jessica (27), and Erica (25), and Granna to three grandsons. She attended her first Friends for Life Orlando conference in 2004 after Erica was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She has not missed a Friends for Life Conference since first attending. Her daughter Jessica was diagnosed in December 2010 at the age of 16. Lynet currently is a stay at home grandma. The entire family looks forward to conference in Orlando each summer. She has volunteered in different capacities at Friends for Life conferences over the past 18 years.
Rob Freund, RN, EMT-P, is a career EMS lieutenant/paramedic for the Baltimore County Fire Department. He has also been in the field of emergency medical care for almost 20 years as an ER nurse. He attended his first Friends for Life Orlando conference in 2012 and was greatly impressed with the educational programs offered.
Brenda Hitchcock is mom to Marissa (dx’d at 24 months), Kathryn, and Tim. She’s worked side-by-side with her husband Jeff on Children with Diabetes since it began in 1995. Brenda brings a mom’s perspective to diabetes care, assists in preparing links for The Weekly Diabetes email newsletter, and helps out in countless ways at Friends for Life conferences.
Midge McBryant is grandma (Mimi) to Jeremy Meredith (dx'd 5/2000) and to Chelsea and Bailey. She is enjoying retirement after working many years as a real estate paralegal. Midge loves baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays! She has been attending Friends for Life Orlando conferences since 2003 and has been on staff in childcare for the past few years. She enjoys working with the "Little Ones" and is very happy to be a part of the Friends For Life Family!
Shari Michaelson hails from Ajax, Ontario. Along with son Tayler (age 26, diagnosed in 2004) and daughter Connor (age 14), Shari has attended Friends for Life conferences since 2009. After their first FFL Orlando, Shari realized that every summer has to include FFL. Shari looks forward to volunteering with the Registration Team again this summer after being the lead of the Registration Team at FFL Canada this past November. She is thrilled to give back to an organization that has supported her family for so many years. Friends for Life is a uniquely inclusive event where you feel like everyone is family.
Betty Parker, a CWD grandma who lives in Manning, South Carolina, has been coming to Friends for Life conferences since 2004. She has four grandchildren, including Joshua who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2003. Betty has also attended three regional conferences in Marco Island and the Quilt for Life display in Washington D.C. Betty enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, playing tennis, exercising, reading and traveling. She is very happy to volunteer with the registration staff this year.
Brandy Schmidt is a mother of two, Brandon, dx'd 1997, and Rhiannon, dx'd 2009. When Brandon was diagnosed, Brandy came home from the hospital and found the CWD page and chat room on the first search. Brandy has been addicted to CWD from the very beginning. She has been an advocate for all military families dealing with diabetes and other special needs. Brandy is currently enrolled in college hoping to eventually make it through nursing school. Brandy lives in Coastal North Carolina with her husband, Jeffrey after he retired from the Marine Corps. They currently have four dogs.
Rhiannon Schmidt, age 21, attends Louisiana State University, majoring in Anthropology. She also plays the trumpet in The Golden Band from Tiger Land. Rhiannon attended her first Friends for Life conference when she was four years old, and she and her family have been attending them ever since. Rhiannon has been insulin resistant for 13 years. She looks forward to being staff for a fourth year and making new Friends for Life.
Tracey Smith is mom to Kylee and Joshua, and they live in Suwanee, Georgia. Joshua was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2003 at the age of three. With all of the overwhelming information given to her as a newly diagnosed mom, Tracey found comfort in the Children with Diabetes website. In 2004, the entire Smith family including Mimi, Betty Parker, attended their first Friends For Life conference in Los Angeles, California. That was all it took to realize that this is where her family needed to be every summer to make life a little easier on everyone. Tracey has since volunteered at every Friends for Life conference. Her favorite time of the year is the Children with Diabetes conference where she reconnects with friends and greets everybody as they check in at the Registration Desk.
Indicates Registration Team member with diabetes