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."
Helen Finegold attended her first Friends for Life conference in 2018 and has been coming back as a volunteer ever since. She lives and works in Connecticut with her husband Will (dx 2004). Helen looks forward to FFL each year to learn about new technologies and reconnect with friends new and old. Outside of working with Children with Diabetes, Helen enjoys photography, travel, and spending time with her two cats.
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.
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.
Hannah Mattingly is the older sister to Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998. Hannah and her family have been to all the Friends for Life Orlando conferences, and many of the regional conferences. Hannah started in childcare at four years old and moved through all the youth programs. She graduated from Spalding University in Louisville Kentucky with a MBA in Health Science & Healthcare Management. Hannah is excited to continue in registration this year to welcome the attendees and reconnect with all her Friends for Life. She likes giving back to the CWD community and is happy her brother has learned how to take care of himself with all the advancements in diabetes.
Midge McBryant is grandma (Mimi) to Jeremy Meredith (dx’d 5/2000), Chelsea, and Bailey, and great grandma to Owynn. She is enjoying retirement after working several years as a real estate paralegal. She loves baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays! She enjoys learning to make pottery items. Midge has attended all Friends For Life Orlando conferences since her first in 2003. She has volunteered for several years in various capacities. She spent her first three conferences attending sessions, learning about type 1 diabetes, and sharing her fears, guilt, and hopes with new friends who “Get It.” Midge is so happy to be a part of the Registration Team again this year. She loves giving and receiving hugs!
Shari Michaelson hails from Ajax, Ontario. Along with son Tayler (diagnosed in 2004) and daughter Connor, Shari has attended Friends for Life conferences since 2009. After their first FFL Orlando, she realized that every summer has to include FFL. Shari looks forward to volunteering with the Registration Team again this summer. She is thrilled to give back to an organization that has supported her family for so many years. To her, Friends for Life is a uniquely inclusive event where you feel like everyone is family.
Rachale Park has recently graduated from Valencia College with a B.S. in Business and Organizational Leadership. She currently works for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Rachale grew up with a mother who has had diabetes since the age of 11 and a 15 year old brother, who has had type 1 diabetes for 12 years. By volunteering at Friends for Life conferences, Rachale hopes to help lots of children, both siblings and kids with type 1, learn about diabetes and the diabetes community.
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 Team this year.
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.
Gwen Sutherland is a volunteer on both sides of the pond, having attended her first Friends for Life UK Conference in 2010 after being encouraged to attend when daughter Rebekah (Dx T1D 1998 aged 36 months) received her pump training. In 2013, Gwen and Bex attended their first Orlando conference and she has been on the registration team ever since. Gwen lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, with her husband David; they have four children Jamie, Gemma, Sarah, and Rebekah, and are doting grandparents to Aaden, who was born in May 2016. Gwen is a founding Trustee, and Chairperson of T-1 Today UK, and is instrumental in organising the UK Conferences.
Indicates Registration Team member with diabetes