Welcome, Friends for Life First Timer!

We’re really glad you’re here. And while it may be your first time at a Friends for Life event, it’s a first time for ALL OF US when it comes to holding this conference virtually, so we’re going to learn together. This page will be updated regularly to reflect frequently asked questions and information about the live, virtual conference events, so be sure to check back and see what’s new. If you review this page, visit our FFL Winter 2020 FAQ page, and still have questions, please reach out to us using our Contact Page.

We’re here to help, and we’re really glad you’re here with us.

See below for links, information, and some history of Children with Diabetes and our Friends for Life events. The conference is virtual this year, but the friends are most certainly “for life.”


MoFFL homepage blog

What is Friends for Life?

Friends for Life is the name of the conferences we hold around the country. Since 2000, we’ve hosted a gathering of friends and families affected by diabetes, bringing them together with world-renowned clinicians and diabetes specialists, diabetes industry partners, and diabetes lifestyle companies for an event that literally changes lives. It’s a place to connect with people who really understand life with diabetes.

Our first FFL hotel had some typo  issues
How did the first Friends for Life start?

Over the last twenty years, Children with Diabetes has been celebrating and educating through our Friends for Life conferences, but the first conference was the answer to one CWD mom’s email asking, “Our family has a vacation planned the first week in June at Disney World. Would anyone like to come with us?”

And when 550 people showed up, they realized they were on to something. Read Laura Billetdeaux’s story about that email and what happened next by clicking the button below.

Marissa Age 2 - Cropped 500W
Why is it called “Friends for Life?”

Our first conference took place in 2000 (see below for that story), and the conference shirts said, "Letting Kids be Kids.” The following year, the t-shirts said, "It's a New Day in Diabetes" (2001). The conference name was in flux … until the conclusion of the 2001 conference.

Just as the 2001 conference was ending, then-teenaged Marissa Hitchcock (Jeff Hitchcock’s daughter, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two), said to Jeff, "I cannot wait until next year when I see all of my friends. It's like they're my friends for life."

And from that moment on, the conference became Friends for Life.

homepage fiffle

What is a Fiffle?

“Fiffles” are the out-loud way of saying the acronym “FFL,” which stands for “Friends for Life.” Whether you call them “eff-eff-ells” or “fiffles,” the connections you make at Friends for Life will help make living with diabetes easier. You can read about the power of Fiffles in Leigh Fickling’s essay, “Won’t You Be My Fiffle?”

Green and Orange Bracelet with FFL Program Crop Square

What’s the deal with the green and orange bracelets?

We’ve mentioned Team Green and Team Orange in a lot of our conference materials, and you’ve probably seen references to green and orange bracelets, too. Essentially, people at Friends for Life conferences can wear two different bracelets to signify their relationship with diabetes: people with diabetes wear a green bracelet, and people who do not have diabetes wear an orange bracelet. You can read the origin story of the green and orange bracelets by clicking the button below.

Families enjoyed the Grand Opening of the Exhibition Hall
What is the exhibit hall?

Before COVID-19, our in-person Friends for Life events included an exhibit hall, featuring sponsors and their informative, fun-for-families booths, spaces where diabetes advocacy organizations and lifestyle companies came together to share their products and information, and a bunch of loud, fun games and giveaways for people to enjoy.

This year, we're not able to replicate that in-person excitement, but our generous sponsors and partners have really upped their digital game, working with the CWD team to create a Virtual Exhibit Hall where attendees can visit with sponsors, get the most current diabetes industry information, and even have some fun. We're proud to be bringing our Exhibit Hall to FFL Winter 2020, and we're really grateful that our sponsors and our supporters have worked with us to see our vision for this year's virtual event come to life.

Support CWD with Your Generous Gift

As Children with Diabetes continues to be a resource for the T1D community, we rely on your support to ensure we are able to deliver our mission, day in and day out, until there’s a cure. Please support the mission of Children with Diabetes by making a gift today. Because caring for diabetes is easier when we do it together.