CWD in the Community

January 31, 2024

Children with Diabetes (CWD) began as a grassroots organization of families with diabetes looking for information and support. While CWD has grown into an internationally recognized brand, we continue to participate in local events for people and families with diabetes whenever possible, given the value of connecting as a community.

We believe community matters.

The very foundation of CWD was creating an online community for people with diabetes and their loved ones. Jeff Hitchcock, CWD’s founder, recognized how powerful it was to connect with other parents after attending a family diabetes camp with his daughter. In the early days of the Internet, he built an online space where people could tell their stories, ask questions, and help each other navigate diabetes at various stages.

Over almost 30 years, CWD has seen firsthand how impactful being connected to other people with diabetes can be. From the families who drag their teen to Friends for Life kicking and screaming, then finding their teen does not want to leave at the end of the conference to the adults with diabetes creating lifelong bonds, CWD intends to help ensure everyone with diabetes finds their community.

We believe everyone deserves access to a diabetes community.

Attending local community events and support groups near CWD’s “corporate headquarters” in the Cincinnati, Ohio area has been a wonderful opportunity to discuss Friends for Life (FFL) conferences as opportunities to connect with more families and learn from the sessions. We also recommend local camps for those who cannot attend FFL conferences and suggest they apply for scholarships for either if cost is the barrier. We also give information about upcoming online chats, such as our MoFFL chats.

We believe people with diabetes should feel empowered.

One of the fundamental goals of CWD is to ensure that people with diabetes and their families feel empowered to live healthy, enriched lives. We want people to feel comfortable wearing diabetes devices in public and advocating for themselves when facing challenges. At the community events, we also provide information about the Journey Awards and show examples of each award so attendees can sign up to receive one if they have earned one. My journey award sits by my desk so that when diabetes gets me down, I can remind myself how far I’ve come in my diabetes journey.

We believe in access to unbiased information.

There is SO much information online these days, and at CWD, we work diligently to ensure all of the information we put on CWD’s website is evidence-based and unbiased. We want people with diabetes and their families to have access to this information no matter where they live and what kind of doctor they see. There are nowhere near enough endocrinologists to support all the people with diabetes in the world, so having access to information that will help people with their diabetes management is imperative.

Since many people who use the CWD website as a resource do not attend FFL conferences, we hope to provide up-to-date information on new technologies, laws, tools, and resources for anyone who needs it. At the diabetes community events, we focus on giving people the information they need or want; sometimes, that’s signing up for our weekly newsletter, and other times, it’s going to a Friends for Life conference. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, we hope to help make your diabetes journey a little bit easier.

Written and clinically reviewed by Marissa Town, RN, BSN, CDCES