I have a million things I want to talk about regarding my first ever Children With Diabetes (CWD) Friends For Life (FFL) conference. I’ve been trying to sort it all out in my head before starting to write about it, but that’s not working for me. I’m just going to jump in and get started.
I am really hoping to keep my posts about it short and sweet, so I’ll cover little slices or aspects of it each time.
Before I get too far into my CWD FFL experiences, I need to give thanks to the people who made it possible for me to attend.
First on my list is my dad. My dad has been my number one supporter, and encourages me to chase my dreams. I can’t say enough about how motivating it is to have his support and dreams right there with me. He helped me cover expenses for the extra nights at the hotel and all the other “little” expenses that come up while traveling. Thanks dad!
I also need to thank the group at Roche who coordinated the 2010 Roche Social Media Summit. They scheduled it at the same hotel & conference center, and coordinated the timing of it so we were done by the time the FFL conference started. Without them getting me down there for the summit (covering travel), I never would have been able to afford getting there for FFL. Thanks to Todd, Lisa, Rob, and everyone else at Roche who made that possible for me.
What I Knew Going In
I think I’ve been aware of Children With Diabetes for a long time, and recognized them as a group of parents helping families with type 1 diabetes. I was never much involved with the online activities and forums though, maybe because I was already “grown up”? I also didn’t get too involved with the online community around diabetes back then – times were different, you know? In my head I always saw them as a group of good people doing good things. I respected them.
Looking back, I sure wish I would have gotten involved a LOT sooner. The people who make CWD who they are, and all of the families that participate in the forums and local events are all amazing people. Amazing people working to help everyone with type 1 diabetes.
I spent almost five years working at Smiths Medical with the Cozmo insulin pump. Through my time there I learned that this conference was a big deal for companies interested in marketing to people with type 1 diabetes. This conference was the one that Smiths put the most effort behind each year. My experiences at Smiths helped me see that while the name of the organization behind the conference is “Children With Diabetes“, that really means that most everyone there will be touched by type 1 diabetes and will be taking insulin.
Sounds like my type of crowd.
This Place Is HUGE
We were busy with Roche most of the day Tuesday, but I took advantage of some of the breaks to head down and check-in with CWD. Walking towards the registration desk, the sheer size of this place started to sink in…
There is a corner way down there, and even another hallway about this long. Incredible.
Little did I know, the epic size of things wouldn’t really register until Thursday morning…