The Children with Diabetes Friends for Life (FFL) Conference in Orlando, FL gave me not only friends, but experiences for life. The conference was a perfect combination of networking, education, professional development, personal growth and of course, a lot of fun.
Attending my first conference pushed me out of my comfort zone, but in the best way possible. On the very first morning of FFL, we attended an invitational breakfast with clinicians and leading physicians in the diabetes community. Right off the bat, we were split up into different tables where I was immersed in a group of people I had not yet met. This ended up being one of the most valuable experiences that I had and definitely made the rest of the week seem easy when talking to other adults in the sector. It was powerful how quickly I connected with everyone I met with the shared passion of diabetes.
"That's the power of FFL"
On one of our last evenings in Orlando, we were able to attend the “20th Anniversary Ball”, where attendees are invited to put on their best gowns and ties! When I sat down at my table, I looked around and saw thousands of families with children. I got emotional for a moment because it was such a powerful sight. Each person in that room was there because they either are living with diabetes, care for someone with diabetes or because they want to make an impact on those living with it. Diabetes changes life as you know it, but the positivity, hope and energy that was shared at this conference was astounding. For so many children in attendance, this was the first time they felt fully understood by other people, especially children their own age. That’s the power of FFL.