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Jen Hanson, RKin, MED, OCT, CDE has grown up with type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed in 1987, she has never let diabetes stop her from pursuing her passion. Jen’s early beginnings of camping and adventure sparked in her a love for the natural world that has been fostered and frown into a full-blown passion for everything outdoors. Jen has degrees in Kinesiology and Education and specializes in Outdoor and Experiential Health education. She is a certified diabetes educator and has worked with Connected in Motion as its Executive Director.


When Heather Gomez was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16, Connected in Motion was one of the first organizations she was introduced to as a "new member" of the diabetes community in Toronto. Soon after, Heather moved to Nova Scotia to attend Acadia University, later graduating with a kinesiology degree. For the past three years, Heather has been working with a number of diabetes organizations in the community, coordinating programs for youth and adults with T1D. She has also stayed busy teaching all varieties of fitness classes (and has a special love for aquafitness!). Heather is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Connected in Motion.


Jeff Hitchcock is the Founder, President, creator, editor, and webmaster of Children with Diabetes®. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff worked in high tech and traveled the world, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. He worked in defense related industries until 1995, when he started a small Internet company and launched Children with Diabetes®. He subsequently worked at LEXIS-NEXIS and Pearson plc on Internet initiatives, and now works full time bringing Children with Diabetes® to you.


A finicky connoisseur of hotel meeting space, cappuccino, and kid-friendly cheese and fruit platters, Laura Billetdeaux is CWD's VP of Education and Programs. Since 2000, Laura has organized every single Friends for Life® conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of Children with Diabetes® — education and support of families with type 1, and always keeping in mind why it all works – the efforts of so many dedicated individuals. Laura lives in Manchester, Michigan with her husband Neal. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as faculty at Children with Diabetes® conferences as time allows.


Marilyn Fry, RD, CDE is a registered dietitian at Markham Stouffville Hospital. Marilyn has been working with children with type 1 diabetes for 23 years. Her areas of interests include toddler feeding and exercise management. She is kept active and busy outside of work raising her two teenage daughters. Marilyn has a family history of diabetes but does not have diabetes herself.


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, is editor of the “Ask the Diabetes Team” section of the Children with Diabetes® website, helps to manage the Children with Diabetes® Forums, and helps out in countless ways at Friends for Life® conferences.


Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two adult children, Alyssa and Chad. Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when his son, Chad, then age two, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were residing in Bahrain in the Middle East. The World Wide Web had just arrived in Bahrain and it brought to the Kyllo’s the safety of the Children with Diabetes® family. Two years later, when life was becoming somewhat comfortable and routine, Alyssa, then age 7, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Chad was also diagnosed with celiac disease in 2001. The family attended their first Friends For Life® conference in 2002. Getting to meet the CWDers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is a Chief Information Officer by day and an Aircraft Engineer by night maintaining a Piper Cherokee and a Mooney. These skills and his “MacGyver” qualities keep him running at the Friends For Life® conferences as its Information Technology and Audio/Visual support person. He is a strong advocate of Friends For Life® conferences and believes anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one... although warns that the conferences are much like potato chips—it’s hard to stop at just one!


Shari Michaelson hails from Ajax, Ontario. Along with son Tayler (age 24, dx’d in 2004) and daughter Connor (age 13), Shari has attended Friends for Life conferences since 2009. After their first FFL Orlando, Shari realized that ‘every summer has to include FFL.’ Shari will volunteer with the Registration Team this summer in preparation for leading the Registration Team at FFL Canada in November. She is thrilled to give back to an organization that has supported her family for so many years!


Kristen O'Dell, MS, RD, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. Managing this untamable disease initiated a career in healthcare for her. She earned her Masters degree in Dietetics at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Kristen’s first CWD conference was in 2011. She fell in love with the people and relationships she formed. In 2015, Kristen became the dietitian for the conferences and has loved it ever since. Between menu planning, carbohydrate counting and allergy accommodations, she is looking forward to tasting all the food, working with the kids, seeing old friends and making many more!


Brian Randall is a diabetes dad. His daughter, Jenn, has had T1D for the past 35 years. His son-in-law, Trevor, also has T1D. Brian's daughter, Erin, is a Pediatric Nurse and CDE at Markham Stouffville Hospital. Brian was an active volunteer at Camp Huronda for many years. He enjoys golf, woodworking, photography and cottage life in his retirement. This will be his first FFL Conference.


Lynn Randall is no stranger to diabetes. Her daughter, Jenn, was diagnosed with T1D in 1986. She also gained a son-in-law with T1D in 2014. Lynn's daughter, Erin, grew up as a staff member at Camp Huronda and now works as a Pediatric Nurse and CDE. Lynn enjoys quilting, reading and her many church activities. This will be her first FFL Conference.

  Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes

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