Back to Friends for Life Canada 2018 Friends for Life Canada 2018 Faculty


Trudy Adams is a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. She is the Ottawa Advocacy Team Lead for JDRF. She has organized and participated in lobby days and advocacy initiatives aimed at both the provincial and federal governments. She is passionate about helping families advocate for support and policy change to help keep kids safe at school. She co-founded SOST1D Twitter: @SOST1D in 2014.


Lorraine Anderson, RD, CDE, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She has had the privilege of presenting workshops across Canada to both health care professionals and families who live with type 1 diabetes. When not at work, she is a busy mom and stepmom to six teenagers/“young adults”and two golden retrievers. Lorraine celebrated her 30 year “diaversary” in March of this year and understands firsthand the ups and downs of daily life with diabetes.


Shana Betz’s daughter Emma was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 10-months old. She’s now a healthy, happy, dance-loving, art-drawing 10 year old. Shana has been advocating on the school issue long before Emma started JK and is one of the SOS Diabetes Co-Founders. Shana and Emma (along with dad Scott and brother Zachary) live in Markham, Ontario.


Khadija Cajee is an entrepreneur, a mother, an advisor and an educator who tries to support others whether they are new immigrants, the CEO of a major corporation, small business entrepreneurs or children impacted by type 1 diabetes. Having grown up in apartheid South Africa, Khadija has a keen interest in social justice, human rights and civil rights. She is happy to be called upon to advocate for change on behalf of meaningful causes. Khadija has an innate ability to understand who people really are and what drives them and is immensely grateful for being surrounded by amazing and inspiring people throughout the years. If there is a box, you will not find her in it.


When he isn’t daydreaming about ripping down a mountain in knee deep powder, you can find Hank Devos behind a camera. His passion for film and media began when he was a young child – seeing blockbuster films had him hooked. Whether it’s on a mountain, or inside a studio, the need to tell a story through images consumes his time. His love for the outdoors and filmmaking collide head-on in his role with Connected in Motion as their video producer. Hank is the man and the mind behind the CIM Adventure Team video project.


For Julie De Vos, RKin, CDE, the diabetes community has always been a constant part of her life. After traveling the world, she started volunteering her time with Connected In Motion and Riding On Insulin. This led to a career change into Programming and Education and as a Registered Kinesiologist and Certified Diabetes Educator, Julie now works as the Community Advocate for Diabetes Daily. While managing multiple chronic diseases, she continues to push herself on the slopes, scuba diving and checking off the adventures on her travel bucket list.


Jess Forster, MSW, RSW, is a social worker who is passionate about connecting with children and families living and thriving with type 1 diabetes. For the past 11 years, Jess has worked at the Markham Stouffville Hospital Pediatric Diabetes Clinic in Markham Ontario Canada, and she is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the CWD Friends For Life conference in Canada.


Anissa Gamble, MSc, was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick where she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight. Pursuing competitive hockey, she attended Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario for high school, and went on to play Division 1 NCAA hockey at Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at RMU, she majored in biology with a concentration in pre-medicine and minored in chemistry. She recently completed her masters in experimental surgery at the University of Alberta studying islet cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes under the wing of Dr. Shapiro.


Anne Marie Hospod, BSc, MD, is passionate about chronic disease self-management and healthy active living. Her latest project is a Cancer Rehabilitation and Exercise program for the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four, Anne Marie embraces big challenges - she has completed numerous marathons and triathlons, and is most proud of her Ironman finish in Mont-Tremblant last summer. She loves connecting with others so come find her online: @SweetRunMD.


Deborah Joyce is a principal in the York Region District School Board. She has been in administration for 11 years and was a teacher for seven years prior to that. Deborah is a strong advocate for equity and believes in the unlimited potential residing within each child. Families send their most precious resource to school every day and she believes that the school’s first and most important job is to keep them safe and healthy.


Karen McAssey, BA, MD, MEd, FRCPC, is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Diabetes Program at McMaster. She is also responsible for overseeing the planning and delivery of the pre-clinical medical school curriculum in McMaster’s MD program.


During her four years as a student at the Ryerson School of Interior Design, Lucinda McGroarty, BID, MDes, became interested in the profound impact of storytelling. A year later, after being accepted into the Master of Design graduate thesis program at Emily Carr University, she was able to put this interest into practice. Her graduate thesis proposed the use of storytelling as a perception-shifting vehicle aimed at solving the ‘type 1 diabetes burnout’ problem faced by many of those who live with this chronic disease, including herself.


Elizabeth Moreau, MMgt, lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children, the youngest of whom was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013 when she was four years old. Since then, Elizabeth has been involved in diabetes advocacy and education, primarily focused on supporting kids with diabetes in school. She is Director of Communications and Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Paediatric Society, where she is the staff lead on , a national initiative to improve care for students with diabetes. Along with several other moms, Elizabeth co-founded Support Ontario Students with Type 1 Diabetes ( in 2014. She has a Master of Management in voluntary sector leadership, and a graduate diploma in journalism.


Bruce Perkins, MD, is Professor of Medicine at the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. He obtained his MD and Internal Medicine training at the University of Toronto, his endocrinology subspecialty training at Harvard University, his Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a research fellowship in epidemiology at the Joslin Diabetes Center.


Mike Riddell, PhD, has published 150 original research articles, 18 book chapters, and a globally referenced patient guidebook on the metabolic and hormonal responses to exercise and stress in health and diabetes. Presently, he is helping to develop an “exercise-smart” artificial pancreas for active people living with type 1 diabetes (NIH). He is leading studies on new strategies for improved blood sugar balance during exercise and sport (industry and foundation funds) and he is overseeing work done on the effects of stress hormones on lipid metabolism (NSERC). Riddell is an author on several international guidelines on exercise and diabetes and he leads teams in establishing community-based sport programs that enhance the translation of research findings to families of children living with type 1 diabetes. He is considered the international authority on exercise and stress hormones and how they affect diabetes metabolism.


Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services, a practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy and advanced education for children and adults. He and his staff provide consultations throughout the world via phone and the internet. Gary is a Masters-level exercise physiologist. He has been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 19 years, and served as the 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year. He has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years and makes personal use of insulin pump therapy and CGM. Gary has written dozens of articles for diabetes trade publications and six books, including the popular Think Like A Pancreas - A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin. He lectures nationally and internationally for people with diabetes as well as professionals in the healthcare industry. In addition to serving on the faculty of Children With Diabetes and the Board of Directors for JDRF, Gary volunteers for the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Sisters, and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has been happily married for 25 years and has four wonderful kids. A fitness fanatic, he enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling and cheering on his Philadelphia sports teams.


Shawn Shepheard is a behavior change expert, business strategist and leadership coach. Shawn helps great leaders become exceptional, on their terms. Shawn has a long track record of being the secret weapon for executives and business owners. Many of his clients think of him as their Private Sherpa—in their corner, and helping them to reach new heights. He is the former Chair of Diabetes Canada National Advocacy Council and is the proud recipient of the National Advocacy Leadership Award, The National Volunteer of the Year Award, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award.


Lori Short-Zamudio, RD, has been working in the field of nutrition since 2005. Through her career she has worked as a dietitian in an eating disorder program and then a strictly type 1 diabetes facility where she worked with many that had eating disorders or disordered eating. Lori has been focusing her work more on body image over the last few years and the stories that we have around our bodies and how that affects how we treat them.


Michelle Sorensen, MEd, Clinical Psychologist, is a clinical psychologist who combines her knowledge of how to change thoughts and regulate moods with the knowledge that comes from living with type 1 diabetes for almost 20 years herself. She has a private practice in Ottawa and enjoys speaking across Canada to both people living with diabetes, as well as to health care professionals. She believes psychology is often the missing piece in diabetes care and is dedicated to helping diabetes teams incorporate more psychological techniques into their practices.


Kerri Sparling is a passionate advocate for all-things diabetes. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, one of the first and most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients and caregivers. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), looks at type 1 diabetes in the context of “real life.” Kerri has lived with diabetes for 30 years. She has experienced a full childhood, the teen years, the college experience, and now pregnancy and parenting, with diabetes along for the ride. Kerri aims to spread a message of hope versus fear through the power of social media, advocacy, and storytelling. Kerri’s participation is part of Tandem Diabetes Care’s Live Life in Full Color speaker series.

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