Teen Programming Staff
Alanna Landry, RN, CDE, has had the privilege of working alongside the T1D community as a pediatric diabetes nurse educator for 22 years at Markham Stouffville Hospital in Ontario, Canada. After attending her first CWD FFL conference in 2004, she was amazed and inspired by the incredible experience. Working in the teen program has been something she looks forward to each year.
Whitney Gowanlock, RN, CDE, has worked in peadiatric diabetes since 1998. She was awarded Diabetes Educator of the Year in 2010 and has sat on numerous committees to increase the safety of children with type 1 in schools. Whitney loves her job and George Canyon is her Hero.
Daina Anderson has had type 1 for 10 years. She enjoys all outdoors activities, especially cross-country skiing and hiking. As an ecologist she often works in remote areas, which has shown her to be prepared for anything and not to forget insulin!
Trevor Gardner has been living with Type 1 for 23 years. He loves to get outside and stay active any way that he can. He is currently involved in Ultimate Frisbee, ice hockey and road cycling, but is always down to give anything a try when the opportunity arises! In the summers, nothing beats getting out on canoe trips and heading up to the cottage, where he enjoys strumming the guitar and sitting around the campfire. Throughout all four seasons, his two year old Labrador Retriever, Tilley, takes him for plenty of hikes all over town. Trevor volunteered at the last Friends for Life Canada, for the tweens program. This year he is looking forward to spending some time with the teen group!
Tayler Michaelson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 10 years old. He currently attends the University of Ontario, Institue of Technology for Communications and Digital Media Studies. Tayler spends the majority of his time on the volleyball court, playing this past season with the Durham College Men’s Varsity Program, where he earned an OCAA All-Academic Award for 2018.
Nick Reed was diagnosed with T1D in July 1999. He's an avid Animas pump wearer, outdoors enthusiast and dad to two boys (7 and 11). Hailing from Belleville, Ontario, Nick is a self-employed restaurant owner. As a fan of "dad jokes" and one-liners, bring your best jokes and square off!
Tween Programming Staff
Sarah Melcher, OCT, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine years old. She volunteered at her first Friends for Life conference in 2009 and is excited to be taking the lead on the Tween Program at Friends for Life Canada in 2018. Sarah is a secondary school teacher, specializing in physical education. She has attended and worked at a diabetes summer camp in Ontario where she met many of her friends with diabetes.
Riona Petticrew, RN, CDE, is a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator with Medtronic. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11 and she knew she wanted to give back to the diabetes community almost immediately at the time of her diagnosis. She has been very fortunate to have worked as a nurse with Animas Canada prior to her role with Medtronic and she is involved in Connected in Motion, Diabetes Canada D-Camps, and The Diabetes Hope Foundation. She takes her nursing knowledge and lived experience to help make a difference in the lives of others living with diabetes.
Johanna Balge, RN, CDE, has been working as a pediatric diabetes educator for the last 12 years. She is really excited to be part of the staff team at this year's Friends for Life Canada conference and to meet all of the great people who are working and attending the conference.
Keira Brehony has been living with diabetes for 22 years. Keira is originally from Ireland and has been living in Canada for 10 years. She loves the Canadian winters and has learned how to ski and ice skate. This is Keira's first Friends For Life conference. She will be working with the tween group and is looking forward to meeting new people.
Paul Chalmers lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario and works full-time for U-Haul. He also is completing his BA in Business Management. Paul loves long walks, snowboarding, reading and hanging with friends. In 2016, Paul received Niagara’s 40 under 40 business award for young leaders in the Niagara area.
Rebecca Galbraith has been living with type 1 diabetes for 27 years. She love boxing and volleyball and is very excited to be helping with the tween program at Friends for Life Canada.
Tammy Hand grew up in Scarborough Ontario. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, started going to diabetes camp and got in touch with her natural self. Tammy spends her days at her dream job instructing at one of the Peel District School Boards Outdoor/Environmental Education Centres. To her, outside doing stuff, experiencing life equals fun.
Judy Ingraham is excited to be participating in her first Friends for Life Canada conference as a staff member in the Tween Program. She is particularly looking forward to meeting others in the diabetes community and learning about the new technology on the horizon. Judy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two and has seen many advancements over her lifetime. Judy is co-owner of Harlowblue Minis with her sister Linda, and together they own four adorable miniature horses – Bailey, Lucy, Lily, and Oliver.
Linda Ingraham is excited to participate in her first Friends for Life conference and will be working with the tween group. Linda’s sister Judy has had type 1 for 54 years. Linda is a Certified Facilitator of Equine Assisted Learning and she’s passionate about the miniature horse handling workshops she runs with her sister through their company Harlowblue Minis. Harlowblue is currently developing a customized workshop series for kids with T1D, due to launch in late 2018.
Kelsey McLaren has been living with T1D for seven years, after being diagnosed at the age of eighteen. She is excited to be participating as a staff member with the tween age group at her first Friends for Life Canada conference. In addition to being active in the diabetes online community, Kelsey recently attended her first Connected in Motion Slipstream event that gave her insight into how great the diabetes community really is. She is looking forward to meeting other T1D families and those who support them on this journey.
Elementary Programming Staff
Tina Sartori has been rocking the world living with type 1 diabetes for 25 years. Her connection to the T1 community started at Camp Huronda, where she worked for 17 summers, the final few as the Assistant Director. She is the Executive Director at Montessori Academy of London, Ontario, where she tries to get on every outdoor field trip as possible, and lives in the city with her husband Kary and nine-year-old son. Together they share a passion for fishing and baseball.
Amanda Coschi, BScN, RN, works as a Registered Nurse in Paediatrics and the NICU. She is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and is involved in many different diabetes communities. Amanda was diagnosed with diabetes herself in 2002 and she is very excited to be joining for her fifth FFL conference!
No stranger to CIM, Amy Burrows has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years. Hailing from Beaverton Ontario Amy enjoys spending time outdoors (mainly canoe tripping) with her friends, family, fellow T1’s and her dog Caius. She spends her days working in dentistry as a Level 2 assistant and treatment coordinator in Uxbridge.
Cori Canuel was diagnosed with type 1 at age four. She lives in Toronto with her husband, loves to travel and is a big soccer fan. She was able to combine these passions on her honeymoon when she got to see Barcelona FC play at Camp Nou. This will be her first Friends for Life conference.
Michel Godbout has had type 1 diabetes for 40 years. He loves being active in the out of doors (canoeing, kayaking, biking, hiking, skiing, hockey, etc) and has travelled with school and work to New Zealand, UK, South America, Russia and our Canadian Arctic. Michel has two adult boys who are also very active athletes and his wife, Sue, has been his biggest supporter. He is a primary school teacher, teaching grade 1-3 for the last 10 years and has been involved with CIM (his tribe) for the past three years.
Samantha Graham was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17. She had planned to go to Laurentian University, but with her diagnosis happening just before school started, she took a year off of school and focused on learning about this new lifestyle called Type 1. Almost eight years later, she is a successful graduate of the BA of Youth and Child Studies program at Brock University. Working with children is a passion of hers, and I especially love sharing my experiences to help others. Samantha is looking forward to a future working with children with type 1.
Caroline Lewis is mom to Owen (dx at 5, now 14), Charlotte (dx at 6 now 8) and Meredith, and wife to Grant (dx at 32). Caroline is very excited to attend her first FFL conference, and loves connecting with other T1 families.
Leah Tuononen has been living with type 1 for five years. She loves to try new things and not let her diabetes stop her from doing the things she loves most. She enjoys getting to know new people and hearing about some of their favorite things to do. Leah is attending Centennial College for the Child and Youth Care program. She has a strong passion for working with young kids. Leah has attended the Friends for Life Conference, but this will be her first year volunteering with the elementary age program!
Child Care Programming Staff
Supporting close family members with T1D for the past 30+ years, Erin Randall has always considered herself an ally to the T1D community. Her strong desire to educate and connect with the T1D community led Erin to work at Camp Huronda for many summers and to pursue a career in nursing. Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, as well as being a Certified Diabetes Educator. Not only does Erin work as the Slipstream Coordinator, she also works as a nurse educator at the paediatric diabetes clinic at Markham Stouffville Hospital. When Erin is not working you can find her paddling, camping or spending time at the cottage.
Andrea Johnston, RN, CDE, is super excited to participate in her first Friends for Life conference. She looks forward to work in the childcare program. She has worked in pediatrics for most of her nursing career. Presently she is lucky to be able to work at Markham Stouffville Hospital in the Paediatric Diabetes Clinic for over a decade. Andrea can’t wait to be part of this amazing weekend.
Lauren Chau was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was four year old. She’s attended a diabetes summer camp as both camper and staff, and is excited to work with children with diabetes again!
Melanie Anger has been living with T1D for 16 years, and has worked with children living with diabetes for five years. She is very excited to be part of this great opportunity to meet friends, family, and individuals touched by T1D!
Shannon Freeman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age six, one year after her younger sister, Meagan, was diagnosed at age four. Shannon has enjoyed being both challenged and encouraged by friends in the T1 community for most of her life—she attended Camp Huronda in Ontario for eight years, volunteered at Camp Kakhamela in BC for three years, and has most recently enjoyed learning from and with friends at a variety of Connected in Motion events. Proud mommy to two little girls (Zoe – 2.5 and Adeline – 1) and wife to a pretty stellar guy (Rich), Shannon is excited for this opportunity to give back by taking care of the littlest little ones while their parents attend this year’s FFL Conference in Niagara Falls!
Meagan Higson has been living with T1D for 28 years. In the cooler weather she likes to crochet. In the summer she loves to camp with her family. She has tons of babysitting experience and loves spending time with little ones, especially her two nieces.
Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes
Friends for Life® Canada 2018 Conference Introduction - FAQ Program - Youth Program - Faculty - Youth Faculty - Staff FFL Canada Reports from 2015 - 2013 - 2012
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