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  Back to Friends for Life Canada 2013 Toronto 2013 Faculty and Staff

Conference Faculty

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Natalie Bellini, BSN, RN, CDE, has had type 1 diabetes since she was a young child. Within a year of finishing nursing school, she started to care for people with diabetes, focusing first on diabetes in pregnancy then pediatrics and insulin requiring adults. She has worked on the medical side of camps for children and teens in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She has spoken nationally and internationally as an expert in both working with teens and their parents with diabetes as well as infusion set choice, usage and maintenance. Her fundamental goal when developing the teenage curriculum for Children with Diabetes conferences is that each and every teen that attends finds a passion in life and pursues it. She is currently attending Drexel University part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to Erin.

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Edward Damiano, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His educational training is in the areas of biomedical and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. His lab is engaged in basic scientific research that uses fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and intravital microscopy to study blood flow in the microcirculation and to elucidate mechanisms by which the lining of blood vessels can determine vascular health and disease. In one study, his lab is investigating the effect of hyperglycemia in diabetic mice with the goal of finding ways to counteract the damage to blood vessels that leads to so many of the well-known complications of diabetes. In addition to this research, he is also committed to creating and integrating technologies to build a bionic endocrine pancreas. His interest in a bionic pancreas is quite personal, and began when his twelve-year-old son, David, developed type 1 diabetes before the age of one. His goal is to have the control system that he developed with one of his postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Firas El-Khatib, hard at work closing the loop for his son and others with diabetes before David goes off to college.

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Dana Dignard, RD CDE, is a Senior Territory Manager with Animas Canada and has over 20 years experience as a paediatric diabetes educator. Dana has had type 1 diabetes for 28 years and enjoys sharing her personal and professional experience on managing this ever challenging disease. Dana lives in Courtice, Ontario with her husband of 20 years, Daniel, her two children, Mathieu and Cassia, and puppy Kirby.

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Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president 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.

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Korey K. Hood, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Staff Psychologist at UCSF's Madison Center for Pediatric Diabetes. Dr. Hood directs NIH-funded research projects and provides clinical care aimed at promoting health and quality of life outcomes in youth with diabetes and their families. He also serves on national committees for the American Diabetes Association and is on editorial boards for Diabetes Care and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Hood is the author of Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes. His research, clinical care, and service are fueled by his personal experience with type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed as a young adult and has spent more than a decade managing diabetes. He is passionate about helping children and teens with diabetes, and their families, make diabetes a part of their lives while not letting it run their lives.

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Scott and Heather Kyllo live in British Columbia, Canada with their two children, Alyssa (22) and Chad (19). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when their son, Chad, then age 2 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 CWD 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 CWD'ers 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. Heather works at the local curling club as Office Manager. The Kyllo's are extensively involved in curling during the winter months. Their summers are spent enjoying the Sunny Okanagan on Shuswap Lake. They are strong advocates of the CWD conferences and believe anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one ... although warn that the conferences are much like potato chips ... hard to stop at just one.

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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 19, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 17 ... her CWD "sig line." Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the CWD diabetes conferences since the very first gathering in Orlando in 2000, where she volunteered to make name badges. Lauren now coordinates the Elementary Programming for every CWD conference. Back home in Denver, she has served on the boards of the JDRF and CWD Foundation. She and her husband Steve have chaired and coached her local JDRF Ride team for many years. Lauren has worked as an elementary school computer teacher and now works at The Children's Diabetes Foundation at Denver as the IT Manager.

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Daniel L. Metzger, MD, FAAP, FRCPC, is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at BC Children's Hospital and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. Originally from Ohio, Dr. Metzger came to work in his present position in Vancouver in 1993. He has worked at Camp Kakhamela, the Canadian Diabetes Association's camp for children with diabetes in British Columbia, for the past 15 years, where he is currently the Medical Director. Dr. Metzger is also a member of the Executive of the CDA Clinical & Scientific Section and of the Canadian Society of Endocrinology & Metabolism. Dr. Metzger is the webmaster for the BCCH Endocrinology & Diabetes unit's very active website, endodiab.bcchildrens.ca.


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Mike Riddell, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Sciences at York University. In addition to loving his job as a university professor investigating the effects of exercise and stress on diabetes, he loves mountain biking, playing squash and jogging. He has been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 14 and has always been physically active and interested in metabolism. Recently, Dr. Riddell developed a unique sports camp at York University for youth (ages 10-17 years) with type 1 diabetes interested in improving their skills at soccer, tennis or basketball. He is currently training for a half marathon with friends who also have type 1 diabetes.

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Elizabeth Rosolowsky, MD, MPH, FAAP, FRCPC, is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at the Stollery Children's Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the University of Alberta. She has slowly migrated northward, starting from a childhood spent outside Chicago, to pediatrics and endocrinology training in San Francisco and Boston, to a private practice in Kelowna, and finally landing in Edmonton. She is delighted to return this year as guest speaker.

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Harold Sanco, CPT, is a former National Aerobic Champion and two time bronze medalist at the National Step Challenge Competition. He has been voted Washington, DC’s “Best Instructor” by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post. With more than 20 years of experience in youth physical education and coaching, he is an internationally acclaimed instructor and trainer who teaches across the United States, Canada and 15 countries for some of the top fitness conferences in the world. His popular “Urban Funk” class has been featured in People, Allure and W magazines. He is AFAA certified and a Master Trainer for Lebert Training Systems. Currently he serves as the Director of Group Fitness for the award-winning Results Gym in Washington, DC and the Director of Fitness for two National Youth groups “Children with Diabetes” and “Workout4Kids.”

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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Exercise Physiologist who has had type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years. He owns and operates Integrated Diabetes Services, a private practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy for children and adults with type 1 diabetes. He and his staff of diabetes educators provide consultations throughout the world via phone and internet. Gary earned a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master of Science from Benedictine University. He received his diabetes training with the Joslin Diabetes Center. In addition to serving on the Children With Diabetes faculty, Gary is an active volunteer for the ADA, JDRF and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has written five books (including "Think Like A Pancreas") and dozens of articles on various topics in intensive diabetes management. He has received several awards for his teaching tools and techniques, and speaks regularly at regional, national and international conferences. A husband, father of five and avid sports fan, Gary has been a pump user since 1994, and a CGM user since 2006.

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Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE, was President of InBalance Healthcare, a counseling and education service for health care professionals and adults and children with diabetes, for over 10 years. He also worked for LifeScan as Manager of Diabetes Counseling & Training and is a faculty member of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute. Joe is healthcare professional who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 50 years. Mr. Solowiejczyk has been able to translate his personal experience into patient care. As a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist, he specializes in assessing how family dynamics impact management of diabetes and designing interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal metabolic control.


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Marissa Town, BSN, RN, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 24 months old. She completed her bachelor of science in nursing in 2009 and works as a nurse in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. She loves working with kids who have diabetes. Marissa brings her experiences as a diabetes camp counselor, nurse, and young adult with diabetes as she works with teens and adults at CWD's conferences.

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Barb Wagstaff is the founder and creator of the website www.diabetesadvocacy.com, which focuses on Wagstaff, advocating, and promoting the awareness of Type 1 diabetes. As a mother of two children, one of whom has Type 1 diabetes, Barb devotes her time to working on issues affecting people with diabetes in Canada. She was the major driving force in creating changes to the Disability Tax Credit for those living with Type 1 Diabetes in Canada. Barb has a special interest in the issue of children with diabetes in the school system and is a vocal advocate for the need of federal unity on the subject. Barb continues to work with the Canadian Diabetes Association and other groups to see real changes in all provinces on a variety of advocacy issues.

CWD Staff

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Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president 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.

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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 CWD conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of CWD - 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 husband Neal, who graciously and energetically assists with the conference teen programs. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as youth faculty at CWD conferences as time allows.

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Mike Schurig, MS, RD, LD, CDE, serves as Conferences and Content Manager for Children With Diabetes. As a diabetes educator, registered dietitian and person with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12, Mike has had extensive experience in diabetes education with kids and parents. Mike is active with local ADA activities, regional diabetes educator groups, and the CWD website. His interests are insulin pump education and technical advances in diabetes. Mike enjoys visiting the nearby theme parks and enjoying Central Florida.

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Mike Bassett has been a CWD volunteer and friend of the Billetdeaux family for the past 11 years. He enjoys volunteering at Friends for Life conferences, meeting CWD families and helping in any way possible! Mike lives in Michigan and is dad to nine-year-old Emma and seven-year-old Gavin.

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Scott and Heather Kyllo live in British Columbia, Canada with their two children, Alyssa (22) and Chad (19). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when their son, Chad, then age 2 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 CWD 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 CWD'ers 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. Heather works at the local curling club as Office Manager. The Kyllo's are extensively involved in curling during the winter months. Their summers are spent enjoying the Sunny Okanagan on Shuswap Lake. They are strong advocates of the CWD conferences and believe anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one ... although warn that the conferences are much like potato chips ... hard to stop at just one.

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Julia Mattingly is mom to 16 year old Hannah and 14 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was 3. Julia, Ed, and the kids have been to every Friends for Life conference and most of the regionals as well. Julia coordinates registration at each conference, and you can always find her when you need a smile and a "Hi Y'All!" Julia loves coordinating registration and being able to meet and talk to everyone who walks in the door. Her best CWD memory is from 2000 when she met all of her CWD email moms in Orlando for the first time. She also loves to see the smiles on her children's faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.

  Friends for Life Canada 2013 Conference  
  Introduction - Registration - Faculty - Youth Staff  
  Program - Youth Program  
  Reports from FFL Canada 2012 - FFL Canada 2011 - FFL Canada 2010  



                 
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Last Updated: Monday March 24, 2014 16:50:45
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