Jen introducing FFL Canada 2018
Children with Diabetes®
Friends for Life®
Canada 2019
November 8-10, 2019
Sheraton on the Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Children with Diabetes and Connected in Motion present
Friends for Life® Canada 2019

After an amazing, educational, and life-changing conference in 2018, Friends for Life Canada is coming back to Niagara Falls, in partnership with Connected in Motion. Join families and adults living with type 1 diabetes for a weekend of sessions, workshops, and lectures for adults and age-specific programming for youth. Speakers include renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians, opinion leaders and industry experts. You'll have the chance to learn the most current information in diabetes care, share your own stories, and walk away with a support network who 'gets it'. Youth sessions bring together infants (0-5), elementary aged (6-8), tweens (9-12), and teens (13-17) with type 1 diabetes alongside siblings and children of adults with type 1 diabetes to connect, learn, and have fun under the guidance and supervision of type 1 and sibling mentors. We look forward to seeing you in Niagara Falls!

Register Now

We're excited to have you!

Speakers at a Glance

Meet our world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians and community members.

Conference at a Glance

Learn more about our educational sessions, including cutting-edge care, management ideas, and community support.

Photo Gallery

Catch a glimpse of past conferences


Registering for the Conference

Every conference participant needs to register for the conference

Registration is CDN$100 for everyone age 6 and older, and CDN$70 for kids up to age 5. Note that pricing information is on a per person basis.
Registering for the conference is a separate process from making hotel reservations – please make sure that you do both. *
*Registering for the hotel only registers you for a hotel room and registering for the conference only registers you for the conference itself.


Registration includes:

All sessions for adults and children ages 6-17, childcare for children ages 5 and under
Friday evening reception
Saturday breakfast, lunch, and morning/afternoon beverage and snack breaks
Sunday breakfast, lunch, and morning/afternoon beverage and snack breaks
One t-shirt per person registered


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations prior to October 1, 2019 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. After October 1, 2019, no refunds are available.

The weekend program is designed to offer a variety of educational sessions all day Saturday and Sunday. Following sessions, late afternoon and into the evening, there will be free time. During some sessions, there will be a choice of speakers. The program will end late afternoon on Sunday.


Conference Venue

The Sheraton on the Falls is now accepting reservations for Friends for Life Canada 2019. Rooms range from CDN$149-189/night + tax. You may reserve a room by calling 800-519-9911 or by using the online reservation system.

Please make sure to state that you are with the Friends for Life Canada 2019 conference. Subject to availability of group rate rooms, you may reserve guest rooms at these rates for three days prior to and following the conference. Check-in is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 p.m. Please Note: Your hotel room quote will INCLUDE a charge for children under 18 and a Resort Fee charge. Your actual charges upon check-out of the hotel will NOT include these charges. Children under 18 stay for free in the room with an adult.

Note that there is a conference registration fee per person and that reserving a room does not register you for the conference. Rates vary according to the date of registration.

Cut off for hotel reservations within the FFL Canada 2019 group is October 10, 2019.

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations prior to October 1, 2019 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. Beginning October 1, 2019, no refunds are available.

Exhibits & Screenings at Friends for Life®

Friends for Life® Conferences offer valuable opportunities to try products and participate in research screenings.


Should I Attend?

We've invited some of the top experts in the diabetes industry to share their ideas with you. In addition to the scheduled presentations, the conference faculty will be available during meals and breaks for more personalized discussion. Our faculty are very approachable - don't be shy about asking questions! This is a time to discuss anything on your mind relating to diabetes management. It's a great opportunity to network, share ideas, and interact with some of the most wonderful and caring professionals!

Rebecca Cropped for FFL Canada Testimonial

"Friends for Life Canada was a great event that provided programming for my whole family (daughter, husband and even my parents!) I left feeling informed about the latest in nutrition, exercise and technology and like my family 'gets it' now, more than ever."

PWD and mom
Logan for FFL Canada V2

"These conferences have impacted my life in so many ways. Type 1 diabetes made me feel so alone and misunderstood, until I attended my first conference. I met so many amazing people that are going through the same daily struggles as I am. I have made several lifelong friendships thru FFL and I have a countdown (in seconds) to the 2019 conference. I wouldn’t miss this for the world!"

T1D Teen
Miriam Cropped for FFL Canada

"Mike, Makayla, Mason, and I love attending Friends For Life. It is a fantastic family event filled with inclusion, support, and understanding. Being surrounded by others that get it with zero judgement is priceless."

Why Friends for Life matters ...

"How can you not feel good about managing diabetes when you’re in that environment, soaking in the newest research, getting the chance to see cutting-edge technology up close, and connecting with new friends and old who just get it?"


Is this just for children and their families?

Friends for Life® began when Laura Billetdeaux asked CWD families if they wanted to vacation together. That annual gathering turned into the conference it is today, and includes T1 adults, grandparents teens, tweens and toddlers, and siblings.

But Friends for Life is not just for children. Friends for Life brings together all kinds of people impacted by diabetes, providing support and education for children, adults, caregivers, spouses, and friends. There's no limit to our community, or the inspiration you'll find there.

Thinking about attending? There's something for everyone, from the newly diagnosed family to the folks who have been living with diabetes for decades.


Families & Individuals

with type 1 diabetes including toddlers, tweens, teens, and young adults, including siblings


Adult T1s

and their significant others, children, and friends


Grandparents and Other Caregivers

who are supporting their family members with type 1 diabetes



who, even though they don't have diabetes, they still live with diabetes


Health Care Professionals

who work with type 1 diabetes (CEUs are not offered)

I'm a T1 and a Friend for Life

" Sometimes, when days are kind of rough, I’ll put on a green bracelet to remind myself that I am not alone. "


Conference Schedule at a Glance

Day 1

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 - 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Registration, Opening Keynote & Registration
Registration Opens at 6:00 — Opening Keynote and Registration at 7:00 PM

Day 2

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 - 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Buffet breakfast, numerous presentations, buffet lunch & refreshment breaks throughout the day. Youth events all day. Dinner on your own. Exhibit Hall Opens at 9:00 AM

Day 3

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Buffet breakfast, numerous presentations, buffet lunch & refreshment breaks throughout the day. Youth events all day. Dinner on your own. Exhibit Hall Closes at 2:00 PM


Faculty, Experts & Youth Staff

CWD and Connected in Motion have invited some of the top experts in the diabetes community to share their experience and wisdom with you. In addition to the scheduled presentations, the conference faculty will be available during meals and breaks for more personalized discussion. Our faculty are very approachable - don't be shy about asking questions! This is a time to discuss anything on your mind relating to diabetes management. It's a great opportunity to network, share ideas, and interact with the community's most wonderful and caring professionals!


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. In 2014, she co-founded SOST1D Twitter: @SOST1D


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 young adults and two golden retrievers. Lorraine can be found at a dog park, on a hiking trail, tennis court, golf course or ski hill. She celebrated her 30 year “diaversary” in March of 2018 and understands firsthand the ups and downs of daily life with diabetes.


Michelle Auerbach was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2005 at the age of 12. Interesting fact: her mom has type 1 also and was diagnosed when she was eight! Michelle is a volunteer for diabetes organizations in her hometown of Montreal. She is dedicated to spreading awareness about type 1 and invisible illness through social media. You can find her sharing her journey on her blog, Love Light and Insulin, or on her Instagram @ehmichelle.


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 11 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.


Logan Bliley-Beames was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11, having no family history of type 1 on either side of his family. He currently wears a Medtronic insulin pump, uses a Dexcom CGM to manage his diabetes, and had the chance to try the Eversense/Sensionics implantable CGM in 2017. Logan has been on the Academic Honour Roll at his high school since 2016. Also in 2016, Logan was part of a Rogers Television Documentary about type 1 diabetes that followed his life at home, in school, and at hospital visits. Logan has completed many hours volunteering in the medical environment and looks forward to pursuing studies in the health care field once he completes high school. In his spare time Logan has a passion for mentoring young children with diabetes and volunteering as a patient advocate with Dexcom Canada.


Anna Brundage, DNC, CDE, has gained recognition as a leading expert in diabetes education across Canada, with a focus on effective communication between healthcare professionals and persons living with type 1 diabetes. To this end, she has developed many innovative programs and teaching tools specific to this condition. She has managed several Diabetes Education Centres in Toronto hospitals, and has helped thousands of clients initiate insulin pump therapy. Anna has delivered hundreds of workshops to both healthcare professionals and clients across Canada. Having lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 60 years, she is an ideal position to support persons with diabetes in the self-management of their condition in order to improve their quality of life.


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.


Nicole Coles, MD, FRCPC, is a paediatric endocrinologist who works at Markham Stouffville Hospital in Toronto and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from McGill University and her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto. She completed her paediatric residency and endocrinology fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. She finished an M. Sc. degree through the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto focused in the area of metabolic programming in maternal gestational diabetes. Dr. Coles was first introduced to Children with Diabetes through a Friends for Life Conference in 2018 when she joined as a Fellow in the Fellow’s Program. She is very excited to be a part of the Canadian FFL conference this year and meeting some new faces.


Stephanie David-Coderre is an inside sales and reimbursement specialist with eight years of experience at Animas and now works for Medtronic in the same role. She specializes in helping people with diabetes secure funding for their medical devices and supplies from private insurers and government funding agencies. Stephanie has two young children and enjoys spending her spare time being active outdoors.


Julie De Vos, RKin, CDE, has spent much of her life volunteering and working in the T1D community. These passions led her to a degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences and a career path in the diabetes industry, previously focused on building programs and communities for not-for-profit diabetes organizations. Today, Julie is a Registered Kinesiologist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Health Coach, Wilderness First Responder, Alpine Ski Instructor, and Advanced Scuba Diver. She is passionate about living life to its fullest and helping those in the diabetes community thrive!


Blair Earle has been lucky to be involved in many Friends for Life and Connected in Motion events and activities over the last 10 years. He is the father and stepfather to six young adults. When he is not at work he looks forward to the next adventure hiking, travelling, participating in any sport or the next fun “Griswald” trip, and walking the two goldens.


Kate Farnsworth has been heavily involved in the Do-It-Yourself #wearenotwaiting movement since her daughter Sydney was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight. With a background in information technology and graphic design, Kate has lent her skillset to developing diabetes watch faces for remote monitoring used by patients worldwide. Kate has created an online patient-driven support community for people who are exploring DIY closed-loop solutions and continues to advocate for all people with diabetes to have access to the best tools to manage their diabetes.


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 Friends For Life conference.


Jamie Galloway, RD, CDE, has been a registered dietitian since 2001. She has worked in the area of diabetes care since 2010 at the Adult Diabetes Centre at Trillium Health Partners. There she works mainly with clients with type 1 diabetes and has an interest in pump therapy and CGM. She began working in the pediatric diabetes centre in July 2018 and continues at the adult centre. She is currently involved the the pediatrics centre transition study to optimize the transition to adult care. She is also on the type 1 Diabetes Quality Standard Advisory Committee that is looking to come up with provincial recommendations for standardization of care across Ontario for those living with type 1 diabetes. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing with her husband and three children or doing anything active.


As a Biomedical Engineer and Researcher, Shivani Goyal, PhD, MASc, BEng, is currently leading a digital strategy for the commercialization of chronic disease management mobile technologies. She has extensive experience in the design and development of evidence-based behavioural mHealth platforms, as well as in evaluation methods, ranging from traditional (i.e. RCTs) to more nimble real-time analytics approaches. Driven by the overwhelming prevalence of chronic illness and the need to revolutionize the traditional models for health care delivery, Shivani is exploring how consumer-focused approaches can enable patients to drive their own care. This involves expanding health care beyond hospital and clinics, and evolving traditional consumer markets (e.g. pharmacies), communities, even our own homes, to be facilitators of improved health.


A passionate advocate for people with diabetes, Kimberley Hanson is the Executive Director of Federal Affairs with Diabetes Canada. She has lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 25 years.


Michelle Lord, PhD, is 29 years old and lives in Toronto Canada, where she just completed her PhD in Medical Physics. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was 12 years old and is currently using the t:slim X2 insulin pump and Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor. Michelle is very involved in the diabetes online community, and regularly posts videos on her type 1 diabetes lifestyle YouTube channel. In her spare time, Michelle loves taking ballet classes, traveling to new places, and spending time with family, friends, and her husband Raffi.


Grant Maltman is a graduate from The University of Western Ontario and has nearly 25 years of experience in the cultural resource management and heritage presentation field. His journey started at Sir Frederick G. Banting Secondary School when, as a student, he presented Diabetes Canada with a cheque from the student body for the development of Banting House museum. Drawn to the diverse collection Banting House held, the history and the impact of the discovery of insulin on the world, it seemed a worthy project for the student body to support. He has proudly served as the curator of Banting House National Historic Site of Canada for the last 23 years. In addition to securing the designation of Banting House as a national historic site, he served as a historical consultant for the Royal Canadian Mint’s coin commemorating Banting as Canada’s first Nobel Prize recipient and the CBC production, The Greatest Canadian Contest. Grant enjoys sharing stories on the life and career of Sir Frederick Banting, the discovery of insulin and the Canadian Diabetes Association’s stewardship of this international treasure and symbolic site of hope in the fight against diabetes.


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 Diabetes@School (, 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.


Deanna Paolantonio, PhD, is a dancer, fitness instructor, certified teacher, Ph.D., and person with T1D. Her formal dance training began at the age of four and her love of movement has fuelled her work and studies. D-Dance is the result of her doctoral studies where Deanna focused on ways to use dance as a tool for promoting creativity, confidence, and positive body image in students. While Deanna will admit that her diagnosis with T1D was initially something she saw as an obstacle, it has since become a source of great inspiration and opportunity. An opportunity to learn more about her body, an opportunity to educate others, and more than anything an opportunity to inspire T1D dancers to continue their love of movement despite diabetes. Yes, life might be tough sometimes with T1D but it definitely does not have to be any less sweet.


Cathy Pettigrew is a strong believer in the power of working to your strengths. Life has presented many opportunities to do this – in her role as a teacher, business owner, facilitator, counsellor, speaker and mother. At each stretch of her life’s journey, her focus on discerning and drawing out the strengths of her students and clients has brought them to a new understanding of the definition of success. Through her work with youth on the autism spectrum, she discovered the power of LEGO to unleash the brilliance locked inside kids who were struggling through school and life, and it led her to build a successful business, incorporating LEGO and its offshoots – robotics, programming, and LEGO Serious Play – to lead her clients to reach their goals. Every day is different, filled with the varied insights that come from individuals who have discovered the power that lies within each one of them. And different is not only good – it is awesome! Cathy, her wonderfully supportive and funny husband, and her four kids (one type 1, two celiac, 2 Aspie’s – and a cat!) live by this mantra every day – focus on your strengths, focus on all the positives in life, and LIVE!


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. Erin has worked with CIM as a Slipstream Coordinator and 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.

Faculty, Tween Team

Evelyn Riddell is 20 years old and has had type 1 diabetes for almost eight years. She is currently in her third year of study at the University of Toronto, specializing in History and Canadian Studies. Evelyn believes that her most important role is that of a type 1 diabetes advocate. She also works as a freelance model, on a mission to represent T1D and raise awareness. She is proud of her pump and CGM and would be quick to tell you how T1D is actually her superpower. You can find her on Instagram [@evie_ann] and YouTube [evie ann] – two social platforms that she loves, because of their ability to bring the T1D community together. T1D has often been called an “invisible illness”, but recent technology such as pumps and CGMs are often visible for all to see. Evelyn hopes to help her fellow T1Ds feel represented, and to wear their devices proudly!


Kaitlyn Wallace grew up in Oakville Ontario, and is one of four siblings. She was dignosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of five. Growing up, Kaitlyn was a competitive gymnast/power tumbler and continued to stay involved by coaching gymnastics throughout high school. Her hobbies include yoga, horse-back riding, and working with kids. She spends her summers as a camp counsellor at Camp Huronda and is a full time student at Queens University, working towards getting her Bachelor of Commerce at the Smith School of Business.


Meg Wolfe-Wylie, MD, FRCPC, is a pediatric endocrinologist at North York General Hospital and William Osler Health System in Toronto. She is also actively involved in medical education through the University of Toronto. Dr. Wolfe-Wylie graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of BioMedical Science in 2007. She obtained her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 2011. After medical school, she completed her General Pediatrics Residency training as well as her fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology through the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto in 2016. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and 16 month old daughter.


Jane Yardley, PhD, completed her PhD in Population Health at the University of Ottawa in 2011. Her doctoral thesis focused on the effects of resistance exercise, on its own or combined with aerobic exercise, in physically active individuals with type 1 diabetes. She is now a member of faculty at the University of Alberta, and part of the Physical Activity and Diabetes Laboratory at the Alberta Diabetes Institute. Jane is still performing research related to type 1 diabetes and exercise, with projects focused on resistance exercise and high intensity intermittent intervals. She is a co-author of the 2016 American Diabetes Association Position Statement on Diabetes and Exercise/Physical Activity. Outside the lab and classroom, Jane practices what she preaches by cycling and running in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter, and (of course) enjoying resistance exercise year round!

 Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes

Highlights from FFL Canada 2018