The Birth of ICD

ICD was founded by Chris Jarvis, a former Olympic rower who succeeded largely due to meeting a teenaged rower who had a lot in common, including T1D. Heather Van der Geest  didn’t have all the answers either, but together they took on overcoming health challenges related to competing in rowing with diabetes at the top of the world. They both ended up competing for team Canada in Athens Greece and played a critical role in the birth of ICD.

Rowing Canada had many supports, coaches, medical, family and friends, but the biggest instigator for their growth came down to the leadership and chemistry amongst the athletes.  I Challenge Diabetes then came out of a goal to provide a similar experience for others, where the challenges of diabetes are supported by a team with strong leadership to excel in any activity or scenario in life. The team has grown to encompass a diverse group of people supporting much more than just athletic challenges and remains open to all ages.

Who We Are

We are people with diabetes who want to live life to the fullest. We are parents who want to support our children to be their best. We are friends and health care providers who go above and beyond our call of duty to support people with diabetes.

What We Do

I Challenge Diabetes fosters a community of people with type 1 diabetes who, through experiential education and adventure, provide each other with the skills and confidence to overcome the daily challenges and create a new expectation for what we can accomplish.

Our Reach

The below numbers are taken from events facilitated by members of ICD’s team since 2011. Because of the depth of resources put into making deeper impacts in many organizations like ours, a standard calculation called “participant days” is used to fully account for multi-day programs.


events run


unique Canadian cities served


program participants


participant days served

Our Impact

of the last 100 surveyed participants have found our programs motivate them to live well with diabetes!


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