Meet Our Team

The Leaders Behind I Challenge Diabetes

Our leadership team is full of fun-loving, energetic, experienced people that are passionate about what they do!

The challenges of Diabetes are real for them and that’s what keeps them committed to our cause.

They keep challenging themselves and Diabetes so that they can continue to take accountability for their own health.


Chris Jarvis

President and Founder of ICD

-4+ years (2000-04) on the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Council
– Canadian Olympian in the sport of Rowing (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008)
-Chair of Northeastern University and the America East Conference,
-2 years working for the Center for Study of Sport in Society (2004-2006)
-Diabetes expert with an International Athletic Achievement and National Inspiration Award.
-10 National CDE conferences
-keynote addresses with hundreds of other speaking engagements from medical to elementary schools.
-Contract developer for At-Risk Youth programs for the Diabetes Hope Foundation, Teen Transition programs through clinics
-Developer of a Diabetes Education Team for D-Skate Hockey
-Certified Wilderness First Responder.

In 10 years as president of a non-profit organization, he has gained extensive experience in:

  • Group facilitation, diabetes and exercise management
  • Guiding through extreme wilderness and climates
  • Personal training for people with diabetes
  • Diabetes research specializing in exercise (including publications)
  • Diabetes Education and Inspirational speaking
  • Mentoring and developing peer mentoring systems
  • At-Risk Youth programming

Imran Nathani

Operations Specialist/National Program Manager

-Involved since 2011
-ECE (Early Childhood Education)
-Facility operations for Bayview Glen’s day camp (2009-2012)
-4 years program management for ICD
-2 years as an Ambassador for Connected in Motion
-D-Skate’s Diabetes Leadership Team (age 6-15).

Rob Hinrichs

Rob Hinrichs

-Involved since 2005
-B.A. in Outdoor Education, M.Teaching
-Wilderness First Responder Certification

Rob, a product of our first teen mentoring project at age 15, now has extensive experience in canoe guiding, climbing instruction and diabetes education.

Heather Van Der Geest

Heather van der Geest

-Involved since 2003
– Member of Canada’s National Jr Rowing team

Connected with Chris Jarvis, Canadian Olympic Rower (both living with type 1 diabetes) to establish a peer-mentoring network, the first ICD group program, and the first ever At-Risk Youth program in Canada. She continues to volunteer for ICD while attending medical school.

Julia Trutiak

Julia Trutiak

Involved since 2011
-B.A. in Outdoor Recreation, Park and Tourism

Wealth of experience leading whitewater rafting, rock and ice climbing and winter camping. Julia enjoys taking people beyond their comfort zone and is an expert in preparation and risk management.

Robin Fagnan

Robin Fagnan

-Involved since 2012
-SKGABC certified

A contracted Outdoor Education leader and guide with Power to Be who lives with type 1 diabetes, Robin has assisted our programs beyond the reach of the P2B partnership on Vancouver Island to volunteer for ICD’s extreme wilderness challenges.


Alan Steward

-Involved since 2012
-P.Eng M.A.Sc
-Wilderness First Responder (involved since2012):

10+ years of service to Scouts Canada as a hiking and paddling guide, share his expertise with those with type 1 diabetes like his daughter. He is a volunteer leader with BC programs and sits on ICD’s Board of Directors.

Geoff Thornton Trump

Geoff Thornton-Trump

-Involved since 2007
– Assistant Rock Guide & Nature Interpreter with ACMG

Geoff was climbing in the alpine before people with diabetes were even allowed to test their own blood sugar (30+years). He is responsible for hundreds of individuals learning to climb,hike, and improve their diabetes management through ICD programs.

Chris C - I Challenge Diabetes Team

Chris Chesham

-Involved since 2008
-Extensive certification for Coaching a variety of sports,
-Outdoor Guiding, and a Wilderness First Responder

Chris has transitioned from a participant in our Extreme adventure series to one of our most highly-trained program leaders, who excels in participant engagement.


Carlo Capaldi

Involved since 2007
– B.Sc. M.Teaching
– D-Skate’s Diabetes Education Team

Reaching to ICD for help with diabetes management at the start of his cycling career, Carlo now gives back as a three time Provincial Cycling Champion, used as a model patient by his endocrinologist and is an inspirational speaker. He not only leads ICD bike programs but captains an elite cycling team.

Dessi Zaharieva - MMA Athlete with Type 1 Diabetes

Dessi Zaharieva

-Involved since 2007

-B.Sc. M.Sc. PhD Candidate

Connected to ICD by her endocrinologist looking to provide her a mentor as a first-year university student and athlete with type 1 diabetes. She has since reached the top of the world competing in Taekwondo, published research on diabetes and exercise, directs the YorkU Diabetes Sports Camp, is an inspirational speaker and an exceptional ICD leader.


Julia Pesek

-Involved since 2007

– B.A in Criminal Justice
– Dressage rider of 15 years
– Former University of The Fraser Valley varsity rower


Amanda Gill

-Involved since 2010

An avid world traveler now working with the G-Adventures leadership team, Amanda is a passionate contributor to ICD’s leadership team and is known as “momma ICD,” for her care and support of the youth in these programs, who she is always willing to mentor, share tips and support.

Kevin Arcand

Kevin Arcand

-Involved since 2010

With eight years experience in the Royal Bank of Canada, Kevin combines a unique blend of supportive knowledge in medical and disability funding, along with a powerful role model, as an elite athlete in the sport of rock climbing. He has bought into the peer mentoring system of ICD, claiming it has changed his life.

Elizabeth Harvey

Elizabeth Harvey

-Involved since 2011
-MLT (Medical Lab Technician Diploma), B.Sc
-N.C.C.P certified coach in Making Ethical Decisions module, trained in the multi-sport modules
-2 years as a member of D-Skate’s Diabetes Education Team
-Completed over a dozen ultra marathons including category wins.
-Furthest race to date Haliburton Forest 50miler

Dana Greenburg

Dana Greenberg

-Involved since 2012
-B.Sc, M.B.A

Living with type 1 and the mother of a teen with type 1, Dana has a unique experience that has supported many others. She is an excellent speaker, life coach and mentor for ICD, supports Toronto’s “We Pump” organization, and has also been recruited to lead the JDRF’s Toronto mentoring program.

Matt Stein

Matt Stein

-Involved since 2013
-BEng (Mech), M.Sc, MIM
-Head Coach of McGill university’s MMA program

With a Master’s in management from the London School of Economics and International management from CEMS, Matt has a tremendous discipline to share. He has offered his programming and problem solving skills to ICD participants and started a private family foundation to support this mission and spread its impact across Canada. A black belt himself, Matt is also passionate about practicing and sharing the sport of mixed martial arts.

Erika - I Challenge Diabetes

Erika Arff

-Involved since 2012
-BPHE (Bachelor of Physical and Health Education) minor in GESJ (Gender Equality and Social Justice)
-Award winning researcher on diabetes and exercise under Dr. Kristina Karvinen.-Her thesis is called “Barriers to Physical Activity within Adults who live with Type 1 Diabetes”
-Zumba Instructor
– Lifeguard
-Water Safety Instructor
– Level 1 Alpine Ski Racing Coach
-HI-5 Child Development certificate
– Competitive dance for 15 years
– 4 years on the Nipissing University Cheerleading team (Captain for 2 years)
– Alpine Ski Racing Team 7 years, Alpine Ski Racing Coaching 10 years


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