I Challenge Diabetes’ Mission is to connect, empower and support people living with diabetes through mentorship and challenging programs.
Together, we apply strategies to overcome obstacles and grow to take ownership for our health.
Our Vision is for people living with diabetes have the skills, support, and courage to face challenge and discover new levels of what is possible for them.
I Challenge Diabetes was founded by Chris Jarvis, a former Olympic rower who succeeded largely due to meeting another young T1D rower.
While Rowing Canada had many supports – coaches, medical, family and friends – success came down to the leadership and chemistry amongst the athletes. Together, Chris and fellow type 1 Heather Van der Geest 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.
I Challenge Diabetes endeavours 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.
How We Work
Community and Learning
Our focus is on experiential education and creative problem solving, providing a supportive community and learning environment that builds confidence and helps people overcome issues that arise from managing Diabetes. Using modern technology and teamwork, we create programs that target common problems and develop new solutions to stabilizing blood sugar levels. Our team members who have type 1 Diabetes share a deep passion for staying healthy and positive during events, workshops, and speaking engagements.
At ICD, we rely on donations from the community to continue running our programs and events that range from hockey programs to hiking the West Coast Trail. All charitable donations are used to help low-income and at-risk youth attend our events. Check out our donations page here; any support is appreciated!
Diversity and Safety
At ICD, we applaud diversity and continue to grow programs that focus on the individual. We can support more than just diverse interests, catering to the needs of participants’ diets, physical restrictions, mental health, and financial status to ensure that any and all have access to what we offer.
To ensure your safety even in the most extreme places, we have team members trained to the highest level of wilderness medicine next to being an EMT! We also have numerous health care professionals who volunteer and partner with us, as well as clinics who provide appropriate programs that add to the depth and longevity of our impact. Take a look at our programs and services pages for more detail on program diversity and safety!
Nutrition & Education
We know nutrition isn’t the cause or sole solution to type 1 Diabetes, but it is an important part of managing it! Many of our programs provide meals and snacks made of healthy and delicious combinations. We are proud to accommodate any dietary requirements in any program, from the deepest forests to the highest cliffs!
We know that a lot of people learn the fundamentals of nutrition from clinics, but it continues well beyond their doors. Our programs are about sharing ideas, problem solving together, and finding what works for individuals in different situations.
Whether climbing a mountain, taking on a pro athlete, or exploring a sea cave, the key is always putting health first so we can remain prepared and reduce (the possibility of/impact of) highs and lows.