The Birth of ICD

I Challenge Diabetes 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!

  • 5 star review  My family has been involved in several I challenge diabetes events over the past 4 years since my sons diagnosis. All have been stimulating and supportive. Recently Chris came to the school where I teach to speak to a group of teenagers interested in learning more about diabetes. The discussion was awesome and Chris has given a large group of students a very real perspective on what it means to live with a chronic condition. It was motivating and inspiring - thank you so much!

    thumb Kirsten Masterton

    5 star review  Chris Jarvis came to my daughter's school to do a presentation about type 1 Diabetes for Diabetes awareness month. The program was titled Diabuddies and it was a huge success among the students, teachers, and school board administrators. Chris was very professional and was able to engaged the children with his vast knowledge and personal experience. I would highly recommend this fantastic non profit organization- I Challenge Diabetes.

    thumb Kari Everson

    5 star review  This is one of the best diabetes focused organizations in Canada! Chris Jarvis and team are doing incredible things in the T1D space! Recently had the chance to join their retreat in Panorama, BC, and just can't say enough about the experience. Great chance to meet, spend time with and learn from fellow T1Ds.

    thumb Elliot Gatt
  • 4 star review  I started to followed the ICD site for quite awhile now..after I spotted the advertisement on the Diabetes Depot Site. I think it's wonderful to see how many have been able to come together, make connections and challenge themselves to a healthier life style. I watch my son Mathew everyday trying to do the best he can, just like many of you do with your loved ones. It's good to know that as he moves to the Niagara area in the Fall, that he will have places to turn to if he finds the need too. Thank you again Chris for last May. It makes a difference to know your not alone when dealing with this disease. Hearing how others cope, helped him out and hopefully will give him the confidence he needs as he makes his move to College.

    thumb Nancy Hay

    5 star review  My 16 year old son just completed his 4th adventure with ICD. Each and every time he throughly enjoyed himself and came home inspired to face all the challenges in his life! ICD is such a valuable organization! Thank you Chris and all the ICD team for doing what you do!

    thumb Cathy Larsen Fiveland

    5 star review  I challenge diabetes is an invaluable resource and support for anyone whose been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This is a community for diabetics and their families; especially for those type 1's endeavouring to live a healthy, active lifestyle. If you or your child has been diagnosed with type 1 Chris and his staff should be your first call.

    thumb Amaya Jeremy Ahlfield
  • 5 star review  What I Challenge has done for my family ..... especially put 2 xT1Ds is outstanding! They helped our 2 accomplish so much this past year with confidence about themselves, how to take care of themselves and others with T1D!! Love you all !!

    thumb Kristi Marie

    5 star review  We went to our first I Challenge Diabetes event last night in Calgary at the Flying Squirrel. I have to tell you it was so great to see my daughter be around other kids living with Type 1. I think she felt so normal. It was great for us as well to meet other parents and connect with people who understand exactly what we are going through.

    thumb Barb Letourneau Langille

    5 star review  My Son has challenged his Diabetes in so many different situations now and it's all thanks to Chris and the ICD team. From conquering his debilitating fear of heights to paddling way up North (without his Mother) to learning how to take on his treatment in a positive way that generates more independence. Chris Jarvis has been a huge role model for Griffon and I am forever grateful!!!! Even my daughter who isn't Type 1 has benefited from ICD events and she looks forward to them just as much as her brother. 🙂 Thanks to all of you for such an amazing organization!!!

    thumb Amanda Howard


Send us an email and we'll get back to you asap.



©2019 I Challenge Diabetes. All rights reserved. Charitable Registration Number: 821102712RR0001

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account