Advisors

We are collaborating with patients and health care providers to inform our intervention and study design from its planning stages to testing in real-time

Health Care Advisory Committee


Mei Chan


Lorraine Anderson


Sandi Williams


Leah Drazek


Alanna Landry

Patient Advisory Committee

Our Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) consists of 15 members.

Shirley Choi
Devin Cleary
Daryn Epstein
Bruna Furlan
Marley Greenberg
Dana Greenberg
Rajitha Gunaseelan
Shayla Hele
Nadiya Kuzmicz
Katie McAree

Matthew Mustapic
Adhiyat Najam
Linus Shaw
Christy Sparrow
Glen Thayer
  

Patient Stories and Quotes

Devin Cleary Gooden

About Devin
Devin Cleary Gooden has been a patient partner with Diabetes Action Canada for the past year. She has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 10 and is very active in the T1 community, especially regarding research on the psychological impacts of chronic illnesses. She is particularly excited to be involved with the T1ME study as making diabetes easier and less of a burden day-to-day is her favourite thing. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, running, hiking with her dog, and watching Friends on repeat.
We can connect at: dcleary88@gmail.com

 

“Everyone thinks they understand T1. They think you eat something and then you have to take a needle. End of story. If that were true, I don’t think you’d ever hear any T1 complaining, because the needles are the easy part.”
– Devin Cleary

Rajitha Gunaseelan

About Rajitha
“A new level of confidence in the unknown” (Eugenia Duodu)
A new level of confidence in the unknown is something I learned when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 4. My blood sugar, food, insulin or routine at some point can be unknown to me, but that factor helps me find new ways to overcome it. Further diabetes helps me look at life through a new perspective.

I have always remained an active student in my high school through clubs, events, and volunteering for environmental and social justice causes. I hope to continue this involvement at York University as an undergraduate student studying Business Economics. I have been part of the T1ME study for the past year and look forward to see the impact it will have on easing a diabetic’s routine.

“I was never truly comfortable showing MY own blood in public, needles, or my pump. It evolved into a habit and me trying to find my self – confidence about the actions. Since being diagnosed I think about all the positive aspects it has given me: meeting other diabetics or being provided the opportunity to share my reality to others unaware. Now I can confidently say, I am proud to be diabetic.” – Rajitha G

We can connect at: rajiguna52@gmail.com 

Shayla Hele

About Shayla
I have been living with Type 1 Diabetes since I was 7 years old. Much of my life has been committed to competitive sports, namely hockey, lacrosse, and badminton. Although diabetes has presented its challenges, my family, including my oldest brother who also lives with Type 1 Diabetes, has always supported me in pursuing my goals. I am currently completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Biology and hoping to pursue a career that allows me to help others, as I have been helped, to overcome obstacles in their life and achieve their goals.
We can connect at: sfhele@upei.ca

 

“As I struggled through my first year of university, one of my older brother’s said to me, “it doesn’t get easier, you just get better.” Reflecting on this and the time I have dedicated to learning to live with diabetes, I realised that diabetes will always present its obstacles. Despite this, with time, practice, and support, I know I can and will adapt because I have done it in the past and I have seen many others do it too.” – Shayla Hele

Adhiyat Najam

About Adhiyat
My name is Adhiyat Najam and I have had Type 1 diabetes since the age of seven. Despite stringent glycemic control, I was diagnosed with diabetic gastroparesis a few years ago as a complication from my underlying diabetes. Since then, I have been inspired to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in both researcher and patient partner roles and help increase awareness of the emotional and psychological dimensions of living with invisible illnesses.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Ottawa and a postgraduate certificate in Clinical Research from The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Global Health while becoming involved in clinical and global health research. By providing the patient perspective in research through speaking about my experiences and promoting engagement, I hope to help improve the quality of life and outcomes for Type 1 diabetics.

“One of the most difficult challenges for a patient is the emotional adjustment they have to make when coping with any condition. Living with an invisible illness like Type 1 diabetes can be isolating and frustrating, as your experience will often be undermined by others who are unable to see your daily suffering. My experience with chronic illness has taught me that it is crucial for one’s well-being to seek constructive avenues to channel these emotions. For me, this has meant contributing to research, advocating for social change, and improving public understanding.”
– Adhiyat Najam

We can connect at: adhiyat.najam@gmail.com 

Christy Sparrow

About Christy
Christy Sparrow is currently living in the city of Toronto studying musical theatre at Randolph College for the Performing Arts. She was just recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the summer of 2018. Although diabetes came as a surprise to Christy and her family, she is determined to not let the disease control her life. Christy hopes to one day play a prominent role in the type 1 community and become an inspiration for other performers living with the disease.

We can connect at: crispy3142@gmail.com 

Marley Greenberg

About Marley
Marley is 19 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 8. She attends the University of Toronto where she majors in Health Studies and co-founded the first Canadian chapter of the College Diabetes Network. Marley aspires to work in the field of health from an advocacy or policy perspective in order to improve the lives of those living with T1D. Marley is passionate about patient-orientated research and is very excited to be part of the T1ME study.

Dana Greenberg

About Dana
Dana was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in 1972, when she was only 7 years old. She has three children, the youngest of which was also diagnosed with T1D at the age of 8. Both Dana and her now 19 year old daughter are very active in the T1D community.  Dana volunteers her time mentoring other families with T1D by sharing her years of experience as both a person living with this disease as well as a parent of a child with T1D. As a patient partner with Diabetes Action Canada, Dana uses her unique dual patient-caregiver perspective to assist doctors and researchers in improving their understanding of life with T1D and in turn, helps direct their research into areas that matter most to those living with the disease.

In her spare time, Dana likes to spend time with her family, drink coffee, and challenge herself with new activities that everyone says she’s too old for!

Linus Shaw

About Linus
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just over 6 years ago. I was a very active child when I was diagnosed, and continue to compete in track and field at the collegiate level. I am involved in the University of Toronto’s chapter of the College Diabetes Network along with the T1ME Trial study.

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