Our People

Board of Directors

Sandy Smeenk


SandySandy Smeenk, is the co-Founder and Executive Director of the Improving the Lives of Children and Families with Chronic Pain Charitable Foundation (“ILC”), a national charity catalyzing efforts to address the burden of pain through evidence-based awareness and education, systems change and knowledge translation.  Sandy was recognized as one of 16 Women Changing Healthcare in 2014 by Patient Commando, was elected as Chair of Pain Action Canada 2015 to revitalize a national pain campaign.  Under Sandy’s leadership, the ILC has contributed to and is a participating partner in a new large Canadian network pioneering developments in patient-oriented health care for chronic pain research, funded by a Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) grant.  Sandy is a member of the Patient Advisory Committee with the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council; and has led substantiate initiatives to influence Ministry of Health mandated programs for people with rare diseases utilizing Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) as a model of optimal care.  Sandy lives in Oakville with her husband and three grown children.

Janet Schwichtenberg


janetJanet Schwichtenberg is a Certified Professional  Accountant.  She received her Chartered Accountant designation in 1990 after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours Cooperative Program) degree.  Janet worked for a multi-million dollar international distribution and financing company as Financial Manager and then Manager of Taxation.  In 2006, Janet left public accounting to work as a Sole Practitioner.    Her part-time practice includes bookkeeping, Financial Statements preparation, Personal and Corporate Taxation for Individuals and Owner Managed Businesses.  She volunteered for over 8 years as Treasurer and Bookkeeper for a local youth sports organization and for the last 5 years, as Treasurer for The ILC Foundation.  Janet lives in Oakville with her husband, Kerry and their four daughters.

Sarah Marriott


sarahSarah has been volunteering with the ILC Foundation since January 2015 in the capacity of Board Secretary. She is a Chartered Director and has prior experience in both charitable and corporate board roles.   Sarah enjoys contributing to worthy causes which are small but mighty and which facilitate immediate help and support for those in its mandate.  This is what drew her to the ILC; knowing that the organization has such driven and enthusiastic executives and board members which translates into results which are directly helping people and will continue to do so as changes are made locally and nationally.

Allan Gordon

B.A. (Psychology & Sociology), M.A. (Sociology), Director

 Allan GordonAllan Gordon’s interest in the ILC Foundation began with his wife, Nicoleta Woinarosky’s diagnosis, with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and the realization that the Foundation was the only Canadian organization providing direct advice and support to children, youth and adults with rare diseases that are difficult to diagnose and treat. While receiving much-appreciated advice on diagnosis and treatment options for EDS, Allan expressed his gratitude by promoting the Difficult to Diagnose Disease (DDD) Program with the Public Health Agency of Canada, and by reviewing and providing feedback on the DDD Program and other Foundation documents, from his perspective as a former Health Canada employee.Allan brings over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, in the areas of management, social research and university teaching. For the past 15 years he has held management positions with Health Canada, supervising policy and research analysts who identified and prioritized the department’s health information needs and prepared statistical reports including the biennial Healthy Canadians Reports released by the Health Minister. During this period he contributed to the re-organization of several divisions by preparing mission statements, goals and objectives, and engaged in all aspects of staffing (including recruitment, preparation of job descriptions and written exams, and oral interviews). Before advancing into management, Allan managed a large ($654,000) multi-year contract for the 1996 National Health Promotion Survey. As a private-sector consultant, he planned and conducted two national surveys. In both the public and private sectors he provided technical advice and support on a wide range of social research and evaluation projects (including social surveys, opinion polls and a magazine reader survey). He also taught Social Research Methods at Carleton University for two years. His knowledge and experience will be useful to the Board in the areas of governance, communication and research.

Susan Hawkins

Susan joined the ILC Board based on its dedicated focus to improving access to care for people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) through Canadian medical education. Susan became interested in Ehlers Danlos Syndrome when her daughter was diagnosed in late 2012. Now that her daughter’s health has improved due to medical treatment in the US, Susan’s passion is to improve the medical treatments available in Canada. Susan works part-time at the family owned business, Canerector, which is a multi-divisional company in the metal fabrication sector. She has a BA in Economics and an MBA from Shulich Business School at York University as well as many years experience volunteering, fundraising and serving on other boards of directors.

Roger Lapworth

Roger LapworthMost notable is his past involvement with the Cruisers Sports for the Physically Disabled who support the Halton and Peel Regions, and more recently, as Director and Treasurer of Oakville based ILC Charitable Foundation, whose focus is to improve the lives of 20% of children and families living with chronic pain. Roger Lapworth completed his education in England in the field of financial management and audit, and immigrated to Canada in 1974.  He has held positions of vice president of finance and chief financial officer for local corporations for over 30 years. Since 1986, he has operated his own tax consulting business.  Roger has served for two terms as Oakville Town Councilor, is also an audio engineer and is the founder of the Retro Rock Lounge, a non-profit organization that supports amateur musicians within the arts community.  Roger joins the ILC Foundation as Director and Treasurer in recognition of the work being done to bridge gaps in care for children and families suffering with complex pain problems.  Roger has lived in Oakville since 1997.

Rebecca Mills

Rebecca Mills is co-founder of the ILC and is co-owner and Office Director of Oakville Laser Clinic & Spa, a very successful Cosmetic Medical Clinic in Oakville Ontario. Rebecca has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of the medical facility’s operations, including Sales, Marketing, Safety & Compliance, and Human Resources. Under her direction the clinic has received numerous awards and recognition for excellent service and productivity. With three surgeons, three Registered Nurses and three Estheticians, the clinic offers a wide range of Surgical, Cosmetic and Spa services. Rebecca has spent years seeking treatment for her daughter who suffers from chronic pain due to a genetic connective tissue disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Rebecca attended the Rehabilitative Pain Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, with her daughter who went through an intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation program to learn skills and was provided the tools to cope with the persistent pain she lives with. Rebecca and her husband Kris live in Oakville with their three children, Brooklyn, Brendan and Jeremy.

Bob Pattison

Director of Fund Development

Bob PattisonBob was born in Toronto and attended Humber College for Marketing Management. After beginning his finance career with Bank of America he was transferred to Vancouver for 7 years. He returned to Ontario with Transamerica Commercial Finance in 1984 and currently resides in Oakville. His experience spans over 30 years in senior executive positions in Commercial Distribution Finance. In his roles as Vice President, Sales at GE Capital, National Account Manager for Deutsche Bank, and General Manager, CIBC Finance Inc. he has gained a depth of experience and contacts which will enhance his efforts on behalf of The ILC Foundation. Bob has also organized fund raising events over the past 10 years for individuals in need as well as events for The Children’s Wish Foundation and recently for The ILC Foundation.

Peter Reinhardt

Peter Reinhardt, CMO of Wizz Marketing, a subsidiary of Saving MainStreet Inc., describes himself as a customer centric marketer. Past executive with Carlson Marketing, Peter brings tremendous insights on being customer focused, targeted in approach and the creation of purpose driven marketing solutions. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small independent retailers and artists.Peter has a big heart and receives tremendous satisfaction in giving back to the community as well as many individual groups that have asked for his help. “I feel so thankful to be surrounded by so many great people; giving back using my God given talents is a way to demonstrate my gratitude”. He has been very involved with The Meeting House, Kerr Street Ministries, Oakville’s Largest Rock’n Roll Party, the development of The ILC Foundation and numerous independent charitable initiatives.Peter lives in Oakville with his wife Pamela. They have three children who are spread out across the country, Matthew in BC, Nik and Kristina in Ontario.

Volunteer Leaders

Billie Jo Bogden


Billie Jo BogdenBillie Jo Bogden, Patient-Oriented Research Representative (POR) to the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Chronic Pain Network under the leadership of Dr. Norm Buckley, Nominated Principal Investigator, and the ILC Medical Director. The Patient-Oriented Research Committee is mandated to ensure that research projects funded by the Chronic Pain Network (CPN) align with the Network’s strategy. Billie Jo has expertise in policy, communications and intergovernmental affairs in the federal public service. She is currently working on local collective action project to assist patients through the many challenges ahead and is a dedicated volunteer with the ILC Charitable Foundation championing a unified patient voice.

Tanya Brown

Tanya BrownTanya Brown is a small business owner, holding diplomas in both 3D animation and video game art and illustration. Tanya is Co-Founder of Atlantic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Society (AEDSS), an official ILC Foundation chapter member covering the Atlantic Region, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After she and her daughter were given the diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Tanya realized there was a severe lack of resources, awareness, and information for families in Nova Scotia affected by EDS. Formed in 2013, AEDSS became an official chapter of The ILC Foundation in January 2015, expanding the network of support and knowledge for their member families. Tanya lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with her daughter, who is training in classical opera. Both suffer with chronic pain and health issues, but continue to not only survive, but thrive, despite this.

Lynn Clark

Lynn ClarkLynn Clark is most notably known as an advocate with a passion to meeting the needs of the people she comes to know.  Whether in their real estate needs, as an agent that finds that perfect home that blends special accommodations, or in the population of people that are marginalized because of gaps within existing social service systems.  Lynn’s interest in becoming involved with the ILC was based on her personal experience where her daughter, Chelsea Clark, Gold Medal Paralympian, experienced underserviced and misunderstood chronic pain.  By the time doctors took the pain she was experiencing seriously, she had advanced stage cancer.  As an advocate, Lynn has represented Easter Seals in the position of Parent Council Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) with the Peel District School Board, and the Halton District School Board; Lynn chaired the March of Dimes committee to start the L.I.F.E. Program in Mississauga, with a 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, where the program was expanded in Toronto.  The L.I.F.E. Program is a day program for young people with physical disabilities who have finished school, to help them learn skills for employment and independent living.  During that time, a small group of families approached Habitat for Humanity Halton in a collaborative effort to provide 6 bungalow townhomes for young adults with physical disabilities.  Unfortunately the group disbanded due to illness; Lynn has provided a positive impact through her associations with Cruisers Sports for the Physically Disabled, Windrush Theraputic Riding Stables and Erinoak Children’s Treatment Centre where she introduced a summer riding camp to Erinoak Children’s Treatment Centre.

Jacqueline Raposo

Jacqueline RaposoJacqueline came to the ILC Foundation with a strong belief in Family Centered Care and a desire to assist individuals living with complex, chronic health needs.  Having worked for over twenty years at ErinoakKids, Centre for Treatment and Development primarily coordinating special needs/respite funding and services for families, she brings with her vast knowledge and experience.  Jacquie was an integral part of the training and development of ErinoakKids, pilot respite program, in 1996, which has successfully grown into one of Central West Region’s largest respite program for children with physical, developmental and medically fragile needs.  Her diverse, multidisciplinary experience has allowed her to better understand the challenges families face, bringing expertise in identifying timely services and support with the recognition on the importance of collaboration to ensure streamlined and, optimal health services.  Jacquie knows that navigating the health care system can be difficult.  For families coming through ILC’s doors, they don’t have to make this journey alone: appropriate care and supports are available.

Ray Rodriguez

Technical & Creative Advisor

Ray RodriguezRay is a Program Manager with over 35 years’ experience in various technical and management roles in Trust, Insurance and Wealth Management businesses at RBC.  The ILC Foundation is just the latest organization to which Ray is contributing his volunteer time, having been involved in many capacities with the Ride for Heart, United Way, Oakville Soccer Club and most recently as VP Operations/ Tournaments Director with the Oakville Hornets, the largest girl’s minor hockey organization in Canada.  The passion and dedication of the ILC has shone through his personal friendships with the Smeenk family and reciprocally, those to whom that passion is dedicated.  He just had to get involved and work with this team! Ray & Janice moved to Oakville as newlyweds in 1992 and raised their two daughters in Falgarwood. They continue to live in and love our community as “almost” empty-nesters.

Nicoleta Woinarosky, BSocSc (Hon), MHK

Health Resources Consultant

After a 20 year career as a social researcher in the Canadian government, Nicoleta gave-up full time work as a result of EDS, but continued part-time volunteer work. In 2009 she began volunteering with the Arthritis Society, which promotes active lifestyle as a weapon against chronic pain and pain related mental health issues. For five years she was an Arthritis Self-Management Program leader, which involved teaching courses and workshops on Chronic Pain Management. From 2011-2014, she volunteered as an Exercise Coordinator with a small senior’s residence in Ottawa.

As a Health Resource Consultant for The ILC Chronic Pain and Ehlers Danlos Charitable Foundation (“The ILC”), she currently uses her education and experience to provide evidence based information in response to questions about many chronic pain syndromes, including EDS. As a representative of the ILC and EDS in Canada, Nicoleta participates on the Physiotherapy Working Group for the EDS International Symposium and co-authored “The Evidence-Based Rationale for Physical Therapy Treatment of Children, Adolescents and Adults Diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome/Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome”. She uses every opportunity to provide information about EDS to health professionals. She lives with EDS, chronic pain, and has had an improved quality of life due to cranio-cervical fusion and tethered cord surgery.

Drawing on her lived and volunteer experience, and her Master’s thesis in Human Kinetics (The Effects of Exercise/Physical Activity on Chronic Pain and Pain Related Mental Health Issues), Nicoleta has provided presentations on the physical and psychological benefits of exercising to government and academic audiences, senior residences, the Arthritis Society, and the ILC – EDS conference.

Medical Advisers

Dr. Norm Buckley, BA (Psych), MD, FRCPC

ILC Chair Medical Advisory Board

Professor and Chair
Department of Anesthesia.
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
McMaster University


Dr. Norman (Norm) Buckley has accepted an appointment as chair, Department of Anesthesia, effective since July 1, 2004.  Buckley is an associate professor in the Department of Anesthesia of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and is the founder and director of the Pain Management Centre for Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University.”Dr. Buckley has already shown great leadership in his time as acting chair,” said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We now anticipate his taking the department to higher levels of research and educational productivity.”A certified anesthetist, Buckley obtained a BA in psychology from McMaster in 1977. Subsequently he graduated from McMaster University Medical School in 1982. He completed his anesthesia residency at McMaster and Stanford Universities from 1983 to 1987 and a clinical scholarship at McMaster in 1988, following which he joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University as an assistant professor.Buckley specializes in acute and chronic pain management for both children and adults. His current research activities involve inquiry into postoperative pain management, peri-operative nausea and vomiting and peri-operative cardiac complications.Throughout his years of training and practice, Buckley has involved himself in a variety of activities including committee service and membership in medical and non-medical organizations.   Among other administrative roles, he recently completed a term as scientific officer, Clinical Trials Committee, for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. At McMaster University, he is a member of the Clinical Faculty Association Executive Committee and the Senate Executive Committee. Buckley served as acting chair of the Department of Anesthesia from January 2003 – June 2004.Buckley’s personal life has included involvement as the executive director of a wilderness camping organization (Camp Outlook) and working with Medical Ministries International (MMI)  providing ophthalmologic services in the third world with his surgical colleague Dr. John Harvey.  He also plays trombone with the Weston Silver Band.

Marli Brown


Marli BrownMarli Brown is a Registered Social Worker in Manitoba who has been involved in a variety of social service environments over the last 15 years. With the depth of front line experience, Marli’s practice philosophy involves a strength based, ecological perspective that explores the person in environment interaction. She works with people and families of all ages, and also participates in larger, systemic advocacy work which focuses on bridging the gaps between the patient’s lived experience and the systemic requirements; in particular in the areas of chronic pain and mental health. Her professional passion is driven by her own experiences within the medical and mental health systems. She has three children, one of whom who has been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. She can be contacted through email: findingnormal@hotmail.com



Brian EmpeyBrian Empey is the owner of Be In Motion Physiotherapy in Oakville, Ontario. Brian is a Registered Physiotherapist and Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapist and Certified Athletic Therapist. Brian is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Sports Injury Management Program in 1996, McMaster University’s Physiotherapy Program in 2000 and the University of Western Ontario’s Masters of Clinical Science in Manipulative Physiotherapy MCIScMT in 2013.Brian specializes in advanced Manual Therapy, Sports Medicine and Acupuncture. He has completed his Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT) and is a clinical associate and CSL Unit 1 instructor with McMaster University and a mentor within the Orthopaedic Division. Brian participated in the Core Medical Teams for the 2009 Canada Summer Games in PEI and the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.

Dr. Allen Finley MD FRCPC FAAP


Dr. Allen Finley MD FRCPC FAAP, is a pediatric anesthesiologist who has worked for 20 years in pain research and management. He is a Professor of Anesthesia and Psychology at Dalhousie University, and Medical Director of Pediatric Pain Management at IWK Health Centre in Halifax. He has published over 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured widely, with more than 180 invited presentations on six continents. He started the PEDIATRIC-PAIN e-mail discussion list in 1993, bringing together pain researchers and clinicians from over 40 countries. His own research and educational projects have recently taken him to Jordan, Thailand, China, Brazil, and elsewhere. His focus is advocacy for improved pain management for children in both developing and developed countries. On June 9, 2010, he was announced as the inaugural holder of the Dr. Stewart Wenning Endowed Chair in Pediatric Pain Management at the IWK Health Centre.

Dr. Clair Francomano, M.D.

Clinical Genetics
Dr. Clair Francomano, M.D.Dr. Francomano received her undergraduate degree at Yale University and her medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She trained in internal medicine and medical genetics at Johns Hopkins and joined the full-time Hopkins faculty in 1984. She joined GBMC’s Harvey Institute of Human Genetics in 2005. Dr. Francomano is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has held positions as Clinical Director and Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health and Chief of the Human Genetics and Integrative Medicine Section in the Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging.Dr. Francomano is board-certified in internal medicine, clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics. She is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Human Genetics and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and is a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.In 2008, and every year since, Dr. Francomano has been named among “Baltimore’s Best Medical Geneticists” by Baltimore Magazine. Her clinical and research interests include the hereditary disorders of connective tissue and skeletal dysplasias. She received EDNF’s Shining Star award in 2012 for her dedication to people with EDS.The Harvey Institute for Human Genetics provides diagnostic capabilities, access to the latest genetic testing, genetic counseling, education, and management for genetic conditions from the beginning of life through adulthood. Our team includes reproductive, pediatric and adult geneticists along with genetic counselors who specialize in the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions. In addition, we collaborate with other medical disciplines to care for individuals with various genetic conditions.

Christine Fung, R.TCMP, R.AC, CTCMAO

Christine FungChristine Fung is a Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (RTCMP) and Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) practicing traditional acupuncture in the province of Ontario. She is also an elected council member of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO), the governing body established by the government of Ontario, regulating the practice and conduct of practitioners.Christine have spent the past 7 years working as an acupuncturist helping her patients to achieve their optimal wellness. She strongly believes that traditional acupuncture is an effective alternative medicine in conjunction with conventional medical treatments for ailments such as chronic pain.

As a female practitioner and a mother of two children, Christine is particularly interested in treating infertility, and children’s health conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, ADHD, autism, Tourette syndrome (tics).

In November 2010, Christine became a Certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist which is an accreditation given by National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). NADA is an internationally renowned organization, known for their protocols that have been proven to be effective in providing physical and emotional relief associated with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, anxiety and cravings/urges to use substances.

Christine is actively giving back to the community. Since 2006, she has been facilitating holistic health related programs. She was a former chair of the Bathurst-Finch Women’s Committee and a facilitator at North York Women Centre. Christine is currently an executive board of director of Mississauga Chinese Business Association (MCBA) promoting business related activities in the city of Mississauga.

Christine has received several awards throughout her career. She has received the Community Building Award presented by Bathurst-Finch Network in 2012, Professional Advancement Award presented by College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology in 2011, and Top Acupuncturist in Mississauga presented by Top Choice Awards in 2011 and 2013.

Dr. Allan Gordon, MD FRCP(C)

Neurologist and Director 


Dr. Allan GordonDr. Allan Gordon is the Director of the Wasser Pain Management Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH). He joined the staff of Mount Sinai Hospital as a clinical neurologist in 1975. He was appointed as Head of Neurology at Mount Sinai in 1980 and stepped down from that position in 1997 when a joint division with The Toronto Hospital Division of Neurology was created. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. In 1992 he was appointed Director of Development and later Assistant Dean of Development in the Faculty of Medicine.Dr. Gordon’s initial area of interest was neuromuscular disease. The Wasser Pain Management Centre was formally established in 1999. Dr. Gordon’s clinical and research interests include migraine and craniofacial neuralgias, chronic pelvic region pain, neuropathic pain, EDS and chronic nonmalignant pain, and Pain and Addiction. The Wasser PMC also emphasizes the rational use of pharmacotherapy as well as physical, psychological and complementary and alternative treatments for chronic pain. He is now co-chair of the Advisory Committee establishing the Adult Chronic Pain Network.

Dr. Juan Guzman, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Juan Guzman is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and Internal Medicine specialist at Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital Clinical Teaching Unit). After graduating from medical school in Colombia, Dr. Guzman completed a three year Clinical Research Fellowship in Autonomic Disorders at McMaster University in 2007, this was followed by 3 year residency training in Internal Medicine at McMaster University and 1 year of General Internal Medicine Fellowship. He holds a Masters of Sciences degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University. He received the Have a Heart Bursary Program Award by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Academy in 2009 as young promising clinical researcher in Cardiovascular Sciences. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and he is a board certified Internal Medicine specialist.He has clinical and research interest in Syncope and Autonomic Disorders such as Pure Autonomic Failure, Multiple Syncope Atrophy, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Vasovagal Syncope. He is staff member of the Syncope and Autonomic Disorders Unit as well as the Autonomic Laboratory affiliated to the Arrhythmia Service at the Hamilton General Hospital.

Dr. Guzman has published peer review articles, abstracts, and book chapters and has presented his work in multiple meetings around the world.

Dr. Guzman has strong interest in medical education at the graduate and postgraduate level as well as knowledge translation from the teaching hospital to the general practitioner.

Dr. Guzman is an active member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, American Autonomic Society and the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Fraser Henderson Sr., M.D. GUMC Adjunct

Professor Imaging Science and Information Systems (ISIS)
Dr. Fraser Henderson SrProfessor Fraser C. Henderson, Sr., is Director of Neurosurgery of the Spine and Cranio-cervical Junction, Co-Director of Radio surgery and Medical Director of the Acute and Step-Down Neurosurgical units. He specializes in tumors of the skull base, spinal cord and spine, and has worked with Cyber Knife to advance stereotactic radio surgical treatment of spinal and cranio-
cervical tumors.Fraser Henderson was foreman on a cattle station in the Outback of Australia before receiving his bachelor’s and Medical degree at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA. He served for with the Multi-National Peace Keeping Force in Beirut, earning the Navy Commendation Medal for preparedness of and treatment of mass casualties following the terrorist bombing attack in Beirut, Lebanon , October 1983. After completing his residency under Phanor Perot at the Medical University of South Carolina, he returned to complete his active duty obligation at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, as Director of Spine. He was Brigade Neurosurgeon for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the 1st Gulf War. He then completed a fellowship in Craniospinal surgery under Professor Alan Crockard at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London.Finishing his tour with the US Navy, Commander Henderson joined Georgetown University, in Washington D.C. as Director of Neurosurgery of the Spine and Cranio-cervical Junction. He was Co-Director of the Lombardi Neuro-Oncology Division, Co-Director of the CyberKnife Radiosurgery Center, and Medical Director of the Neuroscience Nursing Units. He was Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology at Georgetown University, where he was active in advancing CyberKnife radiosurgery for treatment of chordoma and other complex spinal tumors. He developed intellectual property for three inventions relating to spinal radiosurgery and spinal cancer, including the TPS® –Telescopic Plate Spacer- a vertebral replacement device for metastatic disease and was Principal Investigator in the translational development of a radio-sensitizing drug, and a drug to block the malignant invasiveness of Glioblastoma Multiforme.Dr. Henderson entered private practice in Bethesda Maryland, as Director of Neurosurgery at Doctors Hospital and Director of the Chiari Center of Excellence, where he is focused on the development of the understanding and treatment of deformity induced injury to the brainstem and spinal cord in Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. He is inventor of 11 devices and concepts relating to disorders of the brainstem and spinal cord, has published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and given over 130 invited lectures with a focus on craniocervical disorders, Chiari malformation, cancer, radiosurgery and unusual problems of the spine. Dr Henderson lives with his wife, Becky, and three sons- Fraser, Lansdale and Landon- on a farm in Prince Georges County, Maryland.

Dr. S.S. Kohli, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Kohli is a specialist in Critical care medicine, and commonly cares for adults with difficult to diagnose diseases and chronic pain in the ICU. He is also an assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University and takes a special interest in evidence based medicine, education, and methods to improve quality of care. Lastly, he is a passionate advocate of improving cardiac arrest across the province and serves as the medical director for ACLS at the Michener institute.His main motivation for joining the ILC is to improve the care of those neglected by our health care system because their medical problems are complex, rare, and poorly understood.The care of such patients presents a challenge in terms of resources and mindset. Dr. Kohli comes from a background of space medicine and as a former astronaut candidate, he enjoys being part of a team to help overcome such challenges.

Dr. Christine LaMontagne


Director of Chronic Pain Services.Co-Chair of the hospital-wide pain committeeRoyal College examiner for Anesthesiology

Dr. Kristianna Martiniuk, MD, BSc, CCFP, FCFP

Dr. Martiniuk is Lead Physician at the Trafalgar Sheddon Family Health Organization and is an active staff member at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital with privileges in Obstetrics, Surgical assists, Pediatrics, Maternal-child committee member.  In addition to her dedication to her patients, Dr. Martiniuk offers her expertise as the site lead for EMR implementation to support the entire practice.  As Fellow, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Dr. Martiniuk’s dedication includes Family Physician Mentor Collaborative Stroke Care. Dr. Martiniuk lives within the Halton Region and is married with 4 children.
(905) 845-8771

Dr. Roberto Mendoza, MD, MSc, FACMG

Dr. Mendoza obtained his Medical and Master’s degree in Biology with emphasis in Human Genetics degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He completed a residency in paediatrics at the State University of New York in Brooklyn and a fellowship in clinical and metabolic genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. Dr. Mendoza has a long standing interest in the genetics of skeletal dysplasias, inherited bone disorders and  connective tissue disorders.

Gail Ouellette, Ph.D., CCGC

Gail OuelletteGail Ouellette is a geneticist and a certified genetic counsellor. She is a co-founder and president-CEO of the Quebec Coalition of Orphan Diseases (Regroupement québécois des maladies orphelines, RQMO) and of the Rare Disease Information and Resource Centre. She is also coordinator of the Orphanet-Quebec project. She obtained her Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Université de Montréal. She did her postdoctoral studies in genetic epidemiology at the Centre for Human Genetics in Leuven, Belgium. She was a researcher at Algene Biotechnologies and Signalgene where she worked in gene discovery for complex diseases in founder populations. In 1999, she left the laboratory and the computer to train for a Master’s in Genetic Counselling at McGill University in order to do clinical genetics. She worked as a genetic counsellor at the Centre hospitalier universitaire of Sherbrooke and at Procréa Cliniques in Montreal. Since 2005, she has been involved with various patient organizations in Canada and co-founded the RQMO in 2010.

Christina Pridmore, R. Kin, D.O.M.P., D.Sc.O.

Registered Kinesiologist, Osteopathic Manual Practioner


Christina graduated with a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University in 1996.    She furthered her education by becoming a certified Pilates Instructor with Stott Pilates in 2001.  As a Registered Kinesiologist with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario, Christina works with patients to improve physical health by creating personalized exercise programs which focus on injury rehabilitation, prevention and improved strength, flexibility and biomechanics.

Christina graduated as Valedictorian from Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto in 2013.  She completed her post-graduate thesis entitled, “The effect of global osteopathic treatment on accommodative insufficiency in children aged 7-15 years”.  Her research won the William Garner Sutherland award for the advancement of clinical osteopathy.

Christina’s treatment philosophy involves a continuum of care, incorporating both osteopathy and therapeutic exercise, to help patients reach their individual goals.  She works with people of all ages and abilities with a particular interest in chronic conditions and pediatric osteopathy.

Dr. James T. Rutka, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, FAAP, FAANS


Born in Toronto, and educated at Princeton University (1975-1977), and Queen’s University Medical School (1977-1981), Dr. Rutka did an internship at McGill University (1981-1982) before entering the University of Toronto Neurosurgery Training Program in 1982. His training included a research fellowship at the Brain Tumor Research Centre, the University of California San Francisco where he obtained his PhD in Experimental Pathology (1984-1987). Dr. Rutka assumed his appointment in the Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery in 1990, and has been on the surgical staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery since that time. Dr. Rutka’s primary research and clinical interests relate to the science and surgery of human brain tumors. He has over 450 peer reviewed publications.

In 1999, Dr. Rutka was promoted to Professor in the Department of Surgery, and was appointed Chairman of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. From 1999-2011, Dr Rutka held the Dan Family Chair in
Neurosurgery. In 2009, he was the Honored Guest at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ Annual Meeting. In 2010-11, Dr Rutka served as President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. In 2011, he became President of the World Academy of Neurological Surgery, and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. In 2013, he became the first Canadian to be appointed as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgery. In 2015, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Stephane Treyvaud, Psychiatrist

M.D., F.R.C.P. (C), FMH (Switzerland)
345 Lakeshore Road East, Suite 408
Oakville, Ontario, L6J 1J5
Tel: 905-338-1386


Dr. Treyvaud is an adult, and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, of the equivalent college in Switzerland (FMH) and a full member of the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association. His medical training includes specializations in Mind/Body Medicine, Psychoanalysis, Jungian Psychology, Existential Psychotherapy, Developmental Psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Interpersonal Neurobiology. With Northrop Frye he studied matters of the imagination and spirituality.Dr. Treyvaud has been running a private psychiatric practice for over 25 years. 15 years ago he founded The Mindfulness Center in Oakville, which incorporates a stress reduction clinic. He has developed an integrative approach to mindfulness, which encompasses both psychotherapy and meditation. He runs regular 12-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Programs for beginners and year-long Mindfulness Intensives for people who want to make mindfulness a way of life. He gives regular lectures, workshops and seminars at various institutions, and has presented yearly workshops across Canada at the annual meeting of the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association. His website can be found at www.mindful.ca.

  • Chronic pain support for children, youth, and teens
  • Internationally, Canada is recognized as a leader in the field of pediatric chronic pain research. Our growing network of health care professionals is dedicated to education and knowledge transfer. Together we represent hope and a future of children and adolescents living well, in spite of, or free of, chronic pain. Thank you!

    The New Yorker – June 16, 2010 – THE VELLUVIAL MATRIX
    Atul Gawande stated in his Stanford School of Medicine commencement speech "...Meaning comes from each of us finding ways to help people and communities make the most of what is known and cope with what is not. This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."
  • Upcoming Events

    1. Halifax Support Group Meeting

      October 15, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    2. Simcoe/York Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Peer Support Group Meeting

      October 21, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    3. ILC 5th Annual Ehlers Danlos & Chronic Pain Conference

      November 4, 2017 - November 5, 2017
    4. Ontario Peer Support Meeting – Toronto, Ontario

      November 4, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    5. Halifax Support Group Meeting

      November 12, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
The ILC Foundation

The ILC Foundation