Lupus Ontario is governed by a 12 member volunteer board to provide governance, set the strategic plan and execute on major initiatives. The board members are located throughout the province and supported by our staff members. We work with Lupus Canada to advocate for improved access to information, health services and research.

We wish to thank present and past members for their outstanding service.

June Alikhan

June Alikhan was elected to the Board of Lupus Ontario in 2016. June joined Lupus Ontario in order to combine both her personal and professional interests as well as contribute her financial skills and insights to the organization.

June has over 35 years of experience in the accounting field; with over 25 years in the real estate industry. At Tricon Residential, June was CFO responsible for the Company’s overall financial management including information technology, reporting and administration before taking retirement at the end of a fifteen year career with the company.

Prior to joining Tricon in 2001, June led her own consulting company providing financial management, process re-engineering, and systems assessment and implementation services within the real estate industry. June graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and subsequently received her CPA, CA designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.


Linda Keill

Linda has previously served on the Board of Lupus Ontario as Secretary and as President from August 2014 until April 2019. Diagnosed with discoid lupus in 1982 and with SLE in 1983. Linda rejoined the Board in 2020 to continue contributing to improving the lives of lupus patients. Her interests lie in Fundraising and Advocacy. She brings to Lupus Ontario over 30 years’ experience as an Information Technology Consultant and Project Manager.


Siraj Mehdi

Siraj is Head of Structured Finance and Deal Management at MHIRJ Aviation.  He is a CPA CGA accountant with an MBA. He has spent the last 30 years in Finance and Planning with large public companies in the Aerospace, Consumer Goods, Automation and Pharmaceutical sectors. Siraj is eager and excited to use his skills to help Lupus Ontario achieve its mission of “Life Without Lupus”.

Siraj along with his wife and two daughters are avid travellers who have climbed an active volcano to see the sunrise in Bali, spent 30-hours trekking in the Sahara Desert and went on a shark cage dive on Hawaii’s North Shore.


Director at Large
Al Abaie

Al is a Doctor of Medicine and lives in Toronto. After graduating medical school, he practiced medicine part-time for a non-profit organization. He has been in the health care industry (mainly pharmaceuticals) starting in sales with giant multinationals and progressing quickly to management positions and eventually to CEO and Board Membership in private companies over the last 16 years. He is Director of Strategic Partnerships at Continuous Medical Education, a Canadian company that provides education to health care practitioners. He is a self-made businessman who has devoted his career to healthcare for everybody. Al is a political and social activist in addition to being a man in with a deep passion for nature, climate, and animals, especially Dogs, Rabbits, and Cats! Al is Married to Dr. Azadeh Nia, who is an entrepreneur and a nanotechnologist

Al first became involved with Lupus patients 30 years ago when he was a medical student at a rheumatology ward in a university hospital. The complexity and extensive impact of rheumatological diseases such as Lupus, persuaded him to take a proactive role in providing patients with better education, easier access to healthcare and better management of their disease to help them live happier lives. This passion for helping patients, expanded to a few other fields such as Hemophilia and other Infectious Diseases in later years. He has served these organizations as a volunteer, donor, and board member.

In January 2023, he joined the Board of Directors to serve on Advocacy, Fundraising, and Governance Committees. He believes that building bridges between big corporations and government with Lupus Ontario can result in improving service to the Ontario lupus community. Our mission is what inspires him with enthusiasm. All these passions shall finally be translated into the goal of Lupus Ontario which is “Life without Lupus.”


Director at Large
Oula Almadhoun 

Oula Almadhoun obtained her BA in Business Studies with Systems Practice from The Open University in England, and later completed her Master’s in Distance Education with a specialization in Instructional Design from Athabasca University. In recognition of her academic excellence, she was awarded a Graduate Scholarship from her alma mater. 

Oula’s expertise stems from managing, developing educational programs and writing grants proposals for numerous institutions and non-profit organizations. In 2022, Oula joined a private college in Toronto as a Grants Manager and is responsible for scholarship awards for international, citizens, and indigenous students to help support their tuition fees to complete their desired field of study along with assisting them with their work placement to gain the real world Canadian experience. 

Oula is looking forward to bringing her experience in diversity, education, and grants, promoting Lupus Ontario’s mission through advocacy and awareness about the disease within the community in Ontario for improved access to information, health services, and research.

Outside of work, you’ll find Oula outdoors or on road trips. Some of her favourite locations to visit are the beautiful mountains of Jasper or Banff in Alberta.


Director at Large
Dhwani Babla

Dhwani is a global health consultant who has lived and worked in health systems around the world. Over the course of her career, she has developed a deep interest in chronic diseases and a desire to learn more about innovative approaches to achieve health equity. Dhwani received her Master of Public Health from Columbia University and BSc from Simon Fraser University in Canada. She also currently sits on the Canadian Women in Global Health Steering Committee Board and is looking forward to bringing her experience to the Lupus Ontario committees. Outside of work, you will find Dhwani working out, volunteering, spending time with family, taking courses, or planning her next adventure.


Director at Large
Lisa Bilodeau

Lisa is passionate about advocacy and support for those living with Lupus and other autoimmune issues. Prior to her diagnosis of SLE and Sjogren’s in 2016, Lisa spent 20 years in the Advertising & Marketing industry working on many top-level brands. Striving to convey ideas in simple and direct ways that reach their target, she worked with a diverse range of creative and client teams.

Lisa brings her marketing and communication experience to the Public Awareness & Education Committee,, and the Fund Development Committee promoting Lupus Ontario’s mission through advocacy, education, and awareness.

Living in Burlington, Lisa also volunteers in her community as a Little Free Library steward promoting literacy, and with 100 Women Who Care Burlington, supporting and promoting local charitable organizations.


Director at Large
Brynja Clark

Brynja is a Chartered Herbalist living in Ottawa with her five children. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2010, she has since been committed to seeking out resources and networking opportunities for the betterment of patients and families living with Lupus. A law clerk by profession, she has endeavoured to utilize her passion for writing, social media and learning to highlight lupus awareness in a global environment. Brynja’s weblog, Lupus Interrupted, has achieved global recognition and she is a WEGO Health Patient Leader. She has since published several articles, including writing for Stanford University’s medical blog, Scope, for the purpose of illustrating to new physicians the challenges faced by lupus patients around the world. Brynja brings to the Board her skills in social media, event management, not-for-profit governance and a commitment to Lupus Ontario in helping reach their mission goals and targets.


Director at Large
Maneka Kaur

Maneka Kaur is an internationally trained lawyer who has been advocating for a safer and healthier environment for almost a decade. In addition to litigating numerous environmental cases, she has worked closely with not-for-profit organisations and governmental departments to promote access to justice. In Canada, Maneka continues to pursue her passion for environmental law and has articled with specialised environmental legal clinic. She was awarded the Tremaine-Britannia Citizens Group Young Lawyers Mentorship Fund Award by Canadian Environmental Law Association in 2022.

She believes that although environmental issues, and their impacts in our present world, need to be viewed holistically; one must, however, keep in mind that there is no one stop solution. It is important to continue to learn about the problems and engineer solutions suitable to the changing times. It was this thought process that intrigued her about the possible co-relation between environmental contaminants and Lupus. She hopes to provide her assistance and support in understanding this co-relation. In addition, she is excited to bring all the knowledge acquired by her as an advocate, litigator and researcher and apply it with the same passion to the cause of Lupus Ontario


Director at Large
Brent Leonard

Brent is a member of the senior finance team at a health-tech firm based in Ottawa, Ontario whose mission is to foster a holistic approach to healthcare aimed at supporting individuals through their entire wellness journey – before and after illness, not just during it. This is a cause he is truly passionate about and has continued to pursue through the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program at the University of Ottawa.

In addition to his 15+ years of experience in finance and operations at several start-up companies and software firms, Brent is actively involved in the community. Among other areas, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Immunodeficiency Patient Organization (CIPO, where he is Board Treasurer. Brent also participates annually in fundraisers for The Ottawa Hospital and SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

Brent is passionate about health advocacy, awareness and education and strongly believes that knowledge is power in dealing with illness and that engagement in care is key for patients. It is with this mindset that Brent spearheaded the development and launch of the Lupus Ontario Podcast geared toward helping those with Lupus better understand the disease and empower them to become more involved in their health journey.


Director at Large
Kyle Morrow

Kyle holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from St. Francis Xavier University and a Juris Doctor (Common Law) from the University of Ottawa. He is currently a lawyer at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, where he practices public law. Kyle also currently teaches in the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management at Carleton University. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, swimming, curling, scuba diving, hiking, and travelling.


Director at Large
Sandra Williams Reid

Sandra has worked for many years as a Travel Consultant, 25 of those years being with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. She has travelled extensively and has experience working with culturally diverse populations. Sandra is a good neighbor and very involved with her local community; local schools, nursing homes, and the Pickering Pentecostal Church.

Sandra first became involved with Lupus Ontario after she was diagnosed with Lupus in 1986. Not knowing anything about Lupus at the time, she was directed to the Lupus Support Group at Wellesley Hospital by the Lupus Clinic. It was there she learned about the disease and got the support she needed as no one she knew was familiar with Lupus. In 1991, she moved to Ajax and later got involved with the Walk A Block for Lupus. She is currently one of the Durham Walk for Lupus Coordinators and a Facilitator for the Durham Lupus Support Group. Her passion for helping people makes her the ideal candidate to Chair the Support & Education Committee and the Volunteer Committee.


Medical Advisory Board

Dr. Murray Urowitz, Toronto Western Hospital Lupus Clinic
Dr. Dafna Gladman, Toronto Western Hospital Lupus Clinic
Dr. Janet Pope, St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre, Arithritis Institute
Dr. Judah Denburg, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster Division
Dr. C. Douglas Smith, The Ottawa Hospital
Dr. Earl Silverman, Hosptial for Sick Children
Dr. Derek Haaland, Barrie and the North
Dr. Mark Matsos, Hamilton Health Sciences McMaster Div and St. Joseph’s Hamilton Healthcare
Dr. Amanda Steiman, Rheumatologist
Dr. Zahi Touma, Rheumatologist, Toronto Western Hospital