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I was diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) at 12 years old, and after a few years of asking the world “why me?!” I realized it wasn’t going away. So, I chose to turn it into a positive, and since then I have done all I can to serve the T1D community and to educate the world about T1D. I have even decided to devote my career to T1D. I am a student at Oklahoma State University, with the end goal of working as a nurse in a pediatric endocrinology unit of a hospital. I thought the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions conference would be a great educational experience, so I applied and to my delight the College Diabetes Network (CDN) brought myself and five other NextGen students to Orlando for the conference.ADA was my first in-person, and in-depth interaction with the CDN staff, and I was so impressed. The staff members that I had the pleasure of meeting are so devoted to making CDN the absolute best resource for college-aged T1Ds. It was so inspiring to see these people working passionately to build CDN into something even better than it already is. It made me so proud to...
Sydney Look, Medical Student at the University of FloridaThe College Diabetes Network recently provided me with the opportunity to attend the ADA Scientific Sessions conference in Orlando, Florida.The 78th annual Scientific Sessions were filled with innovative ideas, exciting products to ease the burden of diabetes, and a sea of professionals similarly focused on improving the care and experiences of people with diabetes. From information on closed loop insulin pump systems to potential therapy additions, there was a unique look into the future of patients with type one diabetes.In just 5 and a half short days, I found that the following quote rings true:"Accept that diabetes care is up to you."— American Diabetes Association, Diabetes A to ZWhile I’m still early along in my journey in medicine, I know that I will be involved in the improvement of diabetes care in my lifetime. Whether it’s as an informed patient, a diabetes advocate, or an endocrinologist, I will forever be a part of the diabetes community.As a member of this community, it’s essential for me to learn, share, and collaborate.In the next years, I hope to gain more wisdom and understanding about what it means to be a medical professional with type...
When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) a little over a year ago, I felt completely isolated. While I knew a few people in my personal life that had it, I never felt like I had a strong support system, which was both frustrating and lonely. I had my family and friends, but I needed someone who understood what it was like to live with something so taxing. Not only that, but there was so much that I still didn’t know or understand about having diabetes. Because I was diagnosed so late in the game, I didn’t have the opportunity to connect with other people my age that had the same struggles as I did at things like diabetes camps. So, I kind of just floated along with  the routine, not really knowing much about it.Then, when I was handed the position of president of my CDN Chapter at University of Wisconson Oshkosh I received an email that I was able to apply for the CDN Annual Retreat 2018. I filled out the application and debated whether to hit send because I was honestly nervous. Once I had been diagnosed more recently, I felt like whatever I...
Imagine a place where every direction you looked and every room that you entered was all about living with diabetes. A place where you get to see first-hand how far science has come with managing this disease, and where you are able to get an inside scoop of what’s in store for the near future. This very place that I have described came into existence for the week of June 21st to the 26th during this year’s annual American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions conference in Orlando, Florida, and I had the privilege and honor to attend as a CDN NextGen Leadership student which allows students, like me, who aspire to one day belong  to this professional world, to have the opportunity to experience this amazing event.I have been a type one diabetic for over thirteen years and have been to my share of diabetes conferences and expos, but never have I been to one of this capacity. This is because most of the conferences that I have attended were specifically made for people with diabetes and their loved ones to attend, but this conference was tailored more for the scientific professionals of the diabetes world to attend. Those people would...
Editor's note: We've been checking in with Kendall and his father, Curtis as Kendall moves through his high school years and prepares to head off to college. Check out his experiences as a Freshman and Sophomore.Junior year of high school Kendall’s questions1. Looking back, how was sophomore year different than freshman year?It was easier to manage time, I was a little more comfortable in what I was doing for classes, and managing what was expected of me at school, home and practice.2. What was harder and what was easier?My classes were a little harder because they were more advanced.  They became a little easier to manage because of tutoring. Basketball became harder because I was moved up to Varsity in my sophomore year.  Diabetes was less of a challenge because I got a new CGM and I became independent in my care at school. My A1C fluctuated a little, but it all settled down during sophomore year and I only had a couple days of absence from school.3. Have you taken the SAT/ACT? How was that process, managing T1D and such a stressful test? Did you use accommodations?Yes, I will be taking them for the 3rd time this year with...
I have been a diabetic for over 8 years. I was diagnosed as a small, shy eleven-year-old. My dad is also type 1 so I was used to seeing the needles, working a pump, treating lows, and the smell of insulin, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day all of those things would apply to me. I had my dad as my support system, or as we say, my “dia-buddy”, but I was the only diabetic in my grade from the time I was diagnosed until I graduated high school. In fact, it wasn’t until I got to high school that I even met another teenager with T1D, but seeing each other for 2 minutes a day in the nurse’s office wasn’t conducive to forming lifelong, mutually supportive friendships. My parents always wanted me to go to diabetes camp and pushed it pretty hard the first few years, but I was incredibly shy and still in a stage where I wouldn’t do anything unless my older sister was going! So eventually after years of me refusing, they stopped asking. I regret it though because I never got to meet kids my own age that were...
My name is Abbey and I am interning with CDN for the summer! I am thankful for the opportunity and cannot wait to contribute to an already amazing organization. I live in South Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. I attend Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. I will be graduating with a dual-major in Public Relations and Advertising. With my degree, I hope to work in a children’s hospital!As a freshman, I started a CDN Chapter on Rowan’s campus. So far, it has been the highlight of my college career! Also, I blog for CDN as a virtual intern and Student Advice Columnist.I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at 12 years old. Diabetes is the biggest blessing in my life.  Because of diabetes I have learned so much about myself, met amazing people, been granted endless opportunities, and can educate people about T1D. Although living with T1D can sometimes be overwhelming, it is something I would never change about myself. It has made me, me!I enjoy spending time with my family and my dog, Cora. When I am home, I love going into Philly to eat at my favorite pizza shop, Celebre’s, and favorite ice cream shop, The Franklin...

Roadtrippin' with T1D

Hi everyone! My name is Rebecca Gillen and I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 15 years. I’m a senior in college and I’m a CDN Virtual Intern! I wear a Medtronic pump and a Dexcom to help me manage my diabetes. I went out of state for college, so I had to make an 8-hour car ride when I wanted to go home.Road trips are a time of excitement (unless you’re driving across Western Kansas, and believe me, that is not exciting). You’re on the road, seeing sights, and excited to get to your destination. Have you ever noticed how your blood sugars may be a bit wacky on days when you ride in the car for several hours? Me too. So, I’ve created some tips for how to help manage diabetes while on the road!1) ALWAYS have juice and snacks with you in the car.Remember how I said driving across Western Kansas is super boring? Well, it also has a lack of gas stations for several miles at a time. To avoid being in the middle of nowhere and having a low blood sugar without any gas stations around to stop at, always have juice and snacks in your...
If somebody were to just look at the College Diabetes Network retreat without knowing much about it, they would see 25 diabetic students from 18 states that attend 25 different colleges flying, driving, and taking trains to Logan International Airport in Boston, MA. You would also see them awaiting Dan (whom we all thought was at least 65) for a five day retreat in Maine to talk all about diabetes. They would probably also consider us a bunch of Diet Coke and String Cheese addicts. Although all these things may be true, they only scratched the surface as to what our time together was truly about. They’re missing out on the connections, the understanding, and fun that went on and the community we built.I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 10. Not having a clue what the heck any of it meant, I was admitted to the hospital and put on an IV until I learned how to do injections before being released. Of course there was training in there but I left that up to my parents. From that day on I had always felt alone. Not from the lack of support my parents, family, and...
Hello CDN Family!My name is Danielle and I am thrilled to have the opportunity work with CDN this summer as an intern! This is my first visit to the east coast, and so far, it has been a blast! I was born and raised (mostly) in the Pacific Northwest, and currently attend Eastern Washington University in Washington State. I am pursuing a Visual Communications degree with a minor in Computer Science. This last winter I worked as CDN’s Virtual Graphic Design Intern. I loved assisting this organization so much that when I saw they were looking for Summer Interns, I had to apply.I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old. (My last day as an Intern this summer will be my 9th diaversary!). I have been the primary manager of my diabetes since my diagnosis, but the support my family has had for me is invaluable. I am always excited to connect with other people who have diabetes, whether through volunteering at a diabetes camp or spying some stray pump tubing while passing each other on campus.In addition to being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I have also been diagnosed with two other autoimmune diseases:...

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From The Blog

MaryKate recaps her time at the ADA Scientific Sessions 2018
Sydney and Kirsten recap their time as NextGen students at the ADA Scientific Sessions 2018
Sydney recaps her time at the CDN Annual Retreat 2018.

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