Chapters

Coming to college, I was sure that I would be able to handle my diabetes all on my own. It had been 12 years, I had been to sleep away camp, traveled to Europe, and grown up with this. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) had never been a huge burden in my life and I did not expect much to change when I moved out. However, after just one week, I humbled up. I could tell right away that this was a new life. My numbers were fluctuating from 400 to 50 within hours, I was lethargic, drinking juice constantly, and changing my pump site almost every day. The worst part was that no matter how hard I tried, I could not crack the code. I was testing my blood sugar more than ever, counting my carbs as best as I could with the new mysterious dining hall food, exercising… you name it. There seemed to be nothing that I could do.When I moved in, I jammed four months of every diabetes supply possible in tall plastic drawers that I hid in the back of my closet. I knew that I had to tell my new friends about diabetes, but I...

"Failure": Make it Count

Failure. It was my biggest fear and still is, to be honest. That was my biggest challenge throughout the whole process. Letting my family, my friends, our Chapter, the College Diabetes Network, and ultimately letting myself down is what scared me the most and even now. It is a constant thought that pounds through my mind a lot in my everyday life with everything that I do. It’s not something that you can get rid of or just ignore, but it’s a matter of what you do with that fear.This December marked my 16th Diaversary. That is 16 years out of my 21 years of living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). I’ve made it this far and it’s scary to think of what awaits me in the future. Mostly, because living with T1D is a lot to deal with. It is a job and it’s difficult to portray the severity that comes with it. Most people don’t and can’t understand all that comes with T1D. This is exactly why I’m passionate, why I will pursue a profession related to working with young people with T1D. I know exactly how it is. I know how aggravating it can be, how you...

Testing Opportunities

Editor's note: Roche is a CDN Corporate Member. CDN student members were able to participate in this tour as a result of the relationship between Roche and CDN. To learn more about Corporate Membership click here. Growing up with T1D, I didn’t know many other people with diabetes. Sure there were the few others in school, but we would often just exchange pleasantries in the nurse’s office before lunch. Coming into college, I feared it would be more of the same. But then I found The College Diabetes Network. I finally discovered the instantaneous friendship that can be built based the connection of diabetes.Joining the organization instantly brought new opportunities. When our Chapter president proposed a trip to Roche, a medical device company with a location on the north side of Indianapolis, I knew I wanted to go. When the day came, I was very excited for the experience.Upon arrival, the five Chapter members who were able to attend instantly received nothing but cheeriness and eagerness from the employees to have us in their facility. Various activities were planned, starting with a presentation on internships with Roche. The next part of our excursion took us on a tour of the manufacturing area on...
To be honest, when I applied for the CDN retreat, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Even when I got off the plane in Boston, I still had no idea what to expect. All I really knew was that it was going to be an exciting new experience (in beautiful Maine nonetheless!) and that it would be cool to meet other people my age living with type 1 diabetes (T1D).The first thing I told my parents when they came to pick me up from the airport was: “The CDN retreat was the best week of my life.”It is hard to describe to other people what living with type 1 diabetes is like. When you have been living with a chronic disease since you were a child, the 24-7 care it requires kind of becomes second nature. Counting every carb you eat, giving yourself shots, feeling the oh-so-fun symptoms of high and low blood sugar everyday, and experiencing the fear of going to sleep and not waking up from a low. I am completely accepting of the fact that everyone faces his or her own challenges, and T1D just happens to be one of mine. However, spending five days with...
My name is Alyssa Paul, I am a freshman at The University of Georgia, a member of Dawgs for  Diabetes (D4D), a CDN Chapter at the University of Georgia, and I have type 1 diabetes (T1D). Recently, D4D held our third annual “The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective.” This is not just a tour, but a learning experience for prospective students with T1D and their parents. I came to the very first “The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective” event 3 years ago in 2014. I had no idea how I was going to handle not having my parents around in college. My parents were both scared as well. I was terrified I would not be able to handle college life and balance my diabetes, but it is absolutely possible! Since I attended the tour, I have now experienced the transition with diabetes to college. I am so thankful I attended the event because I was told “everything will be fine. You just have to take care of yourself.” That is exactly what I have had to do. This year, I got to be a part of this event as a member of D4D. While working at the event I met parents who...
One of the greatest things that CDN has provided me is a support network with other people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Going to CDN meetings and meeting other T1D’s who get it is comforting. They have given me invaluable advice and have provided me with so many connections to other doctors, researchers, and people with T1D. Therefore, the most important thing that CDN has given me is a group of people who fully understand what I am going through every day.At our Ohio State CDN Chapter meetings, we always start off talking about our “highs and lows” of the week which usually aren’t related to diabetes. It is comforting to be around people talking about normal things, but who also understand what you endure everyday on a medical level. Another benefit of meeting other T1D’s on your campus is that if you ever run out of supplies or want someone to help put your site in a tough place, you have people that you can go to. If you want to learn about a new pump that one of your CDN members has, or if you just need to vent about diabetes, you have people that live right on...
It’s that time of year again! The third annual College Diabetes Week is right around the corner, November 14-18 to be exact! As the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) College Diabetes Week Intern, the CDN staff and I have done a lot of planning that we are excited to unveil. We’re so proud and thrilled to celebrate college and diabetes with over 75 chapters (and counting!) around the nation for our third year in a row!Although I am not a person with diabetes, I have many people in my life who are. To me, College Diabetes Week is an important time to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes (T1D) and to educate my community. Last year, my chapter at American University checked the blood sugars of students who passed through our main cafeteria. We also handed out pamphlets about the “Betics of Diabetes” (very punny right?).  The event was quite successful. Not only did we inform people about CDN but we also gave people without diabetes a small glimpse into a life of someone with T1D. In the process, we even discovered a few new members to join our chapter. We hope to do something similar along with a social media...

Double D's

I used to be that girl; the girl who was embarrassed by her autoimmune disease. Well not exactly embarrassed, just not willing to open up about it, especially to people of the opposite sex. I was diagnosed with T1D just after my thirteenth birthday. I don’t know that there is a “good age” to be diagnosed with T1D, but in the midst of puberty is definitely not at the top of the list. Already struggling with hormone fluctuations, body changes, and the newfound discovery of boys, diabetes threw a wrench into the works. The idea of dating with diabetes scared me, at first. I did not want to burden someone else with my problems, nor did I want to scare people off. But then I realized, in guarding myself, I was putting my health and my own emotions in jeopardy.Going to college is a chance for everyone to start fresh—to create a new identity. I used this opportunity to be the girl who owned and embraced her T1D and the warrior it made her. My new attitude translated into the realm of boys and relationships, as well. Dating with diabetes can be a challenging task to tackle in college, so...
At the beginning of this summer, I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to travel to Bridgton, Maine to attend the 3rd Annual CDN Retreat.  It was a trip that I expected to learn a lot, gain a lot, and change a lot from. I wanted to attend this retreat for the sole purpose to bring new findings and advice back to my CDN Chapter at UGA, but little did I know- I would be the one finding something a little more. To sum up the retreat for you, it was five days of pure bliss. It was a time where everyone felt “normal”. Beeping devices were normal. Pump site changes in the middle of breakout sessions were normal. And stuffing your face with fruit snacks at 3 am was normal, because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.Besides the normality I felt during this trip, there was something else that made this trip so special- the people. It was a group of 30 + people with T1D who understood what it was like to go off to school, adapt to the changes college throws at you, AND adapt basal rates at the same time. It was...
Editor's Note: In this blog post, you'll hear from the University of Pennsylvania CDN Chapter about their leadership transition. You'll hear from Hannah Bucklin, the former CDN Chapter Leader, and Hannah Kasper, the current CDN Chapter Leader. In the photo below, Hannah Kasper is pictrued on the left, and Hannah Bucklin is pictured on the right. Hannah Bucklin: I founded the University of Pennsylvania Chapter of the College Diabetes Network back in spring of 2012 during my freshman year of college, and was so excited to be a part of this amazing organization. During the first two years, I worked with other students in the group to plan various events, both on campus and throughout Philadelphia. My freshman roommate and I (who also had Type 1 diabetes!) worked to plan out most of our events and activities, and it was a great way for the two of us to connect and spend time together.In the summer of 2014, Hannah Kasper, an incoming freshman at the time, contacted me with an interest in joining the group. After talking throughout the summer and meeting on campus, I knew right away that Hannah would be the next one to inherit the main leadership of...

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The College Diabetes Network (CDN) is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide innovative peer based programs which connect and empower students and young professionals to thrive with diabetes.

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