Chapters

Because of the T1D communityI’ve been living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for close to nine years of my life and, I have learned so many things about the disease and about myself in the midst of it all. Believe it or not, I am still learning every day. In the early honeymoon years of my T1D journey, the term “chronic illness” sounded to me like a scary medical label that made me a fragile alien on this planet where the majority of the inhabitants have functioning pancreases. As a young adult, I now know that, defined in the Mariam-Webster dictionary, the word chronic means “continuing or occurring again and again for a long time.” Boy, isn’t that the truth? Diabetes is  the one inconsistency that remains constant in my ever-changing life. As my life changes, so has my attitude and knowledge of diabetes.So I’m writing this to let you in on one of the most important un-written rules of diabetes care that I have come to learn throughout my years, experiences and adventures with diabetes.T1D community is so incredibly important.I remember the first time my doctor recommended I go to diabetes camp when I was twelve years old. My...
I was beyond thrilled when I was accepted to attend the College Diabetes Network (CDN) Annual Retreat in Maine this year. The purpose of the retreat is to further develop leadership skills, provide networking opportunities, and allow for students to share experiences. Knowing I would be among so many leaders, advocates, and inspiring individuals who cared so much about the type one diabetes (T1D) community was so exciting. From past leadership conferences and trainings I’ve attended, my expectations were to attend sessions and write notes or simply retain the information that would be thrown at us. CDN went above and beyond with their retreat, and it’s an experience that has inspired me to get more involved, better myself as a leader, and advocate for diabetes awareness.The structure of the retreat has been similar to my expectations in that there are breakout sessions, but the way the sessions are structured is truly innovative. CDN is not only providing us with leadership opportunities, but they are utilizing the students as evaluators, innovators, and future leaders for advocating for T1D. Each session began with a topic or concept presented to us, then whoever was running the session allowed the students to brainstorm ideas...
Almost three weeks before I was supposed to move to Boston for my first-year of school at Simmons College, my entire life was flipped in a completely unexpected direction. At 18 years-old, on August 6th, 2015 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) during a routine check-up at my pediatrician’s office. My doctor discovered that I had lost 10 pounds since the year before, even though I was not trying to lose weight. She immediately began to investigate, and when they took my blood sugar, it was over 600. At the time, I did not realize I was showing some of the classic symptoms of T1D – I was painfully thirsty, but I blamed it on the hot weather. I was always tired, but I blamed it on my long work hours and having to get up early. I was always hungry and ate snacks and meals all-day, but I always have had a big appetite. I never suspected anything was wrong because I was absolutely unaware and ignorant of what T1D even was.Both my parents and I (mostly them) were already on edge and worried about my transition to Boston, but diabetes made the transition even more difficult....
When I decided to go to college three hours away from home, I knew there were certain aspects of my life I would be giving up. One in particular that had the biggest impact on me was giving up my close knit group of other people with type one diabetes (T1D) that had become my family since I was diagnosed in December 2008. I didn't expect to miss having that connection at Mississippi State University (MSU). I had an incredible support system of T1D’s and their families that lived close by. Yes, I could always call them if needed, but it wasn’t the same as being able to meet up with them when I was struggling or needed supplies.My second semester I began searching for a group of people my age with T1D somewhere near my college. There was absolutely nothing. Like any good college student, I turned to google. I joined a couple of online groups, but it still wasn't the same as in person connections. Then during my searches, I found the College Diabetes Network (CDN). I immediately requested more information because there was not a single CDN Chapter in the state of Mississippi. It didn't take long...

CDN Grants- Awareness

Editor’s Note: CDN was able to provide $5,000 in grants to 16 CDN Chapters for the 2016-2017 school year. The funding for these grants was provided by Lilly Diabetes. You’ll be hearing about their events in our blog over the next few months! University of California-Davis- EmmetAs a type 1 diabetes (T1D) group at the University of California- Davis (UC- Davis), we knew we wanted to do something special for College Diabetes Week 2016. After talking about how many of our friends have misconceptions about what it means to have T1D, we decided it would be worthwhile to inform our fellow students what life with diabetes means. With that goal in mind, and the help of the funding from the College Diabetes Network (CDN) grant, we began to make outreach plans for College Diabetes Week.At the start of the week, we printed out flyers to promote an informational night and bought supplies to make a poster for outreach. Our poster explained what T1D is, how it is treated, and the truths behind some misconceptions about it. Having reserved a table outside the coffee house on campus, we set up our poster throughout the week, handed out flyers promoting our event, and had...
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...

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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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