Conference Recaps

When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 12, I was very afraid and felt alone. I only knew of one person with T1D, and I had no clue what my life would entail after this diagnosis. Luckily, in the hospital, the certified diabetes educator (CDE) had T1D too! The person who was teaching me how to carb count, give injections, balance insulin and exercise, and so much more, knew exactly what it was like to live with T1D. She had gone to college, gotten married, and had a child! It was from this moment when I first met my CDE that I knew life with diabetes could be lived to the fullest.Over the years, I avoided the thought of becoming a CDE. I didn’t want my job to have anything to do with diabetes since I live with it each day. I opened up to the idea a little more in college, but I was still unsure of whether or not I wanted to work in the diabetes field until I went to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) conference. My experience there was so fulfilling, uplifting, and meaningful, that I left with a...

The Road Runner at AADE

Do you ever find yourself feeling like the Roadrunner? Only instead of escaping Wile E. Coyote’s elaborate schemes and foolish antics, you find yourself running from the trap of your doctor’s words?This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) conference in Indianapolis, Indiana with the College Diabetes Network. As a newly graduated nurse aspiring to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (or CDE), I was able to meet experienced CDEs and attend sessions on diabetes healthcare. A common theme I noticed throughout this experience was the use of words and the impact it can have on a diabetic person with diabetes.While attending a session on the power of words, Jane Dickenson, CDE, and a person with diabetes, discussed how healthcare professionals typically label their patients. They call them diabetics instead of a person with diabetes. She calls these “Ick Words”. By calling a patient a person with diabetes, it allows the provider to put them as a person first and not the disease.This was just the first of many examples throughout the weekend.Adam Brown, editor for diaTribe who is also suffering from living with diabetes talked about the idea of “testing” our A1C...

ADA 2017: Dexcom Tour

Editor's note: Dexcom is a CDN Corporate Member. CDN student members were able to participate in this tour as a result of the relationship between Dexcom and CDN. To learn more about Corporate Membership click here.Full disclosure: Touring the Dexcom facility was one of the best highlights of attending the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego with the College Diabetes Network (CDN).More often when not when a group of college students shows up to a work place engaged in passionate conversation whilst using a selfie stick to add photos to their social media stories, the people who work at that establishment sigh a collective moan. Dexcom is not this typical work place. We, a gaggle of vociferous young professionals, were immediately greeted at the information desk by an accommodating and cheery Melissa. Hugs were exchanged and names were refreshed as Melissa had already befriended a few people in our group who attended CDN’s Annual Retreat a few weeks earlier. She truly welcomed us—selfies, abundant anticipation, bum pancreases, and all.Our first stop in the tour was at Dexcom’s production facility including the sensor and transmitter production lines. Melissa introduced us to our second tour guide, Kyle, who we quickly realized was...

ADA 2017: Tandem Tour

Editor's note: Tandem Diabetes is a CDN Corporate Member. CDN student members were able to participate in this tour as a result of the relationship between Tandem Diabetes and CDN. To learn more about Corporate Membership click here.During the week of the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in San Diego, our group visited the Tandem Diabetes Care Headquarters. Our tour guide, the fabulous Blair Ryan, Manager of Community Relations at Tandem, showed us around the expansive campus. I met Blair last year at the College Diabetes Network (CDN) Annual Retreat, and she has been a wonderful friend to me in the diabetes world since our introduction. She also happens to work for one of my most favorite companies. And, because five of the six CDN students at ADA, including myself, are Tandem users, it goes without saying that this trip was pretty much “diabetes Christmas” to many of us.While at Tandem HQ, the Tandem team demonstrated the software update process using the Tandem Device Updater. Using this technology, software updates can be released as approved by the FDA and can be performed in the comfort of the user’s home via personal computer. The first expected update for the t:slim X2 Pump is Dexcom...
Molly Fruecht, University of Illinois '18So most college-aged girls would fan-girl over a celebrity but I can proudly say I fan-girl over type 1 diabetes (T1D) research! I had the amazing opportunity to attend the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions. For someone like me it was like being plopped into Disneyworld!I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 3 years old, and I hit the ground running. I was fortunate enough to have a very supportive family and a great network of type ones through my town and camp, so I have been lucky enough to always keep a positive mentality around my disease. I have always had a passion for innovation and begged my parents for new devices and treatments as they hit the market.This year I am going to be a senior at the University of Illinois, and I am studying biology. I am currently applying for a master’s entry into nursing school, and I hope to finish up with a PhD to be able to conduct my own research! I helped found the College Diabetes Network (CDN) Chapter at my university with the intent to connect more college students with T1D and build a support system....
Courtney Gale, Bryant University '19When I saw that the College Diabetes Network (CDN) had the opportunity to send student representatives to the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego, I applied instantly! I was thrilled with the opportunity to represent CDN and attend the Scientific Sessions.On Friday, our first full day, we were able to tour the Dexcom and Tandem Diabetes Care headquarters. Saturday was spent setting up our booth in the exhibit hall, networking with other companies, and attending sessions. I spent most of the day walking through the exhibit hall exploring the different interactive displays that were offered by hundreds of companies! From virtual reality holographic videos to free A1C testing, the exhibit hall had so much to offer.Sunday was spent attending sessions run by leading medical professionals and scientists, as well as getting ready for evening events. The other students and I had an absolute blast hopping all around San Diego to attend multiple events hosted by a variety of companies.Monday came far too quickly and we were all sad to see the week go! We packed up everything from our booth, and attended some final sessions on medical advancement and research. That night we...
Would you think I was lying if I said, “I LOVE having diabetes”?  I’m serious. I love my diabetes. I love that it is something unique about myself that sets me apart from other college students. I love that I can share knowledge about my condition with others who are not as familiar with it. I love the instant connection you form with other people who have T1D. Diabetes is truly a positive force in my life.My name is Stacy Seiler and I have been a proud T1D for the past 11 years. After my diagnosis at the age of 10, I quickly became involved in the diabetes community through JDRF’s Youth Ambassador Program. I attended Camp Conrad-Chinnock, a diabetes camp, for many years and still go back every summer as a Camp Counselor. I drag my best friends (both T1D and non-T1D alike) to fundraisers all the time. Though I joke that my entire resume screams D-I-A-B-E-T-E-S, there was definitely something lacking in my involvement with diabetes organizations when I began college three years ago.I didn’t get involved with the College Diabetes Network (CDN) until my second year in school, and, boy, do I wish I took full advantage...
What’s up with all the hype? There are so many “hot topics” in any field or industry in our society, and diabetes is no exception. At the 2016 American Association of Diabetes Educators’ (AADE) conference, technology, language, and policies were just a few of the key themes that I saw woven throughout the conference. These were areas that I really had very little knowledge or experience in prior to the conference. Some of the key questions around these topics: “How can humans and technology work together to find solutions to solve the burden of diabetes?” “How does the language that we all use around diabetes support us or tear us down?” and “What types of things can we all do to make strides towards a better future for everyone with diabetes, in light of policies?”In full disclosure, as involved and passionate I am about diabetes, many times I am not interested in these topics: technology, language, and policy. I am content with the technology I have, my diabetes management is going well, and emotionally, I am pretty okay with having diabetes. I don’t always readily understand how these other topics affect my life, and why I should care. My focus...
If you told me this time last year that I’d be flying across the country BY MYSELF to spend four days networking with professionals in a field I haven’t formally entered yet… I probably would have hyperventilated. I’ve never been someone who does much outside of her comfort zone, and I like to stick to what I know. Before this conference, I had never flown by myself before. I also hadn’t even been on a plane since I was twelve, and I broke out in a sweat at the prospect of networking. Last week, I flew to San Diego from Massachusetts by myself to network and to represent The College Diabetes Network (CDN) at the American Association of Diabetes Educators' conference (AADE). It was one of the best experiences of my life.Before the conference even started, I began the process of stepping out of my comfort zone when I flew by myself for the first time. Walking up to the security checkpoint, I was terrified that someone would try to confiscate my pump, CGM, or supplies. My request to avoid the body scanner was granted, and I passed through uneventfully, with all my devices intact and still in my possession....
When I was invited to attend the Campus advisory committee, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had just applied to the Chapter Network internship, and was on a call with Emily to discuss the details of the internship when an obscure part of my résumé came up: a study I helped conduct on my campus to access the knowledgeability of diabetes amongst our staff, students, and faculty. When Emily asked "what does your availability look like on July 29th to the 31st", I had no idea I would be heading to Boston to present the research and contribute to the Campus Advisory Committee.  Going over the reading materials in the weeks leading up to the committee meeting, I seriously questioned what I would have to contribute. I mean, a dean of students, a director of litigation at ADA, Senior Directors as numerous organizations, and a few Doctors were going to be in attendance... While I questioned what I would have to add to the conversation as just a student, I was very excited to meet these impressive professionals, but also to see what the conversation would become, what ideas would arise, and how they would be enacted: I was not disappointed. ...

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