Parents

Knowing Your Resources

For the past three years, the College Diabetes Network Chapter at the University of Rochester has hosted two sister events: One for parents of incoming first year students with health concerns and one for the students themselves. Our Chapter wanted to educate students on the resources available on campus; as students with chronic illnesses who have gone through the transition to college ourselves, we know it can be a stressful time when you need all the help and guidance you can get. We decided last year to open up the event to any student with health concerns, not just those with diabetes. We felt the event could prevent diabetic students from feeling isolated and also have a broader impact on our campus community.Our event for parents of new college students provides a detailed view of the health resources on campus. The event is not only relevant to those with a child with diabetes, but also for parents with children who have allergies, chronic diseases, disabilities, and other health concerns. The event features a number of panelists: advisors from different services on campus, including our University Health Services (UHS), University Counseling Center (UCC), the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning...
The College Diabetes Network (CDN) is thrilled to announce the first steps toward our new Parent Ambassador Program! Members of this Ambassador Program will offer their support to students on local campuses as they navigate life (and its sometimes unexpected challenges) in college.This exciting new initiative was established by our Leadership Council to connect students with T1D families near their universities for assistance, guidance, or simply a friendly face. Parents and families of T1D kids of all ages may volunteer to engage T1D students who attend college in their hometown or city. Parent Ambassadors will serve as a support network to college students living with T1D away from home and who may need assistance from time to time. Some examples may be, but are not limited to:•  Supporting a sick T1D college student who is having trouble getting numbers under control;•   Helping connect a student with a nearby endocrinologist or other physicians;•   Providing general guidance if and when needed; or,•   Being there for a student whose family is not nearby in case of a diabetes-related emergency.Of course, situations will vary depending upon the student and their comfort level – some students may feel comfortable simply knowing that you are...
This is the second post in a series. CDN will be checking in with Kendall Nether, and his father Curtis, each year as Kendall moves through high school and gets ready to head off to college. What was it like when your son was diagnosed?Kendall was diagnosed on March 22, 2003, he was 18 months old. Today, this date is affectionately known as his diaversary. I have found most parents never forget the exact date and time when their daughter/son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Kendall’s warning signs went unnoticed as we assumed the strep throat and other flu like symptoms he was experiencing were normal for a child his age. I remember a trip to his doctor for a routine checkup that generated a blood test with a 400 glucose reading. His doctor felt his elevated number was the result of something he must have eaten earlier. My mother, who worked as a nurse’s assistant prior to retiring, sounded the first alarm that follow up care was warranted after we advised her about the number of diapers Kendall was going through and his constant thirst. Thank God we listened to her and took Kendall to the emergency room where...
This is the first post in a series. CDN will be checking in with Kendall Nether, and his father Curtis, each year as Kendall moves through high school and gets ready to head off to college. How old were you when you were diagnosed?Hi, my name is Kendall Nether, I am 14 yrs. old and freshman in high school. I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 18 months old. The date was March 22, 2003. How did you feel when you were diagnosed?Given I was only 18 months old I cannot remember about what it was like when we all received the news. I have seen pictures of me in the hospital with friends and relatives.What has been the biggest difference so far between high school and middle school?My middle school was a charter school with only 800 students and my high school has over 3,000 students. There are major differences - mostly the social atmosphere and the number of groups and organizations to join. I knew almost everyone in middle school, in high school it seems like I meet someone different every day. I still have AP classes that are much harder than when I was in middle school. In...
We wanted to write a blog post just for our CDN parents! Is your student involved in a CDN Chapter? Are you hoping they will get involved when they get to campus? Are you curious to learn more about what a CDN Chapter does? We have gathered together some of the data from our 2015 Fall Semester Chapter Update responses that we thought might interest our parent readers. Enjoy!What do Chapters do?Since all of our chapters are student-led, they vary quite a bit in terms of what they do, how many members they have, and what types of communities they form. Some are more social, some focus on advocacy, some center around education, and others around community service. Or a mix of all of the above! Regardless of the format a chapter may take, here are the top 5 most talked about topics amongst our chapters.   Diabetes technology   Academic accommodations and concerns   Nutrition and dining halls   Making campus more diabetes friendly   Motivation/inspirationHow do Chapters plan their meetings and events?By being an affiliated chapter with CDN, chapters receive access to different resources and tools that other student groups don’t have. Some of their favorite chapter resources are:CDN Outreach Kits – CDN students...
As I prepare to send my third child off to college, I can’t help but reflect on when my twin daughters, Hannah and Mary, left for college two years ago. It wasn’t easy seeing two of the four leave at the same time! Our house would be much quieter and of course we would miss them, but that wasn’t even the hardest part. The hardest part was sending off Hannah with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).   Many questions went through my mind as the departure day approached:  Would her roommate understand her diagnosis? Would her professors know she has type 1 diabetes and would they be as understanding as her teachers throughout high school? How would she get accommodations if they are even given? Will she have enough testing supplies, pump supplies, CGM supplies and insulin? How many cases of juice boxes can I pack and are there enough boxes of granola bars and snacks to last through the semester? What about the dining plan, hours of the dining hall and its location? Will the on campus student health know her and be able to help her out?  What if she gets sick and needs to apply the sick day rules? Who will check on...
Thanks to Katharine Gordon, Director of the Legal Advocate Program at the American Diabetes Association, for answering some of our students most pressing questions about their legal rights in the workforce.How can I showcase all of my diabetes-related research, fundraising, and club memberships on my resume without giving away the fact that I have diabetes?This is a good question. If you do not want to reveal that you have diabetes, one strategy is to make sure you also highlight activities not related to diabetes. In this way, people considering you for a position or program will focus on your strong record of service with your community rather than a diagnosis.But sometimes it’s not a problem to reveal that you have diabetes, depending on the situation. For example, if you are applying for a research internship in a diabetes lab, it might make sense to disclose it. You could explain that you have a deep interest in that particular research due to your own experience with diabetes.It is always good practice to thoroughly research all prospective employers. Knowing as much as possible about the position and the organization before even applying will give you a sense as to how best to tailor...
Four years ago my daughter was jumping up and down screaming with joy, holding the admission letter to her dream college, which was 500 miles away from our home. I was cowering in a corner, wondering how we would ever survive.Today my daughter’s final semester is set – her schedule chosen, her internship in Congress extended. She’s almost ready to go out in the “real world” and she has rocked college, life and yes, diabetes. If I knew then what I know now … since I cannot go back, I’m going to share some with you, parents of kids getting ready to go to college. I hope it helps you help your child spread their wings. *It’s their college experience, not yours. I was good at this – even if it was hard. The reality is: college is practice for the “real world.” It’s a semi-safe little mini-society in which they can practice real life before they have to really live real life. For that reason, it’s their time to step up, make decisions and take action (or choose not to take action). Things like letting an RA know about their diabetes, deciding about registering with the disabilities office, finding the...
This week’s post is dedicated to all the Dads out there—particularly to the Dads of diabetic kids—and to my own father—thank you for all that you do.To the one man that can always make me smile in a world of needles, bruises, puzzling numbers, and challenges, thank you. Thank you for dropping whatever you’re doing, or getting up at any hour of the night, to help me when I’m low, and thank you for putting up with me when I’m grumpy and high. Thank you for carrying my juice boxes when we go on runs around the neighborhood, and for being the only one in the house who ever thinks to change the lancet in my finger sticker. Thanks for picking me up after four days at diabetes camp when I was 7, even though I’m sure you paid for the whole two weeks… (sorry about that ☺ ). Thanks for taking care of me when I was too little to take care of myself: for checking my blood sugar when you went to bed, for giving me insulin for my meals, and for the piggyback rides when I was too low to keep walking. Thank you for my pump,...

A Light in the Darkness

This week’s post is dedicated to my home city of Boston and all those affected by the recent tragedy- let’s show the world how tough Bostonians really are.I woke up to a sunny sky and birds chirping outside my window on a glorious Monday morning.  It was April 15- Tax Day, my sister’s 19th birthday, Patriots’ Day, and Marathon Monday- and I had the day off of classes, along with every other Massachusetts school, to celebrate the day’s festivities.  I had been looking forward to the holiday for the past few weeks- “Marathon Monday is one of the greatest days of the year!” I had been telling my friends in anticipation.  Last year a couple pals and I hopped on the T and made the short trip into the bustling city of Boston to check out the marathon.  It was about 90 degrees that day as we strolled around the city, exploring, shopping, and eating our way toward the race.  We eventually found ourselves at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and watched as runners from all over the world completed an incredible feat-26.2 miles of running!  It was such a neat event, and it was one of my...

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