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Editor's note: this blog was originally written by Hannah and posted on the Miami University CDN Chapter blog. Check it out here. • • •Let me start this post off with a short story.  On my second day after moving out for college, I was at a talk about leadership.  I was, begrudgingly, taking out my meter to test my blood sugar before (okay, you caught me, 3/4 of the way through) my meal when another student in the room said, “Hey!  Is that a meter?”  When I responded that I did indeed have type one diabetes, he happily pulled out his cgm and rolled up his sleeve to show me his omnipod and stated, “I’m John”.I do not think I thought much of this interaction in the moment, but now, with a year of hindsight, I realize that this interaction was the start to a brand new chapter in my type one diabetes journey.   I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 1 and I grew up like any other normal, happy child.  There were not a lot of other people with type one in my school but each year of elementary school I would read my class...
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...
 When I was accepted to attend the 2015 CDN retreat in Bridgton, Maine, I was excited to be surrounded by people who "get it". Any chance I get to be around a symphony of Dexcom alerts and pump alarms, I'm there. I was even more excited that the retreat wouldn’t just connect me with other people with type 1 diabetes, but people who also have the same passion for the CDN mission as I do. When I arrived in Bridgton and sat on the dock to dip my toes in the lake, I immediately connected with the other leaders who each brought a unique perspective to the retreat; some had barely heard of CDN before signing up for the retreat, and other’s chapters had been up and running for years. I started a chapter of the College Diabetes Network at Boston University during the spring semester of 2015. When I first learned of the retreat, I signed up immediately knowing this would likely be the push I needed to get my chapter up and running. Before the retreat began, I expected it to include a lot of bonding with other group leaders and probably ideas of how to run meetings. What...
 I had dreamed since I was 8 years old of becoming a fashion designer. In high school I focused on my art and fashion and it eventually led me to my dream school- Parsons School of Design in New York City. The Big Apple! As the only Type 1 diabetic in my elementary, middle and high school, I was used to being quiet about it and not talking about it. Because I didn’t have a Type 1 community in high school, I didn’t even think about trying to create a community for myself.  When I went to college I had no idea what the College Diabetes Network, or CDN was, but I wish I had.As I prepared to embark on my new journey, all I really did was make sure I had my diabetes supplies. Of course, I didn’t realize how much space diabetes supplies take up in a dorm room about the size of a postage stamp with two girls crammed into it. I had to sacrifice valuable clothing space (hey, a girls gotta look good for fashion school!)  for pump supplies and test strips. Luckily I was able to get a small fridge, but in order for my roommate...
Is anyone else wondering where the summer went? For the CDN National staff, we’ve had an insanely busy summer – with back-to-back conferences, planning for the upcoming school year, and trying to cram more staff into our teeny-tiny office. So far I’ve gone swimming exactly ONCE and that is just unacceptable – here’s hoping August will be full of beaches, grilling, and taking a little bit of a breather from our busiest time of the year. :)Of all of our summer accomplishments, the one I’m personally most excited about is the publication of our brand-new Chapter Activity Guide--a 33-page resource that will be offered to all of our chapters, as well as any new chapters that begin with us this coming year. The CDN Chapter Activity Guide contains everything chapter leaders need to know – from tips and tricks for meetings, fundraising ideas, and advocacy projects, to events and activities, both big and small, that CDN Chapters have done to get you thinking about what you might want to do with your chapter.The Chapter Activity Guide was created for our student leaders, by our student leaders. A majority of the content was compiled from the experts, CDN chapter leaders and...
I consider myself a Diabetic diva. I like my sugar tabs cherry and my pump sites fresh. Although I am a diva it is extremely important for me to start a successful and welcoming chapter of the College Diabetes Network at the University of Maine. Go Black Bears! Even though I am currently the only member, I have taken it upon myself to nickname the group Beary Diabetics. Fun name, fun times. The transition from a high school student athlete to a division one college student athlete has required many adjustments not only on the rink and in the classroom, but also with my diabetes care as well. I like adventure and would consider going off to college an interesting adventure with many highs and many lows. Sorry for the tacky pun. Going off to college, I felt confident in the transition, but I also felt that there was information I was missing. I couldn’t put my finger on what I was needing, but I knew something wasn’t there. Being diagnosed at the age of 10 with Type 1 Diabetes, I prioritized hockey camp over diabetes camp. I do not regret my decisions because everyone I have played with has...
It was a feeling I was still unused to: openly testing my blood sugar, even though I was surrounded by 30 other people doing the same thing. My natural instinct was to hide it in my lap and hope I didn’t drop anything. Note the past tense: was. Overcoming that instinct to hide my diabetes was, to me one of the most important parts of the College Diabetes Network Retreat.It was also one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had –top ten for sure. It was one of those things where I didn’t want to leave the cool comfort of my home for the oppressive humidity that is Maine (even though Baltimore is just as bad), nor did I want to leave my pets and my family. But once I went through airport security on the Baltimore side, I felt ready to start my adventure, even if I did almost get on the wrong plane. To further illustrate my directionless-ness, it took me far too long to locate Tina’s van waiting at Logan, and, naturally I was the last one in. But off we went. As highways turned into country roads, I learned more and more about my travel...
“Hey, I would love to go on a random retreat in Maine!” is a thought probably not thought by many. But for me, this is exactly what I thought when Emily’s email from the College Diabetes Network came into my mailbox regarding the annual leadership retreat in Maine.I guess you need a quick background of my CDN history to know where I even fit into this equation. I had met CDN’s founders, Jo and Tina, at a DTreat conference back in 2011. There was a period of time when we tried to set up a CDN chapter at my University, but it was unsuccessful because there was already an incredible support system in place. Having said that, I have kept in touch ever since because I have loved CDN’s mission and programs!I submitted my application to the 2015 retreat and, in late April, received the official email saying I had been picked to attend. A whirlwind of emotions came over me because while I was so excited to go meet all of these incredible people, I was also nervous because I had no CDN chapter of my own, nor did I plan on starting one for I had just graduated...
Last year I attend the College Diabetes Network retreat; all of the great expectations that I had became extreme underestimations of what the experience turned out to be. To sum up my experience in 2014, I met some incredible people, was in awe about how easily everyone connected in such a short amount of time, gained a huge appreciation for all of the work that CDN national does to make it all possible, and learned what the true mission was, which helped give me motivation and direction as I approached the fall semester with my University of Rochester chapter.While I had an incredible experience last year to say the least, I was not sure what to expect this year. My twin sister, Hannah, who has Type 1 diabetes, was not able to attend the conference this year, as well as other attendees from last year were not returning, and there were staff changes. I doubted that I would have as great of an experience this year. However, I can honestly say that not only did I have another amazing experience, but the two trips are not even comparable.  The emotion felt, things that I learned, and experiences were both invaluable...
As I finished the last shift of Memorial Day weekend at my job, I started to feel the unwelcome sensation of a cold coming on.  I quickly got myself home after clocking out and flopped on the couch to get some rest.Because I was heading to Maine with the College Diabetes Network the next day.Early the next morning, I drove to Logan International Airport in Boston to meet up with other students and a CDN staff member to drive to Bridgton, Maine. After three and a half hours (and an abundance of Dunkin Donuts- I counted at least six restaurants before we left Massachusetts), we arrived at our home-away-from-home for the next several days. I was excited, but nervous- I wasn’t sure what to expect from the sessions, and I was also overwhelmed at the thought of meeting so many new people at once.I shouldn’t have worried. My fellow student leaders were friendly and energetic, and the staff were all very welcoming. Despite my sore throat, I found myself quickly falling into conversations about everything from comparing different insulin pumps, to whether or not to get a third slice of pizza at dinner. I went to bed the first night...

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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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