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Welcome to the CDN blog! Let us know if you're interested in being a contributor, or if you have a topic you're interested in reading about. If you want to dig deeper into a specific category, check out the subjects we cover below. Happy Reading!

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Greek Life & T1D

 The transition from high school to college as someone with  type one diabetes (T1D) is stressful enough as it is, so when I signed up to go through formal recruitment, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew from early on that I wanted a solid, empowering and supportive network of women to associate myself with, and had grown up with an older brother and decided it was time to have some sisters. Going through recruitment was an amazing process, each sorority was so welcoming, intrigued and focused on our conversations which was really special. They all had such strong ties to different philanthropies, and an obvious love for their other sisters. One sorority in particular stood out to me and I felt a strong connection with them. Fast forward to the end of the weekend, and my new home became Alpha Omicron Pi.The rest of spring semester seemed to fly by and freshman year was nearly at an end. College became an entirely new experience with girls asking about my insulin pump, checking to see if I was okay, and sending me texts every once in a while to let me know they were thinking...
Editors’ Note: AgaMatrix is a CDN Corporate Member and one of our CDN students recently shared her experience with the AgaMatrix Jazz Wireless 2 meter with us. To learn more about this meter and Agamatrix, click here. If you've received a trial meter and would like information on how to receive an additional, but limited number, of test strips to continue testing the meter by completing a short survey, please click here. Imagine the joy of receiving a gift which you absolutely could not wait to open and play with. This is exactly how I felt after receiving the AgaMatrix Jazz Wireless 2 meter at the CDN Annual Retreat. However, I had to utilize some self-control since I wanted to finish off the test strips for the meter I was currently using before I started using the AgaMatrix meter.Two long weeks after receiving the Jazz Wireless 2 meter, I was finally able to start using it! First, I downloaded the AgaMatrix Diabetes Manager app onto my phone. As I was perusing through it, I discovered that it was really straightforward and easy to use. I could set my mealtimes for the meter to easily sync up with my schedule, set reminders for when I...
Editor's note: CDN is excited to have Rebecca and Zach as our Social Media and Outreach Virtual Interns this year! Learn a little more about them below.  Hi Everyone! My name is Rebecca Gillen and I am one of CDN's Social Media and Outreach Virtual Interns for the year! I am a senior studying General Business remotely through Kansas State University. I've had T1D for 14 years and Celiac disease for 13. I wear a Medtronic Minimed insulin pump and CGM. Lately I've been taking risks and trying my pump sets and CGM's in new locations. Seeing the need for a diabetic community, I started the first CDN chapter in Kansas this past Spring and it has been a blast getting to know other people with diabetes! I love to travel around and meet new people. I like to bike, play music, read, and do just about anything outdoors. I'm looking forward to working with you all as the school year progresses. - Rebecca "Hi Friends! My name is Zach Hall and I am CDN's other Social Media and Outreach Intern for this year! You may remember me from other projects I've worked with CDN on including my summer internship and my involvement as a Student Advice Columnist. I'm excited to continue my work with...
Allyson S. Hughes, M.A. is a doctoral candidate in the Psychology department at the University of Texas at El Paso.  She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1995 at the age of 7 years old..   .   .Switching health care providers (HCPs) can be challenging, especially when seeking a provider who is skilled in type 1 diabetes management for adults.  The to-do list is long and includes (but isn’t limited to) building rapport with a new provider, explaining medical history, and also discussing device data and/or medical needs.  It doesn’t have to be maddening though.  I’ve written some helpful tips to ease the burden of the process of finding a new provider.   To begin with, I believe that it best to approach this process in a positive light and view finding a new HCP as an information gathering mission. Gather Information on Potential HCPsThere are several steps to information gathering.  First, figure out what your insurance provides.  Often insurance plans change approved providers, so make sure that you have an updated provider list.  Second, know the difference between HMO and PPO plans—you have to get a referral for HMO plans but not for PPO plans. Knowing what you have...
Question:What kind of disabilities services should I ask for? I am a freshman in college and I'm not really sure what I might need from the Office for Disability Services (ODS) for T1D, and the ODS counselor isn't really sure what is appropriate to offer. Thanks.Answers:Maddy:You’ve already taken a smart step at the start of your college career by getting in touch with ODS! I went through my first two years of college not even knowing I could have registered with my university’s student disability services program having T1D. If you had a 504 plan (or other accommodations) during high school, you may want to bring that document with you to your next meeting with ODS. ODS can see how they can be formatted to fit your needs in a college setting.   Here are some accommodations that might be beneficial:  Permission to eat in class and leave to use the restroom. In my experience, very few professors have an issue if you eat in class or need to get up to use the restroom. However, just in case you come across one who does have a problem with this, you may want to have accommodations already in placeExtra time...

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...
Question:When you meet someone or first become friends with someone do you tell them you're a diabetic? When do you feel is the appropriate time and way to tell people?Answers:Zach:Great question! Honestly, it depends on how comfortable you are with sharing that you have diabetes. For myself, I don’t usually bring it up immediately, but if I feel like I need to test my blood sugar or if I have to give insulin, I will do it even if I’m in front of a new person. Usually this causes the person to ask what I’m doing, and I will explain to them then that I have diabetes and these are some of the things that I need to do to stay healthy.Often times I’ve seen my diabetes play out as an icebreaker. By opening myself up to discussion about it, I’ve answered a lot of questions that people have and made some great friends because of it! How you share that you have diabetes is up to you, but if you are worried that they might not want to be your friend because of it, I can say confidently that I haven’t lost a friend because of my diabetes. However,...

CDN, Camp, and College

It’s hard to believe that summer is over. For me, that means the end of my internship with CDN, and the start if my senior year. Back in February, I was offered the opportunity to spend the summer with CDN, and I said yes without hesitation. As the summer came closer, I found myself wondering about what being a CDN intern would be like. I had been exposed to CDN previously, but was still unsure of what this experience would be like. Let me tell you, it was better than I could have ever expected.I walked into the office on my first day and was greeted by smiles and pump beeps. I quickly learned that my biggest responsibilities as an intern were in social media, development, and advocacy work. Crafting tweets and Facebook posts was fun, but it also carried large importance. For many people, their only connection to others with diabetes is online, and CDN has become their support system. Development was my first exposure to the “behind the scenes” workings of a nonprofit. I have grown up benefitting from the work of nonprofits, and I never fully appreciated it until this summer. Advocacy, unlike social media and development,...
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...
Editor's note: this blog was originally posted on Jesse's blog, where he wrote about his experiences with Bike Beyond this summer. Check it out here. • • •This summer Team #BikeBeyond struck down the popular narrative that people with type 1 diabetes, or any "disabling" condition for that matter must hold you back from achieving your highest self. At some point nine years into my journey living with type 1 diabetes, I realized that having a support network was a crucial part of success in living with this disease. I wanted to help people living with type 1 realize that importance for themselves. But there's a challenge associated; you can't just tell someone to sign up for an event or online support group and expect that your words will inspire them to immediately do that. No, action is the key. That's why I went on this bike ride. I wanted to show people that you can do anything you want while living with type 1, but also, that none of us are doing this alone, nor could we have.Crying AND Laughing at the finish line !!! Love this family. Photo credit: Lindsey Freitas SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES EXISTS IN MANY FORMS: Diabetes Online Community --> websites and apps like Beyond Type...

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From The Blog

Seryn talks about the relationship between T1D and mental health
Val gives us tips on hosting a successful CDN event on campus
Meg gives us her tips on simplifying her life to benefit her T1D.

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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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