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On March 11, 2011 at the age of 13, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Growing up in Dallas, Texas, I never attended any sort of summer camps for children with diabetes. I knew two others in high school with diabetes, and in March of 2016, I tragically lost one of them due to complications with their T1D. Needless to say, it has been easy in the past six years to feel hopeless and alone, no matter how hard I try to keep going. When the opportunity came to attend this year’s College Diabetes Network (CDN) Retreat in Bridgton, Maine, something deep inside told me to apply.In preparation for the retreat, I was incredibly excited for my first camp-like experience as a person with diabetes. I was not very sure what to expect, but I knew something like this was exactly what I needed. I would be lying to you, however, if I did not mention how anxious, worried, and nervous I felt about travelling alone for the first time. Not to mention, I had never been anywhere on the east coast prior to this trip. As a Texan, flying into Boston and driving for three hours in...
Hey everybody!I’m Charles, and I’m very excited to be joining the College Diabetes Network (CDN) program team as a Program Assistant!I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) just over 9 years ago at age 14. With much support from family, friends, and colleagues, I’ve been fortunate to manage the highs and lows with as relative ease as could be hoped for. It is for this reason that since diagnosis I have actively pursued opportunities which would allow me to help others living with T1D to not only manage, but to thrive.T1D was integral in my decision as to what I wanted to study in college. With carb counting and nutrition labels thoroughly burned into brain, I pursued Food and Nutrition Science (after that one year that I majored in Chemistry, which we don’t talk about). After four years (plus the one we don’t talk about), I finished my B.S. in Food and Nutrition Science with a hand full of minors and certificates.My relationship with CDN began at the end of my sophomore year at Ohio University, when I helped to co-found our student diabetes group which would go on to become a CDN Chapter a few months later. I...
Diabetes was never something I even thought about. There was no history of it in my immediate family and from what I knew, it was only something you got if you ate too much sugar. I was nineteen... so I was in the clear, right?It was my freshman year at Penn State University and just started my spring semester. I had gotten through the transition in the fall and was ready for my new classes. Unfortunately, that’s exactly when I came down with strep throat, which led to the flu. After a week and a half of fevers and long days in bed, I thought it could only go up hill from there. And that’s when I started to feel changes in my body. I brushed off the constant thirst and frequent trips to the restroom as my body just recovering from flu dehydration. But it was during a physics exam that I was overwhelmed with nausea and fatigue that I knew something was very wrong. I went home that night, called the over night nurse, and they told me to get to the university health services immediately the next morning.When I walked into the appointment, I knew what they...
I’ve never written a blog before. You’d think it’d be easy; but, honestly, writing anything is never “easy,” especially sitting in an airplane 34,000 feet above the ground on Friday, the last day of the College Diabetes Network (CDN) Annual Retreat.This is the second time in my life I’ve been on an airplane. Before boarding, I spent four hours sitting on the floor of an airport talking with two almost strangers that really felt more like friends I’d known for a long time. I say almost because I met them on Monday (the day I got on an airplane for the first time in my life) at CDN’s Annual Student Retreat in Bridgton, Maine. Navigating an airport on my own, boarding a plane, flying to a strange state (compared to Florida, Maine is pretty weird), and even writing this blog wasn’t easy.I didn’t always know exactly what to do, and there were a few times I felt lost.I guess I could say the same thing about managing my diabetes or even running a CDN Chapter.In May, I wrapped up my freshman year of college; and surviving your first year of college is hard enough without type 1 diabetes (T1D). I...
Stepping off of the train in Boston, I still had no idea what to expect. I was on my way to The College Diabetes Network’s (CDN) 4th Annual Retreat in Maine, and I still had about four hours of traveling to do. I knew that I would be meeting 25 other people with type one diabetes, but I had no idea that I would also be truly connecting with all of these people. However, in just four short days, I learned more than I could have ever imagined, discovered new life changing information, and formed a bond over shared passion, dedication, and lifestyle with these strangers who I can now call friends. As a freshman public health and psychology double major I am completely confident in my decision to major in public health. The field has been a passion of mine for my entire life, and I love every possible career avenue that it leads to. As an undergraduate major, public health is a broad field and a double major or minor is highly recommended. I tell friends and family that I want to be involved in public health policy, work for a non-profit organization, or work for the UN or...
I have been involved with my Chapter of the College Diabetes Network (CDN) since my freshman year and three years later, I was lucky enough to be accepted to attend the 2017 CDN Retreat. In a small town in Maine, 25  CDN leaders from across the country came to learn how to increase engagement within Chapters, better involve campuses, and strategies to continue to raise awareness about type one diabetes (T1D). I am no stranger to the life of a T1D as someone without it, but I have never experienced it in bulk like this.Being one of two  CDN leaders without T1D in a group of 25 students invited to the retreat absolutely terrified me. I was so excited to attend the retreat, but the closer and closer the date came, I became nervous. I was afraid, that I, the one with the working pancreas was going to feel left out and not accepted. Oh how the tables have turned…Climbing into the van of people with multiple devices on their bodies I felt like I had a huge sign on my head that said “I’m not like you”. I feared no one would talk to me.. That was absolutely not...
Hi everybody!My name is Melissa and I could not be happier to be interning with the College Diabetes Network (CDN) this summer! I am finishing up my freshman year at the University of Rochester and am the current vice president of the CDN Chapter there. I am thrilled to be involved on my campus and now with CDN headquarters. While I am still undecided on my major, my passions are in public health and brain and cognitive science. If all goes well, I hope to combine the two! I truly love what I do and feel very passionate about both of these studies.I am from Syracuse, NY which is right in the center of the state and famous for Syracuse University’s college athletics (go Orange!) I enjoy staying physically and mentally active and I treasure time with my large family and close friends. I take advantage of any adventure that is thrown my way and find happiness in traveling and participating in things that push me outside of my comfort zone. I spend much of my free time volunteering and working with children through hospital settings and summer camp. Working with children gives me joy and is something I hope...
Although diabetes is a physical condition, there is also a connection between diabetes and mental health. Good mental health is important for good diabetes care and vice versa. But what happens when your mental health is not in such a great state because you are exhausted by diabetes? Something you may start to feel is diabetes burnout, and that has been a struggle for me this academic year.This year was a particularly hard year for me, from both a diabetes and an academic standpoint. The summer before my sophomore year, I was dealing with several insurance problems, and those issues bled into the beginning of my fall semester. My a1c was high, and my numbers always felt out of whack, either too high or too low. I was also taking 6 classes both semesters of this year and was on several club e-boards. I knew I would have a lot on my plate, but I didn’t realize how much these things would take a toll on me; after all, I’ve been living with type one diabetes (T1D) for about 18 years now so I should be able to handle this, right?But soon enough I was throwing myself into my school...
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...
It’s dark. My body is submerged in a cold sweat, all of my muscles begin to tremble as I try to move, and finally what I consider the worst part, my chest feels awkwardly and unimaginably heavy, making it difficult to breathe. I’m on my bed, feeling a sickening lack of energy caused by low blood sugar, and I’m all alone. To all my fellow T1D’s, even though type 1 diabetes (T1D) only affected a few hours of my sleep last night, you probably can understand that it’s a 24/7 job. It. Literally. Never. Goes. Away. Whether we’re in class, at the gym, grocery shopping, or participating in any other kind of daily activity, you don’t always know when it will show its face. That means four to five finger pricks and needles a day, and still getting shaky or severely dehydrated when the math isn’t quite right.My name is Sabrina, and I want to share my story of how diabetes has an effect on my mental health and what I’ve learned from it. Having my blood sugar fluctuate on an insanely broad spectrum for most of my life has been challenging, to say the least. Despite this, I wholeheartedly...

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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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