The second annual Texas CDN Regional Retreat took place at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX on February 22 and 23. The event hosted students from Texas A&M University, Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU), The University of Texas, and Texas Woman’s University.
This was my first experience planning an event of this nature, so I grew a lot throughout the process. The most important resources for me were the people who helped me with the planning and logistics of the retreat. Devon Constable from CDN National helped with information regarding funding and coordinated with CDN Corporate Members to bring their innovations to our innovation fair. Kacey Creel from SFASU helped recruit guest speakers through her connections in the T1D community. The officers from the Texas A&M CDN Chapter helped with logistics and basic planning of events. Without the help of these individuals, this event would not have been nearly as successful as it was.
The main obstacle for the retreat was marketing and recruiting students to attend the event. As college students, we are busy and hesitant to commit a weekend of our precious time, especially months in advance. To overcome this hurdle in the future, we are thinking about hosting the retreat over the summer or winter break.
"One of the most engaging portions of the retreat was the Innovation Fair."
One of the most engaging portions of the retreat was the Innovation Fair. Companies like Companion Medical, Medtronic, Insulet, and Xeris were able to attend. The reps from each company were able to show us the future of diabetes technology. I found the most interesting product to be the Companion Medical InPen. This technology gives people the data of a pump while using a pen for multiple daily injections. I believe that it is important for young adults to be educated about what’s available on the market, so they can make informed decisions about their diabetes management.
The retreat provided students a safe place to discuss diabetes-related topics. We had breakout sessions covering areas such as nutrition and mental health. At times, it can be hard to discuss these areas of our lives with others who live without the disease. I believe the retreat successfully fostered an open environment where students felt safe to share their thoughts, ideas, problems, and stories with the group.
"I was able to talk with many other people with diabetes that fight the same battles as me on a daily basis."
The main message that I got out of the retreat was that I am not alone. I was able to talk with many other people with diabetes that fight the same battles as me on a daily basis. The retreat was everything I expected and more. However, I wish I would have spent more time and resources recruiting students to attend the event. The T1D community is powerful, and I hope that a third annual Texas Regional Retreat is held next year.