Planning College Diabetes Week

Morgan Kath, University of Rochester College Diabetes Network Vice President

As the second annual College Diabetes Week quickly approaches (November 9-13 to be exact!), the University of Rochester chapter of the College Diabetes Network (CDN) has been busy planning. Last year’s inaugural College Diabetes Week was the brainchild of the first CDN Retreat and made possible by the CDN Student Advisory Committee (SAC). Our chapter participated last year, and we are planning to expand on the momentum this year. The week’s intent is to celebrate and unite CDN chapters across the nation and allow chapters to raise awareness at the campus, local, and national levels.

College Diabetes Week is especially important to me for the opportunity to make other people aware of the seriousness of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million Americans have some form of Diabetes, with approximately 8 million of those people living undiagnosed. One and a quarter million Americans are living with Type 1 Diabetes. To me, those numbers are just not acceptable and my involvement with CDN as well as career goals of studying autoimmunity can change that. College Diabetes Week is an opportunity to education people about diabetes risks, research, and reality.

Each day of the week has a specific goal:

Monday- Education

Tuesday- Fundraising

Wednesday- Awareness

Thursday Advocating

Friday- Celebrating!

We will be starting our week a little early with a presentation the week before by a doctor at the University of Rochester Medical Center who is involved with the TrialNet studies. TrialNet is an international network of researchers exploring ways to prevent, delay, and reverse the onset of T1D. To advertise about the week, we are planning to paint a tunnel on campus (the University of Rochester is famous for its “Painted Tunnel” where clubs advertise events!), hang a banner in our Commons, and implement a social media campaign about why Diabetes advocacy is important to our club members. We plan to coordinate with our dining services again to plan a Go Blue Breakfast for World Diabetes Day on November 14 to encourage starting your day out with a healthy breakfast.

New this year is an educational initiative where we will be making stickers with facts about Diabetes and placing them on the coffee cardboard sleeves at a few coffee shops around campus. We hope this will allow us to reach a large student population because every college student lives on coffee! During our tabling time, we will again be selling blue washers with ‘Diabetes Awareness’ written on them, in reference to the World Diabetes Day blue circle. We also hope to use our tabling time to educate students, staff, and faculty about Diabetes and empower them to contact legislators about the importance of funding Diabetes research.

We are very excited to kick off College Diabetes Week and raise more awareness about Diabetes. Follow me on Twitter @mkath31 for updates about UofR’s College Diabetes Week and be sure to follow the week’s official hashtag, #collegediabetesweek!

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