Advocacy and Student Rights

My name is Crystal Diaz and I am serving as a CDN NextGen Fellow this year! I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2019 at age 18 and am currently studying Global Disease Biology at UC Davis on the pre-PA route. I was so excited to discuss the topic of advocacy with Alicia Downs, who is so involved in the diabetes sector and in the healthcare field. As a young adult with hopes to enter the healthcare field, I wanted to learn about how other type 1’s navigated graduate school and their day-to-… Read more
I spent a good part of my childhood embarrassed of who I was. I would check my blood sugar under the table and hide my pump sites, trying to dismiss the notion that I had diabetes. I was mortified by any sign that I wasn't normal and I tried to hide it from everyone, even the people closest to me.  Eventually, as I got older I got too tired of hiding part of my identity from everyone around me. Pretending that I didn’t have this extra part of me. I started researching “invisible disabilities… Read more
I’m a massive reader, and I’m going to school for writing, so words are pretty important to me. They’re how I process my emotions and the world. I also tend to find a lot of power in labels. If I can describe something, I can understand it. When part of my identity diverges from what’s considered “normal” (whatever that means), I find comfort in being able to portray my own version. It also means that, in the past, I’ve cycled through quite a few monikers before I found ones that fit. I was… Read more
Emma: What encouraged Insulet to launch Advocacy for Access? Teresa Miller: One of the things that can be overwhelming for people with they are denied access to a pump (or other diabetes technology) is the advocacy process. We launched to make that process simpler and less intimidating. You can go to the site and depending upon whether you are advocating for yourself as an individual with diabetes, as a caregiver, supporter of someone with diabetes, or a healthcare… Read more
    How does my voice count? I’m one person out of everyone in America. There’s no way my voice will be heard. Lies. This was my mindset before attending The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) Training Meeting a few weeks ago. I quickly learned during this time that I had the opportunity to make my voice so LOUD that people only have the option to hear me. This isn’t done by yelling or being in people's faces... this is done by simply telling my story.      
Editor's note: Ryan attended the CDN NextGen Leadership Summit in April 2019 and tells us about his experiences during the weekend and his positive experience with his school's Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) office. If you are looking for resources for your campus? Download CDN REACH™ resources for your campus today for free! When I was diagnosed with T1D  late in my high school career, I never thought I’d travel far from my hometown for college. Everything I needed to… Read more
This past week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending “The State of Diabetes” - a meeting for congressional members on Capitol Hill. While it does sound like “The State of the Union” address, I was not appointed the “designated survivor” (lucky for you). Rather, this meeting of the minds allowed the most prominent members in the diabetes community to come together and brief congress people on where our country is in diabetes research, expenses, and overall life with the disease. This meeting… Read more
    I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2011 at age 12. After going to a doctor’s appointment where I was promised there would be no shots, I was ironically rushed to the hospital for a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and shots for the rest of my life. Since then, I have had many ups and downs, but I have also found a community. I have been incredibly blessed with a wonderful and supportive family. Friends stood by me during my diagnosis and many of them learned with me as to how to best… Read more
CDN STUDENT ADVICE COLUMNISTS 2018-2019 Editor's note: A warm welcome to our new Student Advice Columnists for the 2018-2019 school year! They'll be answering your anonymous questions about everything T1D and young adulthood. Ask your question here! Q: What’s your best advice for finding a balance between not milking your accommodations and other’s sympathies and not having enough resources? I’ve always been told not to use my diabetes as a crutch but it’s hard sometimes when you get some… Read more
KAMERAN ULFERTS, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-KEARNEY '18 My experience with the disability services office at the university I attend, the University of Nebraska-Kearney, started out with a unique narrative. When I arrived to college as a freshman I had been living with diabetes for about five to six years and I began to soak up every opportunity of independence that presented itself. I grew up in a small, rural school where the label “diabetic” was almost always attached to my identity. Coming to… Read more
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