Retreat recaps

Editor's note: Kacey led the charge in planning and hosting the first CDN annual retreat in Texas: a weekend of learning, networking, and gaining leadership skills. Read on for the process of planning and everything that happened at the retreat! Community is such a strong thing that empowers people to accomplish some amazing feats. I really felt the support of the young adult T1D community this past summer at the 5th Annual Leadership Retreat the College Diabetes Network put on in Maine. I had… Read more
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… Read more
It’s 11:45 PM as I sit in the living room on our very last night of the 2017 CDN Retreat. Everyone is singing mid-2000’s throwback songs. Sam, Sydney, and I are singing the loudest and all the while, Will is judging us. At this very moment, you wouldn’t know this event has any relation to type 1 diabetes (T1D). EXCEPT - when Sam says; “Pull out your pumps for my Snapchat video!” Now I know we are definitely a group of T1Ds.  The best part of diabetes is the connections, the heartwarming… Read more
I have been a diabetic for over 8 years. I was diagnosed as a small, shy eleven-year-old. My dad is also type 1 so I was used to seeing the needles, working a pump, treating lows, and the smell of insulin, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day all of those things would apply to me. I had my dad as my support system, or as we say, my “dia-buddy”, but I was the only diabetic in my grade from the time I was diagnosed until I graduated high school. In fact, it wasn’t until I got… Read more
Tegan McEntire, University of Georgia CDN Chapter (Dawgs 4 Diabetes) What. A. Week. 25+ unique individuals together because of one common link...type 1 diabetes. When I received an email containing the link to apply for the CDN Retreat, I originally ignored it. It wasn’t until I received an email from Dawgs For Diabetes, UGA’s CDN Chapter, stating that the deadline had been extended, that I actually decided to apply. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be chosen to go. I’m not in Chapter… Read more
    There I was, sitting between two strangers in the middle row of a van packed to the roof with eight other students, their bags, and low snacks. We were on our way to a cabin in the woods of Maine for the CDN Annual Leadership Retreat. I think the exact words running through my mind were, “What the heck am I doing?”. We were going on our tenth minute of excruciatingly awkward silence when a Dexcom alarm started blaring. My stomach dropped and my hand darted straight for my phone, like it… Read more
Recently, I started my own chapter of the College Diabetes Network at Mercyhurst University. Getting my Chapter off the ground has been a work in progress, but every meeting has given me optimism that I can make a big impact on my campus. In one of the numerous emails that I have gotten from CDN, I saw that they would be holding a retreat over the summer in which twenty-five Chapter members and leaders could bounce ideas off of eachother and CDN national could get feedback on their programs.… Read more
Caroline Minor, President of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville CDN Chapter, Class OF 2019   There I was, sitting between two strangers in the middle row of a van packed to the roof with eight other students, their bags, and low snacks. We were on our way to a cabin in the woods of Maine for the CDN Annual Leadership Retreat. I think the exact words running through my mind were, “What the heck am I doing?”. We were going on our tenth minute of excruciatingly awkward silence when a… Read more
Colleen McMahon, President of The Northeastern University CDN Chapter   I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 2014 at the age of 17. When I was first diagnosed I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and lifestyle changes I had to make in addition to preparing for my senior year of high school and applying to college. During this time, I often felt isolated and like I had to hide my diabetes out of the fear of being judged by others. It wasn't until I got to college that I… Read more
Alex Martin, President of the Mercyhurst University CDN Chapter Recently, I started my own chapter of the College Diabetes Network at Mercyhurst University. Getting my Chapter off the ground has been a work in progress, but every meeting has given me optimism that I can make a big impact on my campus. In one of the numerous emails that I have gotten from CDN, I saw that they would be holding a retreat over the summer in which twenty-five Chapter members and leaders could bounce ideas off of… Read more
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