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Editor’s note: The CDN Chapters at the University of Washington and Seattle University teamed up with the Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to ensure that every college student in the Seattle T1D community has access to a support network. Andy, co-founder of the CDN Chapter at the University of Washington, and Gwen Malone and Teri Yoder from the JDRF Northwest Chapter told us about their experiences and why working with the diabetes community is so beneficial. Stay tuned for Gwen and Teri's blog!· · · My name is Andy Zeiger and I recently graduated from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle where I co-founded and led UW’s College Diabetes Network (CDN) Chapter - we called ourselves T1Dawgs. I also served as the College Outreach Chair to the Northwest JDRF Chapter.I was connected to the Northwest JDRF chapter within a few weeks of my diagnosis during my junior year, but quickly realized that there were no resources or social support systems on campus that I could rely on. In those early days after being diagnosed, JDRF represented the only community of people who I could rely on for the support and guidance that helped shape my positive transition into...
Question:Help!!! I was just diagnosed, and my prom is a week away!!! I’ve lost so much weight any don’t think I’ll fit into my dress anymore. What should I do?Answers:Maddy: Being diagnosed with diabetes is a hard transition for anyone no matter their age, but I think one of the most important things you can learn with having diabetes is that it shouldn’t stop you from living your life! It sounds like from the tone of your question you still want to go to prom, so good for you! I understand your worry and frustration about your dress. Everyone wants to look their best on prom night, right? There are two options you could go with: seeing what you can do with your current dress or get a new one altogether. See if you have a family member, friend, or a local tailor (you might be able to gain some sympathy points if you explain your situation to them) who might be able to make some quick alterations to your dress. If you have the means available, going to the mall with a parent, sibling, or friend(s) to see what you can find as a backup could even be a...

Not quite a goodbye blog

A few months ago I was speaking at a presentation  and was introduced as “Emily Ike, recently diagnosed with type 3 diabetes.” I laughed at this, but can remember that not too long ago I could have made the same mistake. When I started at CDN, I barely knew anything about diabetes. For the past three and a half years in my role at CDN, I’ve typically been the odd one out with a working pancreas. Most of my coworkers and nearly all of the students I’ve had the pleasure of working with have diabetes, and I’ve happily taken on the role of a type 3 (someone who supports people with diabetes) during my time here.Not only have I learned so much from all of you, but you’ve inspired me, too. I recently made the decision to go back to school to become an occupational therapist. I’ll be starting at Tufts University in Boston in the fall, and am interested in working with people with chronic illnesses. But don’t worry! You can’t quite get rid of me yet. ;)Since I’ve been at CDN, we’ve grown tremendously - and that’s in large part thanks to the incredible efforts of all of...
Hello everyone! My name is Samira Hemraj and I am a freshman at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) where I live on campus and have a meal plan membership. I currently take insulin with a pen and monitor my blood sugars at a minimum of five times a day. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) on December 26th, 2017 (Yes, the day after Christmas!). While in the hospital, I remember numerous nurses and doctors telling me, “Your life is about to change.” At the time, I was unable to fully understand the scope of this “life-changing” experience. Through all the endocrinologist appointments and an abundant amount of information about T1D, I started to truly realize my lifestyle was about to change. With only two weeks before the beginning of spring semester, I enthusiastically grasped the basics of T1D before moving 107 miles back to college, away from the comfort of my home. My parents questioned whether I would be able to manage my T1D away from home and I quickly took charge and assured them that I was ready to conquer this challenge.Throughout my spring semester, I rapidly learned a tremendous amount about not only myself but the...
Boston University School of Medicine, Master of Science in Medical Science, May 2019Colby College, BS in Neurobiology & Economics-Mathematics, 2017Tell us a little about your diabetes story. When were you diagnosed? What was it like if you remember?My family and I were in the process of moving across the Atlantic Ocean from England, where I was born, to Massachusetts, when my life and the lives of those around me changed forever. I was only two years old, and we had not even moved into our new house. I was an ordinarily energetic child, but when I did not want to play on the playground my parents knew something was wrong. I did not have a new pediatrician, so we went to one of my father’s old friends, and he immediately instructed us to go to Children’s Hospital in Boston and that the staff would be waiting for me. On the way to the hospital, I slipped into a coma for five days and then spent the rest of the month at Children’s. My family members, like many other T1D families, knew of grandparents affected by diabetes, but they did not understand how a young toddler could have the same illness....
Question 12: I’m starting college in the fall and I’m so nervous for graduation and then starting college. Do you know of a good way to hide your pump under your dress that isn’t uncomfortable? What do I do if my roommate is weird about me having diabetes?Abbey:First off, try not to be too nervous about graduation and starting college! I am a creature of habit and the change from high school to college can be nerve-wracking, but think of it as the next part of your journey! You are ready and you will love it!For all occasions when I wear a dress I attach my pump to my bra. I usually place it on the front; however, I know girl members of my CDN group place it on the side or back. Sometime it depends on the dress and where it will fit best, and feel most comfortable. Also, I wouldn’t fret too much about your pump showing on your graduation day because during the ceremony you will be wearing your gown over your dress!Editor's note: wearing a pair of spandex with a side/back pocket under your dress also works great! Your pump won't be sweaty against your skin...
I have recently learned that one of the most difficult things about running a club in college is pushing the word out in your campus community about it.Almost every single person from the fall 2017 semester that was a part of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Chapter that I am president of had either graduated, or had started things like student teaching, and didn’t have enough time to be a part of the club anymore. So when I was passed down the torch to become the next leader of the Chapter, the first thing I sat down to think about was how to garner the interest of my peers.There were so many ideas that were running through my mind about different activities and team building exercises that I wanted to try, but I quickly began to realize that only having three members (one of whom was me, another the faculty advisor) was going to limit what we could do. I began contacting different people on campus and had the help of the other two members to create and set up posters around the more frequented areas.To my utter joy, at our first meeting of the spring 2018 semester we had two new faces....
I was diagnosed with T1D in January 2015. I was in a DKA induced coma for three days and the next week was a whirlwind of learning about injections, “in-range” blood sugars, and glucose tabs. No T1D diagnosis is easy, but this felt like a particularly trying time. I was 17 at the time and I was finishing up my senior year of high school. I was struggling with the typical questions of what I wanted to do with my future and how I wanted to go about pursuing my goals. I had all of the energy of being newly diagnosed and I was determined to have perfect blood sugars. I meticulously controlled my diet, my insulin dosing, and my exercise. My A1Cs were amazing, but I was still struggling with accepting how diabetes fit into my life. I was scared to let go of who I had been; I didn’t want diabetes to define me or change me.This mentality made me unwilling to share my diagnosis story or let anyone see me manage my diabetes. For most of that year, very few of my friends even knew that I had T1D and I carefully avoided injecting or testing in...
As a dog parent and animal lover, I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story about growing up with a dog with diabetes. As many of you know, I am a NASCAR Xfinity Series driver that also happens to be a T1D.Growing up in central California, I came from a racing and animal loving family. Our favorite animal from my childhood was a Chihuahua named Tank. During the weekdays in between school and racing, Tank and I would play for hours and grew extremely close. Fast forward to 2011, I was a 17 year old kid with a contract to race for a prestigious NASCAR team and thought I was invincible. After suffering from weight loss and a severe sense of thirst, I was quickly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was then immediately told I would never drive a race car again. Just like that, my lifelong dream had been taken away and I was devastated. A few months later, I had a new doctor that had experience working with professional athletes with T1D and she had a whole different outlook on me following my racing career dreams. Around the same time, my parents mentioned to me that they were...
Editor’s note: One of CDN’s virtual interns, Zach, interviewed Kevin Sayer, the President and CEO of Dexcom, about the new Dexcom G6 that just gained FDA approval in the US. Dexcom is a CDN Corporate Member. The Dexcom G6 is indicated by the FDA for use as both a standalone CGM and for integration into automated insulin dosing (AID) systems. The Dexcom G6 is the first CGM to receive this classification by the FDA.. . . Zach: What are the new features of the G6 and how does it differ from the previous versions of the Dexcom?Kevin: There are more differences from G6 to G5 than in any other system we’ve ever launched.The base that’s on your body and the transmitter have a slimmer profile. I think for a mechanical system there’s a large differentiation.The insertion system is completely new, and it’s an automated insertion system. If you’re familiar with G5, that applicator that you’ve been dealing with forever has been replaced with a one button push device, so you can peel the tape off the bottom, put it on your skin, pull the safety tab off the top, push the button, and you’re done. You’ll never see the needle and...

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From The Blog

Andy talks about partnering his CDN Chapter with the local JDRF Chapter.
CDN Student Advice Columnists offer advice on a prom dress situation
Emily says farewell - kind of.

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