CollegeDiabetesNetwork.org (CDN), a non-profit founded by University of Massachusetts, Amherst senior Christina Roth, officially launches today to provide critical resources and integrated support networks for Type 1 diabetics on college and university campuses nationwide.
CDN helps students connect, network, share tips and gain access to timely information on key issues including health, nutrition, diabetic products, new technologies, health insurance companies and how to get involved in their local diabetic community.
College can be a challenging time for anyone, as the demands of studying, jobs, sports, late nights out and poor nutrition take their toll. Diabetes only compounds the stress, as students are often isolated, at risk of depression, and limited when it comes to receiving adequate health care, counseling or round-the-clock nutritional options.
“College Diabetes Network was founded to address the unique challenges facing students with diabetes, from access to better health care and resources to finding a community that understands the disease,” says Roth, a Type 1 diabetic herself. “When students with the disease support each other, they are more likely to stay motivated to address their health, emotional well-being, and academic challenges.”
Roth has conducted outreach to dozens of campuses nationwide to help launch individual CDN chapters, which are spearheaded by motivated students who register with the College Diabetes Network. Each chapter receives a homepage on the CDN website as well as an action plan and support services to help them grow their network.
Roth, 21, was diagnosed with Type 1 (also known as Juvenile Diabetes) at age 14 while a freshman at Hingham High School in Hingham, MA. She was finally adjusting to her daily treatments when she left home for college, where she discovered the limitations in meal plan options, health services and a social support system.
As a psychology major, Roth has learned the importance of psychological health in students’ ability to successfully manage the disease and fulfill their academic potential. “CDN chapters foster friendships with other people who understand and relate to all of the challenges that diabetics live with everyday,” says Roth. “Having friends who you can vent to and laugh with about the disease is invaluable.”
Through Roth’s personal experience with CDN, she believes that it can make a difference in students’ lives by giving them not only the support and education they need to successfully manage this disease, but also the motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What's Next: Helping Parents and Campus Administrators
CDN also serves as a support network for parents of students with Type 1 diabetes – providing resources and an online support network that allows them share tips on how to cope with the stress of having their diabetic child living away from home, get ideas for care packages, and read other parents’ personal stories. CDN also provides parents with access to information regarding the level of awareness and insight their child’s school has through its available resources and support services.
In addition, CDN also reaches out to college and university administrators by providing information on how they can make their campuses healthier for diabetic students, helping to improve campus awareness of the disease while providing specialized support services for diabetics.
Roth believes CDN's success is dependent on the joint efforts of students, parents, family and friends, campus administrators, and diabetic health care providers. Their combined contributions will enable students to live healthier and more successful lives until a cure is found.
The overwhelming interest and support from students, parents, and university administrators has enabled CDN to grow exponentially. CDN continues to grow their network at many colleges/universities including: UMass Amherst, Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Trinity College, and others.
To find out more information about College Diabetes Network, their networking chapters and ways to support CDN's growth, visit their website at: http://collegediabetesnetwork.org.
For more information or to establish your campus chapter, please contact:
Christina Roth, Founder and President of CDN, firstname.lastname@example.org / (339) 236-0078 (USA)
# # #
CDN is a an organization which is dedicated to improving the lives and health of type 1 diabetic college students through social support on campuses, helpful information, and working with parents and administrators