Managing type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a full-time job that requires 24/7 monitoring and constant attention. Add the transition from home to college life in the mix, and life can get very complicated, very fast. Our goal in T1D Outreach at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) is to provide support to all ages and stages for those living with T1D. SDRI quickly saw the need for T1D support on college campuses on the central coast, and sprang into action. With the support of UC Santa Barbara students and faculty, we created a T1D Club this past fall on the UC Santa Barbara campus. Our goal is to provide support, connection and resources for the T1Ds living on campus. We’ve had tremendous success with the club, and have had faculty share on the latest diabetes research and technology, planned community events, and created a space on campus where students living with T1D can feel understood.
“It’s been an incredible journey forming this group alongside the student leaders. As a UCSB alumna and type 1 diabetic, I would have really enjoyed having a space where I could have met other T1Ds and learned from my peers. I am passionate about supporting those living with T1D, and am thrilled to work for an organization that makes a difference in our community. I couldn’t be more excited to have a club on campus that provides resources, education and support for those impacted by diabetes.” –Katie Haq, SDRI T1D Outreach Coordinator
In addition to the UC Santa Barbara T1D Club, we have been connected to the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo T1D Club for years. The club has been long established, and SDRI often partners with the group for community outreach events, mentorship opportunities, and volunteer programs. It has been a hub for the diabetes community on campus at Cal Poly SLO, and continues to thrive year after year.
Another exciting addition to the UC Santa Barbara T1D Club and the Cal Poly T1D Club, is the partnership with the College Diabetes Network (CDN). The CDN is a non-profit organization whose mission is singularly focused on providing young adults with T1D the peer connections they value, and expert resources they need, to successfully manage the challenging transition to independence at college and beyond. Our student leaders quickly teamed up with the CDN and became registered chapters at UCSB and Cal Poly SLO. Prior to this group, there were only registered chapters in the Los Angeles Area and Bay Area; the central coast did not have any chapters through the CDN. We were thrilled to put the central coast on the map as an immensely needed resource to the T1D community.
For more information on our college T1D clubs, or questions on how to get involved, please contact Katie Haq, Outreach Coordinator