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College Diabetes Network reaches out to students

March 25, 2017

 

Andrew Bell
Staff Reporter | agb022@latech.edu

 

The Louisiana Tech College Diabetes Network, an organization committed to supporting students with diabetes and aiding them in the transition to college life, took a trip to Bienville Parish to meet and connect with 5th through 12th graders recently.

 

Donna Hood, nursing department director and chapter adviser of Tech’s College Diabetes Network for Louisiana Tech, elaborated on the goals of this network.

 

“The College Diabetes Network is a national organization in place to support college students living with diabetes and to help make their transition to the university setting as smooth as possible,” Hood said. “The CDN  has great resources available to students through their website.”

 

The organization was established by recent nursing graduate Aouicha Zorgati and Hood when Zorgati met with other chapter leaders across the country, bringing back great ideas for the Louisiana chapter. The chapter has been a success as they have consistently been there for students in need.

 

According to Tara Haskins, an assistant professor in the Division of Nursing, nursing students traveled to Bienville Parish to meet with students across the parish who could possibly be in need of assistance.

 

“These meetings between Tech CDN members and middle school and high school students provided an opportunity to make social connections and share common experiences and challenges.” Haskins said.

 

Haskins said the trip resulted in the CDN members having the ability to reach out to and connect with eight kids across the parish with diabetes.

 

“Some of the topics explored were frustration of explaining diabetes to others, feeling restricted in sports, cafeteria or in social situations, the impact of types of foods and physical activity and exploring the idea of an insulin pump,” she said.

 

Once the session concluded, goodie bags were handed out to all of the kids. The bags contained CDN lanyards, sunglasses, glucose tabs and literature.

 

One of the schools they visited was Arcadia Crawford Elementary and High School, where Haskins teamed up with school nurse Nicole Lee to enlighten the kids on the positive side of it all.

 

“It was the hope that students in secondary schools with diabetes could feel empowered about managing diabetes currently and beyond high school.”

 

Marshall Harris, current chapter president, said the CDN also has a positive influence on students on campus.

 

“Joining CDN helped me realize that I don’t have to go through this alone. There are others on campus experiencing the same challenges. Being part of this organization has really helped,” he said.

 

If you or anyone you know is interested in or in need of help, please contact the College Diabetes Network at latech@collegediabetesnetwork.org for more information.

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