Freshman telecommunications major Peyton Jones (left) and senior health science and Spanish major Tanner Barton (right) represented Ball State’s College Diabetes Network at a table set up in the Atrium on Nov. 14 for World Diabetes Day. The two gave out information to raise awareness about diabetes and carbohydrates and informed students about the group's free Zumba class that night at 7:30 p.m. in the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Michelle Kaufman // DN
Student group celebrates World Diabetes Day with information, awareness
After becoming an organization and support group for those with Type 1 Diabetes last fall, the Ball State College Diabetes Network decided to celebrate World Diabetes Day Nov. 14 by providing information and resources on the disease in the Atrium.
Katelyn Warner, a senior marketing major and president of Ball State College Diabetes Network, started the group last fall to give students with diabetes an opportunity to connect and better understand how to manage their condition.
“I met one person with diabetes before I started this group, but I didn’t actually have a large group of people to talk with,” Warner said. “I really needed some more support myself and I knew other people are probably in this position as well and needed support from people our age that could really understand what we’re going through.”
Warner has been able to see other people learn how to manage their condition and feel more empowered to handle their condition, and she has felt encouraged and supported by other members of the group.
Tanner Barton, a senior Spanish and health science major, is the vice president of CDN and helped Warner start the chapter.
“I’ve always wanted to create a group here at Ball State because I’ve been so passionate in helping others with Type 1 Diabetes, but it’s also been so nice to know that there’s 10 other people that you can call and they understand what it’s like to experience a low blood sugar or to experience a high blood sugar, and that’s something that not everyone can relate to,” Barton said.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease and occurs when someone cannot produce insulin, while Type 2 can be developed later in life and can cause a body to either have too little insulin or not use it effectively.
Cameron Nichols, a senior advertising major, was one of the original members of CDN. Since its beginning, CDN has tripled in size. He hopes the event spreads awareness and corrects some of the stereotypes about diabetes.
“We’re growing and we’re really seeing how it makes an impact and being able to give other Ball State students an outlet of other students who understand what they’re going through and that can help improve their overall quality of life,” Nichols said. “It’s benefitted me by helping me realize there are other people at college that have diabetes and with the everyday struggles of a college student combined with diabetes, there are other people who understand what’s going on and there are other people who are there to help you out and who genuinely care and want to see you succeed.”
Freshman telecommunications major Peyton Jones found about about CDN on Benny Link before the fall semester started.
“I instantly was drawn to it as a diabetic myself and I knew I would find my own little community … we call each other our diabuddies, per se … if someone is low [blood sugar] we can just call someone up and say ‘who has fruit snacks?’” Jones said. “It’s also nice to be able to teach others about the disease like we’re doing today … not many people do know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 or what a carb is or everything basically that has to do with it, really. There’s a lot of myths around the disease, and we’re here to debunk them.”
The CDN will be hosting a free Zumba class at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center.