Since 2011, Carb DM has been creating a supportive diabetes community in the Bay Area. It’s a community like no other, and to keep it going, we need your help. Carb DM runs on a shoestring budget, so your contribution of any amount makes a big impact.
To see the impact we’re making, look no further than the people who make up our community: the people with type 1 diabetes and the people who love them. These are the people whose stories we’re telling. These are the people we’re celebrating.
This month our featured community member Carb DM’s summer intern, Sydney Kim. Sydney is a junior at the University of Michigan. She is currently working in the Bay Area as a communications intern for TCI, a publishing company that creates science and social studies curriculum for K-12. Sydney applied for a summer internship with Carb DM because she wanted to help others to receive the support that she had during her early days with diabetes. We hope Sydney’s story inspires you to continue supporting Carb DM!
I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 5 years old. If I am honest, I don’t remember much from that time in my life, especially regarding my diagnosis. For my mom and dad, that week of my childhood is still clear in their minds, but for me, I only remember the craft room at the hospital where some glitter glue, sequins, and I went to work on a little cardboard box.
At the time of my diagnosis, my family was living in the Midwest. After being diagnosed, my parents became active and involved in the diabetic community where we lived in order to stay up to date with the latest research and technological developments. More importantly, however, we as a family made a large effort to connect with people who live with the disease to see and understand some of the real-life elements of living with Type 1 that didn’t always make it in the diabetic handbook at the doctor. My mom joined a diabetes support group through my endocrinologist and I attended diabetes camps in the summer to meet other kids who were just like me. When I was in 6th grade, I even became email pen-pals with another girl my age who wanted advice about the OmniPod I had begun wearing and how I managed my diabetes with sports; 8 years later, our email chain is still going strong.
However, when my family and I moved to the Bay Area a few years ago, our involvement with our new diabetes community in the South Bay was minimal. Now that I was more independent and could manage my diabetes on my own, and because we had years of experience already under our belts coupled with a good understanding of my Type 1, my family and I didn’t rely on our diabetes community as heavily. Especially now as a college student, my relationship with my diabetes, naturally, has changed and grown as well. My diabetes has integrated itself into my life over the last 15 years; it simply exists as part of who I am. I am fortunate to have had the support from my family, friends, and healthcare professionals, as well as access to numerous tools and technology in order to manage my diabetes in the best way I can without it overshadowing the other aspects of my life that are important to me.
However, not every person diagnosed with diabetes has the support that I have received from my loved ones or the resources that I have had access to. That is where programs like Carb DM step in to help fellow people with diabetes to connect with others. I am excited to finally become more involved in the diabetes community here in the Bay Area, and to help Carb DM be a place for others to find the resources, help, information, and support that they need to thrive while living with diabetes. There is strength in numbers and power in knowledge, and all persons living with diabetes deserve the necessary resources to understand living with this disease and a community willing to step in and give advice in those moments of need. I look forward to being a part of this community, and to help it grow among my fellow diabetics.