When were you diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?
I was 18 and an undergraduate at the University of Washington. I was a member of the women’s rowing team and majoring in public health at the same time I was learning how to manage this new disease.
What have you been doing post-college?
I graduated from the University of Washington one quarter early - though I continued to row for that last quarter. I then went to UNC Chapel Hill where I completed a joint Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian program. Today I work at Seattle Children’s Hospital as part of a team providing wrap around care and education to children recently diagnosed with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2.
What do you like about your current role at Seattle Children’s? How does it differ from others you’ve had previously?
Working with kids has a different kind of hope to it than working with adults and their different treatment goals. With younger people there is a focus on living your life to the fullest as opposed to just surviving the aftermath of a diagnosis
I am a counselor at heart having spent many summers working at camps for kids with diabetes. That work, and mindset, prepared me well for my current position where I spend a lot of time discussing foods, snacks and feelings with kids. I also provide family-based education helping to navigate sensitive issues like complex family dynamics and food insecurity.
In April 2016 you received two additional diagnoses. What where they?
Just prior to beginning the interview process for my current job, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. However, during the screening process for Crohn’s it was confirmed that I had a third autoimmune condition – Graves’ disease. Diabetes had literally been my life personally and professionally. So, it’s funny, but these new diagnoses were actually a welcomed distraction. In December 2017 I will celebrate my one year work anniversary as well as one year in remission from Crohn’s.
Are you still staying involved with the clinical research community?
Yes, I am still involved with type 1 diabetes clinical research at BRI. And, with my new diagnosis I have joined the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Registry, too.
November 17, 2017
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