Why I Camp- LauraKate Buttrill

Why I Camp- LauraKate Buttrill


I camp because I was a camper. I remember how much camp meant to me and how much I grew from those experiences. I had so many firsts at camp: first time ever changing my own site, first time putting my site in a new place, first time going out of my comfort zone. I made so many friends at camp, friendships I still have today. Yes, I had a diabetic sister, but camp was somewhere where everyone had diabetes and you had this common connection. You were in the minority if you didn’t have type 1 diabetes! Every year, I always looked to the week of camp, it was, and still is, my favorite week of the year. Once camp ends, I start the countdown again! I want my campers to have as great of a time I had as a camper! I camp for my campers!

To Learn More About Camp Kudzu

To Volunteer at Camp Kudzu


Our February Newsletter !


What have we been up to?

D4D is on Instagram!

Follow us at @dawgs4diabetes



Dawgs for Diabetes represented the College Diabetes Network on CNN’s Accent Health. D4D Members were filmed in November, and the clip went live in January all over the country. Shortly after, the clip started playing in doctor’s offices around the country. According to the CDN Newsletter, CDN received a record number of people contacting them for information and to start chapters. Check out the clip here!


Night of the Arts

Mark your calendars for March 26 from 5:30-7:30! Come Support Camp for a Cause with Camp Twin Lakes at UGA and their event Night of the Arts at Terrapin. Camp Kudzu has two sessions at Camp Twin Lakes. Many of our members are also members of Camp for a Cause. For more information check out their Facebook event! There will also be a silent auction and the Get Cooler for Camp Painting Competition. Dawgs for Diabetes’ members Elise Roche and Laura Gillespie are painting a cooler for Dawgs for Diabetes!



Mindy Bartleson, president since January 2013, was selected as one of UGA’s Amazing Students. She was also selected as an Outstanding Senior Leader through Pandora Yearbook, and she be attending a banquet with other outstanding senior leaders in March.


UGA Miracle’s Dance Marathon


From Left; David, Mindy, and Meagan

Congrats to UGA Miracle for Raising $683,251.15 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) at their 20th Annual Dance Marathon February 21-22, 2015. Many of our members have a history with CHOA; getting diagnosed there as children, and many pediatric endocrinologists are located there.

Many D4D members are involved in Miracle in various capacities. We would love to recognize Meagan Will, Class of 2015, for surpassing her fundraising goal, and raising $569. She also spent all 24 hours dancing for the kids (FTK). Meagan has been involved in Miracle for all four years while also serving on committees; Fundraising Freshman Year and Hospital Relations her other three years. Meagan currently interns at Safe Kids through CHOA.


JDRF GA’s TypeOneNation


Mindy and Trevor

D4D also attended TypeOneNation on February 21 in Atlanta. We had a table to spread the word about what we do and our Campus Tour. Mindy and Trevor also lead the Teen Breakout Session with Teens ages 13-18. They talked about life and Diabetes, Netflix, theme songs, and they played “Where the Wind Blows.”

Our February Newsletter !

A Note from Exec- Riley Jenkins, Freshman Liaison

A Note from Exec- Riley Jenkins, Freshman Liaison

FullSizeRender IMG_0773

The first year at UGA is definitely overwhelming in many ways. As a freshman, I speak from experience by saying the first semester is like a whirlwind. There are so many things to be involved in, classes to take, professors to meet, and things to experience in Athens. It can be quite a challenge staying organized and not letting opportunities pass you by all while staying on top of classes and learning to live on your own. One of the most important things I have learned this year is to be more flexible. I have learned that it is okay to change plans, and I have several times. I feel that many students, like myself, have trouble accepting anything less than perfection or that plans must be adjusted sometimes, but freshman year is a great time to learn to do just that.

With that being said, I have involved myself in organizations, classes, and programs that I am passionate about. For example, in the fall, I enrolled in an FYOS class that I knew I would enjoy: Communicating with People with Disabilities taught by Dr. Kevin McCully. Through this class, I met people with a wide range of disabilities and learned many things while forming relationships with the guests, my classmates, and Dr. McCully, whom I still keep in touch with. I have always been passionate about disability advocacy, as I learned to be an advocate for myself at 11 years old when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Being my own advocate at such a young age taught me valuable leadership skills and gave me an insurmountable drive.

As a Freshman Liaison for Dawgs for Diabetes, I gain valuable experience by spreading awareness about Type 1 Diabetes, connecting with students at UGA and beyond, and addressing our members during our meetings. I work closely with the executive board to create, implement, and improve programs for students on campus and the community. I enjoy being able to deliver news about our exciting achievements and upcoming events while gaining public speaking experience. As an organization, we pride ourselves on being organized and efficient. This is largely due to the hard work of our executive members. I hope to help continue this trend throughout my years here at UGA to allow Dawgs for Diabetes to continue to grow.

Dawgs for Diabetes is an outstanding club that seeks to make college just a little bit easier for students with Diabetes, like myself, by providing a strong community that truly cares about the wellbeing of all students. Not only do we provide resources for current students, but our club also hosted our first tour this past fall, The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective, for prospective students. The tour was even more of a success than we had imagined. As a Freshman Liaison, I had the pleasure of being a speaker and joining one of the discussion panels for this event. Besides speaking on a panel, I also assisted in planning the event while at the same time preparing for the JDRF Walk that same weekend. I know just how scary it can be for both students and parents to begin the college journey, but it is even scarier to do so with a chronic disease or disability. That is why I enjoy being a leader in Dawgs for Diabetes so much; it has given me a home away from home.

Through Dawgs for Diabetes, I have also had many opportunities to give back to the community. We served as volunteers at the annual JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s, Walk for the Cure at Sandy Creek Park in the fall, hosted the campus tour, started a mentor program, and lead dorm programs to spread awareness about Type 1 Diabetes, among many other things. One of my favorite Dawgs for Diabetes events was a freshman dorm program that I helped lead with our president. We lead an interactive program explaining Diabetes and the myths associated with it and also addressed many questions. Most of the students did not know about Type 1 Diabetes, so it made me feel good to know that I was able to make a positive impact on fellow students. I hope to continue to be involved in the dorm programs, as spreading awareness about our disease is very near and dear to me.

Besides Dawgs for Diabetes, I am also involved with Camp for a Cause, an organization with ties to Camp Twin lakes, a camp for children with disabilities and chronic conditions, and the Pre-dental Society at UGA. In my spare time, I like to volunteer, paint, attend sporting events, spend time with family and friends, explore new restaurants, and check out the latest movies.

In my professional career, I hope to continue to be a strong leader in my community. I am a biological sciences and nutrition science student with hopes to attend dental school after graduation. Because of my Diabetes, I recognize just how precious health really is, and I want to give back to my community by serving them as a health professional and teaching others the importance of health in its entirety.

Riley is studying biological sciences and nutrition science, Class of 2018. She plans on attending Dental School after she graduates undergrad. Follow Riley on Instagram and twitter @stonewalljenkins


Our February Newsletter!

Dawgs for Diabetes February Newsletter

Check out our February Newsletter!!

Our February Newsletter !

AYUDA (part 1 of 2)- Thrive with Diabetes Instead of Just Survive with Ayuda

D4D would like to thank Aly, Camp Kudzu and AYUDA volunteer, for connecting us to AYUDA through Jon, and for Jon to connecting us to Melanie and Chris who have been involved with AYUDA for years. It’s a small world. Melanie is creating a CDN chapter at Washington University in St. Louis, and Chris is getting in touch with other students at Boston University to start a chapter there.

To Learn More about AYUDA

Thrive with Diabetes Instead of just Survive with AYUDA
With Chris Noble

*The next article in this newsletter came from a phone interview with Chris Noble and information from the AYUDA website.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you view Diabetes?
Chris has been thriving with Diabetes for over 20 years. He feels lucky enough to have had a lot of opportunities like access to insulin, education, a support system and much more. He doesn’t feel that Diabetes has been a limiting factor in his life. He wants to THRIVE instead of just survive with Diabetes. It is all about perspective. (For instance- He was the captain of his cross country team and a tri-athlete.) Instead of having a condition that is debilitating Chris wants it to be a source of inspiration. Diabetes has been nothing but an opportunity for him. If you look at it intelligently, knowing and using resources, you can live a long successful life. This might not have always been available 20 years ago, but in the United States and in other countries this has changed, but there’s still so much more to be done.

What is AYUDA? What’s great about AYUDA?

Means “Help” in Spanish

The AYUDA Story-
“In 1984, José Gabriel, a six-month-old boy in Quito, Ecuador, went into a coma and was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. Despite the efforts of his parents, both of whom were physicians, José could not stay healthy. His parents spent most of the family’s income on insulin, but to no avail. Eight years later José lapsed into another coma. With no other option, his family saved money and sent their son to the U.S. for treatment where they discovered that a lack of education is as dangerous as a lack of insulin.

AYUDA was founded in 1997 by two teenagers with a vision inspired by the plight of José Gabriel. Since then, AYUDA has grown significantly in capacity and reach to become an organization that is recognized as an international leader in the development and delivery of diabetes education, advocacy and youth empowerment. AYUDA’s successful growth is a product of the diligence and dedication of its volunteers. AYUDA’s volunteers range from high school students to health care professionals. The majority of volunteers that participate in AYUDA’s programs are students in college or graduate school. (AYUDA Website).”

Guiding principles-
“1.A lack of education is as dangerous as a lack of insulin.
2. Youth can serve as powerful agents of change.
3. Understanding is just as important as doing.”

Chris: AYUDA started in Ecuador 16 years ago with a local foundation camp. They train young leaders, provide education series, information, etc. The program in Ecuador is now at the point they have surpassed AYUDA’s training. The leaders there now implement everything and AYUDA is no longer in a direct teaching role. (They are leaving Ecuador). AYUDA wants the same thing for the Dominican Republic. AYUDA hopes for a fully functioning institution like Ecuador in the Dominican Republic. The next steps are in Haiti, they’ve just started there.

“AYUDA is working with” FHADIMAC, a local Diabetes organization based in Port-au-Prince in 2012. Since then AYUDA has facilitated an international exchange program for youth with Type 1 diabetes in Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic. (AYUDA Website)” The women who leads it is amazing, her family has been advocating for diabetes health throughout Haiti for generations. During the earthquake in 2010, her foundation kept running, and it became well recognized at local as well as international levels. They primarily offered education before the earthquake but became a main health care center then. The foundation has a great infrastructure in education, and they are going to empower young leaders through AYUDA’s summer camp program. By changing how they think about their condition, the young leaders can now help others as well.

“AYUDA doesn’t focus on people with Type 1 being weak. Diabetes is not a defining factor. It can be a source of inspiration. (Chris)” Empowering people and allowing them to be their own leaders is effective for making a difference. Education and teaching people is one of the best things people can do. AYUDA has a great a model for interacting in various countries. Sometimes just sending doctors is needed, but it is a quick fix. In emergency situations, there is not necessarily time for education. Immediate action and supplies are needed, but effective change requires something else. When people come in they cannot always relate. Once those people leave, the education and work doesn’t stay. AYUDA doesn’t give out supplies or replace the work people are already doing. They work hand in hand with the people there and local partners. They train with, work with and educate with the community through lesson plans, preventive actions, management actions, curriculum, Type 1 and Type 2 information, and much more.

What is the biggest thing you have gotten out of AYUDA?
Some of the biggest things Chris has gotten out of AYUDA are the connections that he has made in the United States as well as internationally. He also likes to see others living with the same condition as well as living successful lives. He feels like a “medical anthropologist.”

Why is it important to be involved?
“We know it best. We live with it every day. (Diabetes), it’s always on our mind. (We) are the masters of our own conditions. (We should) share our knowledge and experiences with others who might not have it.” Chris almost feels obligated. We have abilities and talents, and we should share them. What often happens with Diabetes Advocacy makes him cringe because we are not suffering. He does not think he is suffering. He wants to change the stigma.AYUDA Pic
Chris is 24 years old and from San Diego, California. He is currently a Masters in Public Health candidate at Boston University studying Global Health and Pharmaceutical Access. Chris has participated in a number of AYUDA Programs in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is acting In-Country Liaison for the DR programs assisting in program development, recruitment and grant writing throughout the year. Chris has been living with what he calls his “Live”-abetes for coming on 20 years and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to thrive alongside their condition as he always has.


To check out the rest of our newsletter, click here –> September 2014 Newsletter

Thanks from all of us at D4D!


D4D September 2014 Newsletter

Don’t forget about our Campus Tour on October 26 from 1-5PM at UGA!

We are so excited to post our September 2014 Newsletter! We appreciate everyone’s collaboration for our second newsletter!

Thanks from all of us at D4D!

The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective- Presented by Dawgs for Diabetes, a Chapter of the College Diabetes Network- October 26

We are so excited to present our invitations to the first Campus Tour we are hosting on Sunday, October 26 from 1-5PM in Tate Grand Hall at the University of Georgia. More details to come! You don’t have to want to go to UGA to attend- we’ll connect you to the College Diabetes Network. We invite families impacted by Diabetes to attend our tour, receive information and resources, attend panels, and so much more.

Campus Tour Invite

Please RSVP by October 8 at 5PM.

We invite you to RSVP to our facebook event!

If you have any questions or thoughts, please email us at dawgs4diabetesuga@gmail.com.


D4D Newsletter 2014

We are so excited to launch our First Newsletter. Enjoy. We apologize for the delay. We’d love to hear what you think!

Start following our website to receive updates and future newsletters.

D4D Newsletter July 2014

We hope to get away from google docs in the future as we become more comfortable with the process.


Thanks- From all of us at D4D