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 !


Grateful for my D4D Family!

Grateful for my D4D Family!


Because I was previously very active in healthcare organizations in high school, I was searching for one upon arriving in Athens. I do not personally have diabetes; however, several of my family members, including my childhood dog, were diagnosed with diabetes during adulthood. Once I discovered the great things Dawgs for Diabetes has done for UGA students and the community, I immediately emailed Mindy to join.

Since I have joined, I have participated in several events, most memorably the JDRF Walk. The JDRF Walk funds scientific research for better methods of treating and curing diabetes. When I was at Sandy Creek Park for the walk, I enjoyed meeting a variety of joyful people affected by diabetes. The event featured several local organizations and individuals that were all gathered to support the fundraising for JDRF and diabetes. In retrospect, it was surely a highlight of my first semester.

On top of the great things Dawgs for Diabetes does for the fundraising of diabetes, D4D also provides a home for students with diabetes, relieving the anxiety associated with treatment of diabetes away from home. The Campus Tour that we hosted in the fall allowed incoming students with diabetes to be guided by D4D members, making the students feel at home. For me personally, I’m very grateful for the D4D family because I have made great friendships and have been able to be a part of a change in people’s lives.

Will is an Exercise ad Sports Science Major, Class of 2018. Follow Will on Instagram and twitter @willdufoeee.

Check out our entire February Newsletter!

Dawgs for Diabetes February Newsletter

Check out our February Newsletter!!

Our February Newsletter !

A Note From Exec-

A Note from Exec:

Vice President, Sarah Gibson-


Sarah’s first Athens JDRF Walk- 2010 (7 months after diagnosis)

“You have Type 1 diabetes; you and your mom need to head to the hospital right now. There’s no time to go home and get anything. They’re waiting for you in Atlanta.” Getting checked out of 10th grade Literature started the whirlwind of a day that changed the rest of my life. Getting my diagnosis did not affect me as most would expect in this scenario. I sat in the hospital bed with countless doctors, nurses, and caretakers coming in and out to talk to me, answer questions, and teach me how to manage diabetes without much emotion. I didn’t cry upon receiving the news; I had a numb exterior and just wanted to go home so that I could go to my Festival for band class. I have a somewhat different experience than most when it comes to my diagnosis, since I was diagnosed as a teenager and had to alter my everyday actions and thoughts to incorporate this new obstacle. I do not see Type 1 diabetes as a “curse” or a “death sentence” in my life. I do see it as an annoying obstacle course that does challenge me at times, though. I feel lucky that I have been given an opportunity to make a difference in the diabetic community, and hopefully the world.

As a sophomore in high school, my classmates and I had been told that we needed to find our career path and decide what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. My career choice changed multiple times as I weighed the pros and cons of each life path and I strained to imagine how the rest of my life would go. I knew that I wanted to help people and work with children but those two aspects could apply to so many careers, but I had a little help focusing when I received my diagnosis. I thought about being a veterinarian, since I loved cats, but soon realized that I would have to put down animals which turned me off. I then went to psychologist, but I am not very good at giving or receiving advice so that career was quickly marked off the list. My career choice kind of fell into my lap when I was admitted to CHOA (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) and as I learned about diabetes and how it effects the daily lives of many children and adults. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I decided that Pediatric Diabetes Education would be the journey I would embark on, but I know that it was soon after leaving the hospital with my extensive knowledge of this disease. I want to be that person who is telling the newly diagnosed boy or girl that everything will be okay and that I have been in their shoes- and I am thriving. Hearing advice and tips is easily trusted and taken to heart when you feel like that person has first-hand knowledge, in my opinion. I am currently hitting many bumps and curves in this journey towards my dream career helping people and working with children, but I know that it will soon be worth the struggles and that I will impact so many lives. I am thankful for the diabetic community that I am now a part of and the many relationships I would not have if I were not diagnosed. While educating about Type 1, I hope to influence people like I was almost 5 years ago and instill hope in the children and families impacted by Type 1.

-Sarah Gibson,

Class of 2016, Vice President

The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective! We did it!

The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective

On Sunday, October 26 at 1PM. Dawgs for Diabetes, a Chapter of the College Diabetes Network hosted the first Campus Tour for families with high school students impacted by Diabetes at UGA. 21 Families attended, and over 30 volunteers made this event possible.

Posts from Mindy, Abbey, David, and a T1D Mom who attended the tour.

Why Have a Tour Like This?

“The Campus Tour could be used to spread the word about Dawgs for Diabetes and the College Diabetes Network so that families knew there was an organization waiting for them. Because the College Diabetes Network is all over the country, future students could be connected to CDN through other chapters, the organization as a whole, or feel inspired and start a chapter of their own if their college does not have one. Another hope would be for future UGA students to know that Dawgs for Diabetes is waiting for them when they get to college. Teens tend to be the group who get a little “lost” in the Diabetes community at this crucial point in their lives, and we all need to be reminded that we are not alone. As college approached, many of our members began to think about what was next; unanswered questions, changes in doctors, a new place, not living at home, large lecture classes, getting medicine, overall Diabetes management, and so much more.

This tour could be an inspiration for us and others. Diabetes does not have to be a limiting factor in our lives, but it can be motivation. We all already had to grow up quickly as children and then teens living with Diabetes, but here comes college, an opportunity, to grow as a person, and show the world what we are capable of. Many of us remember that scary and exciting transition as college approached, and we wanted to help ease everyone’s minds. We aren’t here to say it isn’t hard or irritating at times, but that is very possible. College is an opportunity to grow, learn about yourself, expand your opportunities, meet new people, and (comfort your parents that you can take care of yourself). I personally found college to be an excellent opportunity to blossom; I started eating healthier, I got more involved in what I wanted to do with my life, I found Dawgs for Diabetes, met a whole new circle(s) of friends, and I took charge of my Diabetes management. I became more passionate about Diabetes and its impact on Mental Health because I don’t think the world always accounts for this. We also must remember that we are stronger because of this disease even if we do not always feel this way. Many of us accomplish so much, surpass the odds and the predictions, follow our dreams, and explore the world.” – Part of an open letter in the campus tour packets, Mindy Bartleson, President, Class of 2015


“There Will Never be a time or Place”… like College

“College is not like high school. In many ways it is a lot harder, but it is something that everyone should have a chance to experience. It will not be easy. Your grades may not be as high as they were in high school. At some point, you may realize that you want to change your major, and you will wonder how it will affect your career path or if your options will be limited. You may have to deal with difficult experiences while you are away from your family. Balancing school, sleep, social life and other obligations is not a simple process. But there will probably never be another time or place where you have such easy access to so many resources whether educational or social. There is so much that happens on or near this campus like sporting events, music, guest lectures from well-known speakers, service opportunities, conferences and so much more. You will meet so many people who will impact you in many ways. You will learn what types of people make you a better person, and you will learn to identify those who you may not connect with very well. You will probably experience more growth during this time than you ever have before in your life. As someone who does not have diabetes, Dawgs For Diabetes has helped me to better understand something that does not directly affect me but has impacted the lives of friends and family members. I understand how important it is to raise awareness since many people do not understand what diabetes is. Let’s keep working to educate people until we have a cure!” Abbey Giese, member, Class of 2015


“Imagine the Impact over Four Years”

“What this tour provided was insight into the college experience for both parent and child. This tour was not meant to show off the school, or point out any of its great academic or athletic achievements, but meant to give peace of mind to parents by easing their concerns for their soon-to-be college student who might be overwhelmed with, well, just about everything. By attending the campus tour, not only were previously held questions and concerns going to be answered, but attendees were provided the comfort of knowing there is a family awaiting you at college. We wanted to let attendees know that you are not alone in the fact that you have diabetes and are new to college. There will most likely be clubs and organizations similar to Dawgs for Diabetes no matter what college you decide to attend, and on top of that, the College Diabetes Network is always going to be there for you.

It seemed anyone and every one of the students who was asked to help out with the Campus Tour was eager to jump on board before we were even done explaining. The buzz about this tour caught the attention of people with diabetes, and their supporters, from all across Georgia. Among the 30 total volunteers, we had an author of a well-known diabetes book, a medical student from Georgia Regents University in Augusta, a public health graduate student from Emory University, and many, many more. The word about The Campus Tour: A Diabetes Perspective spread around quite well and made its way into the schedules of 21 families.

Overall, the tour could not have gone any better. From the beginning to the end, those who attended seemed to learn so much and were extremely thankful for the opportunity to attend such a great event. The responses to the surveys and kind words sent to us following the conclusion of the tour only emphasized how much of an impact the College Diabetes Network and Dawgs for Diabetes had on a large group of people in just one day. Just imagine what the impact of both organizations is over four years of college!” David Paul Weinzierl, member, Class of 2016

See David’s full Post here

“A Wealth of Knowledge”

“I don’t know if you will have a survey or feedback questionnaire come through, but I wanted to let you know we are relieved to find out about the College Diabetes Network.  You have reduced our anxiety regarding T1D and college life.  Also, it is obvious the time and talent put into the emails, links, and webpages that were developed solely for Dawgs for Diabetes.  I don’t think you or the administration behind this forgot anything. The other T1D college kids that joined us during the walk were a wealth of knowledge, about campus life, camp life, their experience in D4D.  They were all so friendly and welcoming, “ -T1D Mom who attended.

D4D End of Semester Newsletter!

We have had a GREAT Semester! Check out recaps from this semester and our member spotlight!

Check out our End of Semester Newsletter!





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Why is it Important to Give Back and Get Involved? (Camp Kudzu and JDRF)

Why is it important to give back and get involved?

Many members were once campers at Camp Kudzu, and many of us now attend Camp as volunteers. Many of us are also involved with JDRF in various capacities.

But these two great causes we care about are only the tip of the iceberg.
A lot of us are involved in other aspects of the Diabetes community, not just Camp and JDRF; shadowing, volunteering, blogs, CDN, ADA, education, speaking, and so much more. We are also involved in areas that are not related to Diabetes.
As an organization, we find it very important to be involved and give back because many of us have benefitted from various organizations. We also enjoy it!

Photo at Camp Kudzu Session 3 in August

Camp Kudzu


Mindy, President (left), and Sarah, Vice President (right)
at Camp Kudzu 2014

Mindy’s favorite part about camp is giving back to the place that she grew up with, and of course Arts and Crafts (TIE-DYE) . She hopes that future campers will get what she got of camp; family, inspiration, lifelong friends, and so much more.
If you are looking for a wonderful volunteer opportunity, keep Camp Kudzu in mind for this summer! Visit the link above the photo for more details!


JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes (One Walk)
When: October 25 at 1PM
Where: Sandy Creek Park, Athens, GA

“The JDRF Walk is an impactful way to raise money for critically needed type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and show your support for the millions of people affected by this serious disease. (JDRF Website).”
Visit the link above if you would like to donate to JDRF or join the Dawgs for Diabetes Team! Any donation makes a difference! Invite your friends and family to the walk and to donate as well.

jdrf athens 027
Last years’ exec at the walk.

Danielle, former Vice President (bottom left),- Her favorite part about the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes (becoming the JDRF One Walk) was seeing so much community involvement. Outside of her sister, she didn’t know much about the disease, so to be around the “diabetic” family and seeing how these kids are able to cope with a chronic disease so young was an amazing experience.

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.


“Why Dawgs for Diabetes is Important to Me.” Dawgs for Diabetes Newsletter, July 2014.

A Note from Exec-

Why Dawgs for Diabetes is Important to Me-
By: Mindy Bartleson, President
I can remember seeing it for the first time on my facebook account- Dawgs for Diabetes. I was in high school and a junior at the time. I still didn’t know where I wanted to go to school, but I was deep in my searching process. When I found out about D4D, the excitement swelled within me. The idea that there would be something for me when I got to college gave me hope.

Even if I didn’t go to UGA, maybe I could find another Diabetes organization or start one?

Who knows if this played a role in my decision to go to the University of Georgia, but I am so glad I did. I have loved my experience at UGA.

The reason this is so important to me? I want a Diabetes community wherever I go. What I do, is how I “deal” with Diabetes. I want future college students to come to college and have that Diabetes community. In high school, I felt forgotten during the school year (camp is only one week out of the year, but that does go far). I wasn’t a “cute little kid” with Diabetes anymore. I was becoming a young adult. I was looking towards the future and my interests had changed.

The support group in my area had all but dissipated. All the events I attended were child oriented, and I felt I didn’t fit in or belong. Two things remained Camp and the idea that there was an organization waiting for me in college. Those two things kept me going and kept me optimistic about diabetes.

From what I’ve heard over the years and from what I see, this is a common occurrence- a common feeling among people living with Type 1 as we get older. I call it getting lost in the system now, or the forgotten group. We are important though, our diabetes management and how we see diabetes as future adults remains important. I feel lucky in that sense, and I want others to have that. I want high schoolers to know there is an organization waiting for them. I want them to know that world still cares. But the college community is only a small part of  the Diabetes community. I hope that all the work that the College Diabetes Network does will create a ripple effect that will benefit high school students and those who decide college is not for them because they’re also important. They shouldn’t get lost either. I’ve heard people say they have tried this. I’ve heard people say our age group is too difficult. In my opinion, stuff can be done for our age group so we don’t get lost, and CDN is a step in the right direction.

I brought back Dawgs for Diabetes January 2013, and I got to work. I was lucky to have people before me (who had sadly already graduated), who began the path for me. Without that, I don’t know where I would be today. The meetings throughout that semester contained just myself or the occasional person. We held percentage nights to bring in funds to help us run. Myself and a few friends held a bake sale to raise money and eyebrows. As I went from almost empty meeting to empty meeting, I grew discouraged. I was advertising as much as possible. In late March, I sent out over 50 emails to different organizations, professors, majors, and the like to find volunteers for camp. The feedback I received was incredible. Many people were interested in camp and D4D. We held a camp interest meeting, and over 15 people attended. The fact that these were 15 strangers were incredible; not friends from camp, not my own friends, not people I had talked to before.

My discouragement began to fade. In April, I received an email from the College Diabetes Network reaching out to Dawgs for Diabetes. A great friendship was created that day, one that I am forever grateful for. The fact that I knew that there were other organizations all over the country and a national organization gave me hope- I wasn’t alone, and this was possible.

That’s just the beginning of my story with D4D which continues to grow to this day. I love watching D4D grow, and I cannot wait to see how far it goes- even after I graduate. I care about this organization so much and what we want to do. It hasn’t been “easy,” but even after all the comments; all the empty meetings; all the email sending, all the planning, and all the hair pulling that my roommate gets to witness- I know I will be able to say that this is all worth it. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve also learned that people want different things out of an organization. Without all the support I receive from friends, family, the diabetes community, and D4D members/Alumni, I don’t know where I would be today. I am so excited for the upcoming school year for Dawgs for Diabetes. We are still growing, but we have come so far already.

Check out our whole newsletter below- watch for our next one in September.

D4D Newsletter July 2014