Managing Type One Diabetes as a College Student

Heidi Rataj
November 18, 2021
min read

As I headed off to UCSD, I was overwhelmed by the idea that I would have to manage my type one diabetes (T1D) independently for the first time.

Although difficult, I persevered and found a way to experience UCSD to the fullest by meeting a handful of mentors/professors and colleagues. I am now an incoming fourth year Biochemistry and Cell Biology student, with a strong passion for medicine and teaching. I am on the premed track, aiming to pursue a career in pediatric endocrinology to help younger generations manage their T1D. Alongside, I tutor for the Physics Department, and was an instructional assistant for the Biology Department three times. 

As of last school year, I am the current president of the College Diabetes Network (CDN)

Here, along with my team, I work to offer a support group and possible networking opportunities to students with T1D or anyone interested in learning about T1D. We are currently planning to host a hybrid diabetes workshop to illustrate how anyone, with proper training, can help save a diabetic’s life from a severe low blood sugar. We also work closely with DDI to maximize the number of user testers for their new diabetes treatment prototypes in order to provide them with feedback. As a user tester for DDI, I can safely say all the ideas proposed and created will add great value to future diabetes treatments, ultimately alleviating some of the burden when managing T1D. 

Marlon Blanquart, UC San Diego undergraduate student and president of College Diabetes Network (CDN)