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Re: [IPk] OUSU Diabetes Network

Well done Melissa! a new diabetes group out of nothing more than your own
enthusiasm. Since most of us seeing these messages can barely get off our
backsides to go to a meeting organised by others, that is a hell of an

You asked for advice, well I went through college with diabetes and I am now
involved with an association which has recently run youth weekends with
great success, so here's my advice for what it's worth:

Have different types of meeting; big with a snazzy lecture for the knowing
enthusiast, intimate and small for the worried or new student, and activity
weekends for those less inclined to just go to a meeting.

Some topics:

Hypos - a serious concern, particularly in the first years away from home,
and a major cause of poor control (eg if my bg is always 12, I'll never have
a hypo!) This worked for me for a decade.
Body image, and myths about sexual performance.
Sports and diabetes - there's a whole association dealing with this.
Relationships with parents, and with others in college and beyond - diabetes
is symptomatic of a lot of disgruntlement about parents being
over-concerned, (or not concerned enough!), etc.
Living a normal life with diabetes. Can I....cook, eat out, get drunk, sleep
out etc etc. I'd like to sell good control as a route to freedom from the
constraints of diabetes, as evidenced by the feisty bunch on this site!
Body image

Some other suggestions:

Collect funds from the manufacturers of pumps, meters, insulins and pens.
Talk to other universities about their approach
Involve staff with diabetes: they are members of the community, they know
how to engage students, and they have credibility, experience, wisdom and
some neat tricks in managing the condition (and the group).

Finally......DON'T LET THE MED STUDENTS TAKE OVER !!! (sorry for shouting)

Good luck

Tony O'Sullivan
email @ redacted
for details about Irish youth weekends and challenges call Diab Fed of
Ireland + 353 1 836 3022 or email @ redacted , ask for Kieran O'Leary, and
tell him you support Celtic.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Melissa Ford" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 5:24 PM
Subject: [IPk] OUSU Diabetes Network

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> Hey y'all,
> I met with the Vice-President (Welfare) of the Oxford University Student
> Union (OUSU) today, and the OUSU Diabetes Network now exists. Posters are
> going out to all the colleges and all the GPs in town later this week.
> work on getting flyers out to the chemists in the next three weeks. Here's
> hoping for lots of e-mail and voice-mail in the next few weeks or so...!
> If anyone who has been through the process of diagnosis and initial
> education in the past 10 years or so can think of some topics likely to be
> of interest to potential OUSU DN meeting attendees, I'd be more than glad
> hear them. I will sure as heck talk about the pump, and I have thought
> getting some people I know to come in and talk about islet cell
> implantation, but I don't know what other topics (oh, other than
> carb-counting and how to drink alcohol wisely! Can't forget those
> 'classics'!) are likely to be news to people aged 18-30ish. There are
> something like 11,000 undergrads and 5,000 postgrads in the University, so
> it's quite possible I'll have some people over 24 in the group. I'm hoping
> for staff to get involved too. I'm thinking that a link with Oxford
> is very much in order as well. I hope that some local residents will see
> posters and contact me as well.  Any possible target groups I haven't
> thought of?
> Thanks for any input,
> wish me luck,
> Melissa
> IDDM 8+ years; MiniMed pumper 6+ years; Co-ordinator, OUSU Diabetes
> 5 hours
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