National Diabetes Month

For those of you that may or may not know,

November is National Diabetes Month!

As a diabetes advocate and diabetic myself, I will be posting one photo a day each day of the month, raising awareness and helping educate you about diabetes. I may start posting them on here as well, so take a look!

the intern with diabetes


Day 48: Be fearless

Last night was great. Aimee, Jennifer, and I walked around Long Island City and had a blast. It was a great way to end our week together.

It’s my last day at the office and I am starting to get very sad. I have grown close to so many people and have learned so much from all of them, both professionally and socially.

Today I took my last morning commute to the Financial District and 26 Broadway. It was not an exciting commute, but I witnessed a moment in time that was surreal. I was sitting on my second train and looking out the subway window across from me. I could see my reflection, the train next to us, and the people on the subway platform behind that train. In the midst of all of it I could see the signs on the side of the subway that say the trains stops or destinations. It kind of reminded me of life: something is always happening, someone is always waiting, and we have to be mindful of all of it.

I walked into the office today feeling great. It was sad though, realizing it will be my last time saying good morning to the IT team. Around 11:45, Ivan came over to my desk and said do you know how to work the thing in the conference room? And I said yeah, pretty much. And he said, you broke it yesterday with your video. And I sort of knew something fishy was going on at this point. Then he took me downstairs and we went to a totally different conference room. As we walked in, the guys sort of half-said SURPRISE! It was really sweet. They handed me a card and had chips and munchkins and soda for me. It was really nice. Then, Alim said some kind words about how I made noise in JDRF in a positive way and that I really made a splash. They liked the shoutout that I gave them yesterday. Then we had some side conversations and I found out that one of the guys in Client Services is from New Jersey and his mom lives in Holiday City! I was like no way, my grandma lives there! It was really really nice. Then Joon said some nice things about me helping him and other stuff. They all gave me great feedback about the video from yesterday, that they learned a lot. One of the guys told the person ordering food to order anything and everything, because he learned that people with diabetes can eat whatever they want. That was really good and felt good too. I’ve realized that interning with JDRF forced me to push my boundaries, step outside of my comfort zone, and really put myself out there. I am so proud of myself. I made my voice heard here at the JDRF National office.

Ina emailed me today and asked if she could possibly use the video I made for onboarding and such things. I told her yes of course! That was exactly my goal, to be able to teach the employees of JDRF something about the disease. I am so happy and so proud of myself. You can go so far if you put your mind to what you want to do.

I said goodbye to Jennifer today which was very very sad. It was almost weird, I have been spending so much time with her these past two months and it is crazy to think I really won’t see her for a while. But I plan on seeing her again. Maybe a reunion in New York when she works for JDRF? I think so. 🙂 She is an amazing girl and I know she is going to go far in life.  I had lunch with Aimee which was good as always. I am leaving early today and Aimee is going to come hang out with me for a few fours before I go back to Queens for dinner with my aunt and uncle! I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to Aimee either. Diabetes has this ability to form bonds between people. It is indescribable because there is some sort of automatic connection at all times because the person next to you ACTUALLY understands what you are going through. That feeling is simply amazing. It’s a feeling that you never want to let go of.

My time here at JDRF has been enlightening, enriching, and life-changing. I have learned so much. The IT team was wonderful in every way. I really give these guys so much credit for what they do everyday. They certainly are the unsung heroes of JDRF. But I am glad that I was placed with them. Although I was skeptical about it, it worked well. So thankful for everything and everyone. Really grateful for this experience. I will cherish what I have learned and experienced here at 26 Broadway for the rest of my life.

Not exactly sure what the future holds. But that is okay. I just know that I will carry what I have learned at JDRF with me wherever I go. JDRF has and always will be a major part of my life, that is never ever going to change.

Diabetes is a journey. Interning with JDRF is a part of my journey.

Signing off for the last time,

the intern with diabetes

P.S. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Day 47: Heart

Hello readers,

Last night I hung out with Aimee and it’s safe to say that I am really really going to miss her(and Jennifer). We have such a good time together and we can talk about anything with each other.

On my way home, the city surprised me again. I was waiting for the subway and a man asks me if I know whether or not this subway goes to 14th St. I told him yes it does. Then he mentioned my pump and we began talking about all different sorts of things. He turned out to be a very fascinating person, he was a Marine, he is working on an agriculture project in Panama, and he suffered a major brain injury while he was in the Marines. I love meeting new people especially ones that you don’t expect to meet or have good conversations with. I am grateful to have met him, he reminded me that although I was having a bad diabetes day, I am lucky to have the technology and medicine to help me manage the disease. So many people in the world do not have insulin, pumps, meters, or even syringes. That is a scary thought and it really put me in perspective.

Today I walked into the office and was pleasantly surprised to find a small wrapped package sitting on my desk. It had a note written on it and it was from Joann, who works in HR. She has been so sweet and kind during this summer it immediately put a smile on my face. She had thanked me for the Staff Appreciation Day video that I had made and she was so grateful for. I will not forget Joann, she was such a nice person to me. Today when I saw her she asked me how I was and thanked me for the video that I showed today.


My morning went haywire when I realized my pump site wasn’t working. I used the spare pump site I had in my bag and was left to use syringes. Luckily, Bryan who works in the Communications department, offered to give me one of his spare pump sites in his desk. It was a Silhouette pump site, which means it goes in on an angle. I had tried these sites for a while but wasn’t crazy about them and so I was not looking forward to using it today. But I figured it out, inserted the site, and it seems to be working just fine. I was relieved. Today was the goodbye lunch for the interns and I had to show my educational video I made for the JDRF office. I did not want to be worrying about my blood sugar the entire time while I was supposed to be enjoying myself .

So the office gathered in the conference room, which filled up, and everyone chowed down on pizza. It was delicious and I enjoyed it while sitting by my fellow interns, who I am going to miss very much. This summer went so fast I seriously can not believe it. Derek, the CEO was at the goodbye lunch and he introduced my video for the staff. Before the video, each intern had to stand and say something about their experiences here at JDRF. I thanked the IT team when it was my turn, saying how welcoming they are, how much crap they put up with, and that everyone should stop by and say hi to them when they can! I really do owe it to them, they took me under their wing. I played the video and everyone liked it, I think. I worked really hard on it and I hope that they actually absorbed some of the information. Afterwards, my boss shook my hand and so did my boss’s boss.

After the end of the lunch, I headed back upstairs and Derek had stopped me on the steps to say thanks again for the video. He said that the video had him teary-eyed(his son is a T1D) and then he said, “you have heart”. He said really you have heart and that is such a great thing. He said he was glad he got to meet me and that he hopes I will be around in the future. This completely caught me off-guard, but it felt so good to hear those words. Sometimes you need to hear something to believe it. I do have heart. I most certainly have heart when it comes to anything pertaining to diabetes. I just can’t believe that the CEO said that to me. It means a lot when someone else sees it.

As for the rest of the day, I am keeping myself busy.

Going to Long Island City tonight with Aimee and Jennifer. It is our last night together 😦 I really am going to miss the two of them and I would not have survived this summer without them.


the intern with diabetes

Day 46: Take a sad song and make it better


Don’t have much to say today other than, I HIGHLY DISLIKE DIABETES TODAY. Last night I was high for a significant amount of time, and that did not make me happy when I woke up. I changed my pump site this morning hoping to solve the problem, but it really didn’t. I am extremely frustrated and I do not like these days. It seems like no matter what I do, diabetes has won today.

It wasn’t a bad day otherwise. Did some tickets for Joon. Preparing for the video tomorrow and the goodbye luncheon. I am just hoping I can get my blood sugars under control tonight. I really need it. I don’t like feeling so defeated. I just keep re-playing Hey Jude‘s “don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better” in my head.

Unfortunately, I think most people with diabetes would agree, we have a fair share of these days where we feel hopeless and want to give up. It’s a disease that is lived with, but it is certainly not an easy one. I have been thinking about it non-stop these past few days and sometimes I just want it all to end. But then I listen to the Beatles and I come back to Earth. I was obviously chosen to have diabetes because God knew I could handle it. Not just handle it but CONQUER it. So yeah, diabetes stinks. Bad days stink. Sometimes even good days stink. But I am living with Type 1 Diabetes and I am kicking it’s butt. I am a diabetes warrior.

Aimee, Jennifer, and I are going to a showing of Mockingjay tonight at the Pier 63 Lawn on the West side. Seems like a cool place to watch a movie and it’s free! Looking forward to it.

Kicking diabetes in it’s(for lack of a better word) ass,

the intern with diabetes

Day 45: Need some more zzzzzzzzz


Today has been a little busy. Last night was a terrible night’s sleep and so I think I am going to lay low tonight. I have been so tired today it was getting hard to focus. I took a walk this morning and one at lunch, trying to keep my blood sugars in a good range.

I need to get some sleep tonight because I can not go another day feeling so slow and sluggish.

I read some of my John Lennon book this morning, then began helping Joon with tickets. We called a few of the people that had sent the tickets and found that many of the problems were simple and easy to fix. I learn a lot by just watching Joon solve these problems on his computer, as opposed to following all of the cheat-sheets we’ve made. But each time a ticket came in that I could do, I fixed the problem and emailed the person that had sent it.

I definitely have learned so much from Joon and I am glad I got to work with him. I really am going to miss this place. The IT team has been so welcoming and willing to teach me. Of course I am always willing to learn.

Until tomorrow,

the intern with diabetes

Day 44: Last Monday

Hello everyone!

IMG_4596      IMG_4656

My last weekend here in NYC was wonderful!!! It was jam-packed but it was worth every second. Friday night me, Aimee, and Jennifer hung out at Aimee’s place and waited for Aimee’s friend Kayla from Boston to arrive. We picked her up and she was so sweet! It was nice to have a new face around for a few days.

The next day Kayla, Aimee, and I ventured to The Cloisters museum on the Upper West Side. It’s around 190th St, so its about an hour away from Queens via the subway. I have never been that far up on the West Side but it was really cool. The Cloisters is almost like a castle, there was gardens, and lots of medieval things. The museum itself is medieval themed. It was a beautiful day and the entire museum looks over the Hudson River. So walking around it was breath-taking. Our next stop was Governor’s Island, which is the other end of Manhattan! The Governor’s Island Ferry is near the Staten Island Ferry, in the Financial District, not too far from the office. So we ventured down to the bottom of Manhattan and got on the last ferry, 5:30. We had heard of a place called Hammock Grove on Governor’s Island. It’s a section with just a bunch of hammocks for the public to lie on. It was pretty awesome.

All three of us got our own hammocks and laid in them for a little while, almost falling asleep until the last ferry to go back, 7:00. Governor’s Island is a cool place. It felt like we weren’t in the city anymore and yet the ferry back took only about ten minutes. The breeze was beautiful and I was filled with happiness.

IMG_4729 IMG_4744

When we got back to Manhattan, we went to a Mexican cantina for dinner and had some good long conversations about all kinds of things. I was happy that Aimee had a friend from school here, I could tell how happy they were to be together and were able to talk about different things with school. I didn’t mind just sitting and listening cause I know what it’s like to catch up with old friends. After a long and exhausting day, we all headed home.

The next morning we met around 10:30 at the Brooklyn Bridge subway stop. The Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1835 and the first of it’s kind, suspended by the long cables. It’s also one of the only bridges that has a section for biking and walking. It’s only about a mile long, but it is a very nice walk. The view of Manhattan is incredible and you can get it in the background of some pictures! It was a hot day but being over the water created a nice breeze. When we got to the other side, we went to Grimaldi’s, a famous pizza place. It was as good as they say. We were finished in no time and took our full bellies back to the subway to drop Kayla off at her subway stop. We said goodbye and realized we were right by the Highline!

11705351_10204808366869457_4531339552962296600_n 11846765_10204808366749454_6966548510496979824_n

I hadn’t walked the Highline yet, so we walked a small portion of it and then made our way to Union Square to go to Barnes and Noble. I bought a German Grammer practice book so I can brush up on my skills before I go back to school. At this point, Aimee and I were both really tired and decided to go home. It was about 4:00. I headed home, had a little bit to eat, and then did some laundry. At around 6:00, I realized I wanted to see “Listen to me Marlon” — a documentary they were playing at the Film Forum. It was only playing for this week and I had planned on going for a few weeks now. So I bought a ticket and said, why not? I got there just in time for the show to begin. I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary. I didn’t know much about Marlon Brando, other than that he has been called one of the greatest actors of our time. It was fascinating to me to learn that acting was just “something fun” at first and how he felt about the American society. He had a lot of inspirational things to say about life and love. He also was an activist for the Civil Rights movement which many people didn’t like about him. I really liked this documentary and now I think I’d like to learn more about Marlon. Or maybe I will watch the Godfather when I get home. haha

Today has been quiet. The tickets that I can do, I am waiting for people to respond to them. Good news is I think the audio of the video will be okay, I just have to test it again. Although I am missing home, I am going to miss the city. It really has treated me well.

Definitely going to make the most of my last few days here.

the intern with diabetes

Day 43: Take me to church

Guten tag!

Yesterday we had Eileen’s famous cheesecake because it was National Cheesecake day. It was AMAZING.

Today I finished editing. It was a very long day but I am happy with the way the video turned out.

This morning Aimee and I went to Central Park and saw a free Hozier(“Take me to Church” his first big hit) concert. It was strange because it was being performed for Good Morning America, so it really wasn’t a concert. There was a lot of breaks and it wasn’t a typical show. But it was still a cool experience. Got into work and started editing.

Eventually I got to test the video. It was working, but the audio is not nearly loud enough. That is bad news. I don’t exactly know how to fix it, so I am contacting the company that owns the editing program that I have been using. I am hoping they get back to me ASAP and that I can fix this video. Otherwise, I am out of luck and will have to deal with the low audio. This video will be amazing no matter what.

My last weekend in NYC is here, and I can’t believe it. The time went way too fast. Hanging out with Aimee and Jennifer tonight and probably all weekend. I know Sunday we are going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, I CAN’T WAIT for that!!!! The city is so beautiful — I try really hard to appreciate those little moments that we all take for granted. Those moments that you wish would never end. Like looking up at the buildings, or walking by the East River with friends, or even the way the sun hits the buildings in a different way each and every day. This city has always been my favorite and I think it always will be.

Diabetes has given me some pretty cool things and introduced me to some cool people. It’s never been a burden for me, just another part of my life.

the intern with diabetes

11800492_10204793052446606_9033174989563807030_n 11811462_10204793052286602_476943524730878015_n