Why Conferences for Young Adults Seem Silly But Really Aren’t

There I was starting my second year of college with all of my life planned out in front of me, not letting anything change my plans, not even my type 1 diabetes. I had a plan to be a doctor, continue volunteering as a counselor at a camp for children with type 1 diabetes, and not letting anyone tell me otherwise. Until one day that all changed when someone very near and dear to me told me I need to attend a conference for young adults with type 1.

At first I was taken aback, attending a conference for type ones to gain more support just seemed so unneeded. Did people think I needed support? Did I seem like I needed help? I still do not know, to this day, the answer to those questions but I do know that attending that conference changed my life.

In 2012, I attended my first young adults conference for type ones called, DTreat and there I found my best friend. I learned so much more about myself than I could have imagined. I went in hesitant but came out with so many new friends and ideals on my diabetes. We learned about things like alcohol, stress, and relationships. Along with meeting some really cool people like Iron Andy! DTreat had changed me into a new diabetic and a new person with so much more perspective on life with and without my diabetes.

While there I learned way more about myself than one could imagine. I learned that I have a deep love for diabetes education and support. Needing support does not need you need help or are struggling but really its just a free pass to be friends over a common life struggle that then can form into so much more. Now days all of my close friends are diabetics that I have met through programs like DTreat. I went from being that girl who had diabetes but didn’t let it be overly known to that girl who is diabetes. Everything I do generally has some relation to diabetes; bettering my care, planning a program, seeing my diabesties, training a diabetic alert dog, and many others.

Since then I have been to many more leadership and young adult conferences for type ones that have shaped me and made me question my life plans like no one could believe. Some of those have included Students With Diabetes, DLead, and more Dtreat conferences. And yes if you can imagine that girl who started her sophomore year to become a doctor as mentioned in the beginning of this article has changed her major 5 times since then. I will now be graduating in May with a public health degree and starting my master in public health leadership degree in August. That girl who wanted to be a doctor now wants to create programs nationwide for all young adults with chronic diseases.

I have turned a negative connotation of ‘diabetic support’ into my life goals to help every young adult have the same opportunity I have had to gain that knowledge that I have gained through young adult conferences. I have grown to be a director of DTreat and could not be any more thrilled to be doing it!

Now it is your turn to experience this great conference in the way I have, not because “people think I needed support” or “you seem like you need help”. Attend because you deserve to come grow yourself and meet incredible others just like you, dealing with their disease everyday like you do, and not letting it hold them back one bit!! DTreat 2015 will be July 10-12th in Boise, Idaho. Find out more at www.hodia.org/events.


Can You Be A Camp Counselor?

What type of question is that? There is a lot behind pursuing a fun summer job of being a camp counselor but it is indeed a life experience that I think every compassionate human should have. Even if you have no connections or desire to work with children it will be an experience you will never forget!!

Being a camp counselor teaches you so much from learning how to function on 3 hours of sleep, to dealing with multiple children and parenting styles to al creating you with the best family of all time! I have been a camp counselor for almost 6 years now with job requirements ranging from counselor-in-training, counselor, medical assistant and all the way up to Craft Director. I have had all of these experience with Camp Hodia ran by Idaho Diabetes Youth Programs. Never once have I gotten any monitory value out of it. However the overflowing love I get from it has no monetary value. The excitement of the campers, teaching them to take care of their diabetes, giving them a roll model, and giving them the best extend family in the world!

So moral of the story, no matter what you’re doing in your life find a camp and try it out! I promise your life will be changed forever!! ❤

IMG_4577 IMG_4595 IMG_4596

18 Facts about Taylor

Here are 18 totally random but awesome facts about me!

18. I am afraid of the dark, like it’s seriously bad!

17. I hate the flavor vanilla, except in my Starbucks latte, which I am addicted too.

16. My younger brother is my best friend, he knows everything, I mean EVERYTHING.

15. I graduated early from high school and jumped right into college.

14. I was addicted to ice. Like I always have it in my hand or in my mouth. My mom thought I had an issue as a child.

13. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers but most people don’t know that.

12. I love elephants! They are by far the coolest animal ever!

11. I want to adopt a baby from Africa and live in Africa for at least a year.

10. I’ve never made friends easily. Even to this day most of my friends will say “I didn’t like you at first, you were a complete bitch”.

9. I am pretty tall for a girl 5’10”

8. I am convinced I will be famous or marry someone famous.

7. I spend most of my time watch netflix and on my computer and I love it but I hate being alone…

6. I know trust is supposed to be one of the most natural emotions but I don’t trust anyone. I trust very very few. And to gain my trust is quite a long process.

5. I hate being touched. I hate hugging people. I like my own space.

4. I have never been in a super serious intimate relationship due to the previous 2 facts.

3. My eyes change color. Seriously they go from yellow to green to dark dark brown. It’s quite freaky.

2. I call my father by his first name, Lloyd. Strange I know, but over the years our relationship has evolved to that it is not out of disrespect but a bond.

1. I have three tattoos that most people have no idea about (they’re all on my feet) and I plan to get many more.

0. Shush I know there’s now 0 in a countdown but just wait there is a purpose to this. I am a type one diabetic and have been for 18 years. This used to be one of the biggest facts about me, at least I thought. Now I am realizing that it isn’t a fact about me. I have many many other more important attributes. Diabetes has made me strong and shaped me but it is not me. I for awhile now have been dealing with how hard it is and how bad it sucks and referring to myself as ‘broken’. It took a good friend of mine getting upset and saying to my face “You’re not broken and stop saying that it pisses me off!” For me to realize she is right.

So moral of the story: Whatever you might be battling there are a thousand other facts about you that are way more important and predominant! Don’t let the shitty stuff hold you down, you are not broken, you are beautiful!!


My Sweet Bitches: Great bonding experiences to have with your best friends

Friendships are the same throughout your whole life. We all grow up and learn how to deal with them with more maturity (some of us) and seriousness behind them. Friendships are of the utmost intimacy. You talk about everything, heartbreak, love, death, embarrassing moments, the hardest decisions of your life, and much much more. They are ever changing. Some are there for the long haul and others are just there for a phase. Whatever it may be you best make the best opportunity to make it memorable. It will only come around once. Here are some of the top most memorable things, to date, that I have done with some of my closest friends:

1: Come up with a group name. We are the Sweet Bitches. By creating a name for you and your closets friends you are making it more memorable. You create a secret club and making it an elite group. Only so many people make it into the Sweet Bitches and understand al the inside jokes.

2: Drink and watch the classics! Like Mean Girls or Juno. Nothing brings about a great night of reminiscing about the old days, connecting them to the new, and repeating every line in a movie like watching an old movie with your best friends.

3: Find something that makes each of you unique. Everyone in your group has a different attribute they bring to each individual friendship and the relationship of the group. Make sure to be aware of that. It’s what makes your group and group. That sole factor can make or break the intimacy of the group. Pay attention to those attributes. They are more important than you could ever imagine.

4: Drink wine until you cry and talk until 7 in the morning. Trust me, even as emotional as that night may be it will bring you so much closer. Just the sole factor of feeling classy by drinking wine and reaching that new level on a friendship will make the lack of sleep and potential hangover at work or class the next day so worth it.

5: All spend the night in one room or living room. Some f the best nights you’ll have is all spent in the same room giggling and talking. That can be having a ridiculous number of people in one bed and cuddling or all sprawled out on the floor. Either way you’ll be creating memories you’ll never forget. And I must say, cuddling with your best friends is one of the best things ever.

6: Get in a group message together. You never really know each other until you have 24/7/365 constant group contact. Some of the great jokes, pictures, and things said will never be forgotten.

7: Lastly always pay attention to everyone in the group. Sometimes one of you might be more emotional or needing more love than another and it is your duty as a member of the group to notice everyone individually as well. This is kind of an addition to #3 and a life lesson combined. But seriously it is bound important to sleep remember each relationship along with the group.

Remember these times will go fast! Don’t miss them!


My Summer Internship!

        What is an internship? According to Dictionary.com the definition of an internship is “any period of time during which a beginner acquires experience in an occupation, profession, or pursuit: She had a long internship before starting her own recording studio.” Under this definition I find almost no similarities to my internship with Bringing Science Home and Student With Diabetes. I find so much more!!

      Let me tell you a little about myself and then more about my story involving Students With Diabetes. I am a 19 year old junior in college at Boise State University in Idaho. I am studying to become a physician assistant and will probably go to a graduate degree program somewhere in Utah or Colorado. I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8 months young. With getting this rough disease at such a young age I have never known anything different. Diabetes has shaped a lot of who I am and where I want to go in life. It is one of the reasons I want to be a PA.

     I have been involved with many different diabetes organizations throughout my life starting of course with JDRF others also include DTreat, Iron Andy Foundation, and Team Novo. But my heart and soul goes into Idaho Diabetes Youth Programs and Camp Hodia. This will be my fifth summer on staff as a counselor at their 3 summer camps. This year am also delighted to say I am the new craft director (which actually is a lot more work than it would seem). During the none camping season I volunteer by educating families, writing grants, and marketing IDYP. This is how I found Students with Diabetes and met Nicole Johnson.   

      One of my talents some might say is marketing. I have been a marketing intern and also was the main Internet marketing planner for a major cooperation, TapouT XT.  This has now lead me to have a very successful online marketing business which involves Facebook, SEO, Blogs and anything else you can think of would be on the internet. This is part two on how I go to be an intern for Students With Diabetes.

     Students with Diabetes runs this amazing internship program and right when I saw the application I knew I wanted to apply!! I have always wanted to know more about how to work in the diabetes field without a medical license and this seemed like the right option! And boy have I been surprised and educated every step of the way!! I applied for anything in the marketing area because that was a skill I knew I already had and was too nervous to branch out farther. I was then interviewed multiple times and offered to be Nicole’s personal intern to help her with marketing and promotion of Students with Diabetes and the national conference. I started in Late April and have loved every project they have thrown at me from Facebook to marketing plans. Their leadership conference was by far one of the most educational things I have ever attended! It really showed me all the options there are to be in the diabetes world! I also have made incredible friends and connects that I know I will be able to use the rest of my life!

So this internship has not only brought me what dictionary.com says “a beginner should acquire experience in an occupation, profession, or pursuit” but also relationships that will last forever, connections diabetes world, and a greater knowledge on who people handle their diabetes to a better pursuit!

      I am so lucky to have been given this internship! It has thought me more than another internship in the world could have. I am counting down the days till the next Students With Diabetes National Conference! 

SWD 2013: Above the Clouds

I cannot begin to describe the Students With Diabetes Leadership Academy and Conference.  The learning, growing, friendships, and emotions are way beyond measurable! I am still trying to understand all these feelings. There is one thing I am sure of after this experience, I just spend 4 day with one of the most amazing groups of people that will change the world!

These students were not merely just students but dreamers, thinkers, creators, leaders, health care experts, dentists, mothers, siblings, but mainly survivors. We are all surviving a horrible circumstance, type 1 diabetes, but all of us are using it to benefit us through friendships, groups, camps, advocating, and a drive for a better future.   

I always find myself after leaving my DIA-Family wanting more, always feeling motivated to do better, always wanting to do better with my T1D, motivated to work harder, and motivated to prove to the world that We may have diabetes but we can do anything like Nicole Johnson did by becoming Miss America of 1999 or Sebastian Sassville did by running the Sahara and climbing Mount Everest or Ethan Lewis by showing us his drive to start a business against all odds that helps benefit people living with T1D. 

Now it is our turn to become those leaders and motivators of the future. We have a year until the next SWD 2014. What will we have to prove by then. Will we be advocators? Run our first marathon? Win a body building competition? The options are endless to show up all the normal people in the world 😉 

For all of us 14 interns for the summer… We are directly in opportunities to help mae a difference! Make sure to us these next 8 weeks to do so! I believe in all of you and all of us will forever be bonded as the first group of interns set out into the world for Students With Diabetes! We all will do great things! I know it!! 

Sunday at 12 PM we will said see you later, not goodbye. Goodbye means it is unsure if we will meet or see each other again. We will all see each other again, I am sure of it. We will see each other next year and changing the face of diabetes for the years to come. 

So see you later Students With Diabetes of 2013, I will see you again next summer! Until then I will be working my hardest to make a difference! 


My Dave Obsession

The past view weeks I have been insanely obsessed with listening to Dave Matthews!!! Don’t ask me my favorite song because honesty it changes hourly. Between: Too Much, American Baby, Gaucho, Grey Street, and If Only, my day is ever revolving sets of emotions and contemplations. So moral of why this is happening: I’M GOING TO THE GORGE AND BUYING MY TICKET IN THE MORNING!!!

Secondly I got my letter yesterday that I have been selected to be in an 3 hour interview for nursing school in Oregon!!! This is really a curveball because just at the beginning of this week I changed my major (again) to something different. I am again go to reiterate that life in America has too many choices. How do you know what to do with life????

7a15a75d66f5b5464cc892de3a868e27 Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 9.59.34 AM

Stuff that Keeps Smart People Awake at Night

Haha. Totally agree. I must be really smart, or always worried about something.

The eNotes Blog


I don’t know about you, but when go to bed at night, my brain goes into Super Worry Overdrive. I worry about my bills, my kids, my  first drafts (like Anne Lamott, I am afraid someone will find my unedited work and will assume I have committed suicide when I realized my talent was gone).

One of my favorite Tumblr’s,  This Isn’t Happiness,  recently posted a list of things very intelligent people worry about.  Spoiler Alert: Whether they can continue to continue paying for HBO is not on the list. I had to look up some of the things they worry about. Suddenly, whether my cats need therapy or not (they do) is not as pressing. Apparently, I, and you, have more troubling things to keep us on edge:

  1. The proliferation of Chinese eugenics. – Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist.
  2. Black swan events, and…

View original post 213 more words

USS Anchorage and TapouT XT

I basically have the coolest job ever!!! TapouT XT got asked to come aboard the USS Anchorage and do a personal workout with all the incredible men and women that fight for our country!!! With this opportunity of course I had to go!!! But it was midterms… but I guess I choose my own fate and destiny and when I am old I would much rather say I did this than got As on all my tests. 

One of my favorite fighters, Mike Chiesa and trainer Mike Karpenko went with us and it was seriously one of the best days!! Warm, slight breeze, all day by the water what else could I ask for.  Both Mikes are so easy and fun to work with. I honestly am blessed to have the opportunities I do!! ImageImageImageImage