Hi there! My name is Alex, and I was born and raised in center city Philadelphia. However, right now I call Washington, D.C. my home. I am currently a junior at Georgetown University studying biology, global health, and government. Living in D.C. holds numerous and tremendous opportunities to help hone in on any future career aspirations – so naturally I am beyond thrilled to be interning at JDRF Advocacy this semester! I have been aware of JDRF and its positive presence and successful advocacy for many years now, so it feels great to have the opportunity to play even a minor role in the organization.
Unlike my two fellow interns this semester, I have a bit of a different story with type 1 diabetes (T1D). While I may not have T1D myself, I have certainly been affected by it. When I was in 6th grade, one of my close friends was diagnosed with T1D. It rattled our school community and it shifted a lot of focus towards learning about and fundraising for T1D. That year she missed a lot of school, and it took her a lot of time to figure out the best way to manage her diabetes. We were all very concerned for her, but at the time were too young to grasp the implications and permanence of her new situation. My friends and I watched her struggle, but didn’t always know what we could do to help her. We decided that creating a team to join in and fundraise for the annual JDRF Walk in Philly was our best option to help not only her, but also the millions of other people worldwide living with T1D. This was my true initiation into the T1D community I would say.
Recently, one of my best friends at Georgetown was diagnosed with T1D. It has definitely been difficult to watch him cope with his diagnosis, but he is currently doing well and has a large network of family and friends supporting him. I have learned a lot about his daily challenges, and I am happy that I can be a part of his and my other friends’ support systems. I have experienced both their ups and downs (that’s both physically and also the mental aspects of T1D), and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. In just the short amount of time I have been interning at JDRF Advocacy, I have learned so much more about what it’s like to be an adult living with T1D. The people that I have met have inspired me to work my hardest this semester, as well as to continue my involvement with JDRF and the fight against T1D in the future.
I guess you could now say I am very much a “type three.”
I am incredibly excited to be a part of what I expect to be an exciting spring semester here at JDRF Advocacy. With JDRF 2016 Government Day in the rear-view mirror, and other great events and initiatives active in the office, it is an inspiring time to work here and to be a part of the fight against type 1 diabetes!