Over 200K Americans under the age of 20 live with diabetes

NEW YORK (CNN) – We know that it can be managed with diet, exercise and in many cases insulin, but for young kids, parents and caregivers need to make sure the child is being compliant.  So you can imagine the fear some parents might have sending their teens off to college.

Starting college can be an exciting, yet scary, prospect for any teenager, but what if you are not only moving away from home for the first time, but moving away from your support system, the people who keep you healthy and safe?

According to the American diabetes association, that’s a real concern for almost 8,000 kids going off to college.

“For a diabetic you have to learn time management, as far as, your eating schedule, as well. I feel like, for a lot of students you can just eat whenever you can, and for a diabetic, you have to have a schedule because if not you will throw off your numbers,” said college student Trevor Jackson.

That’s where the college diabetes network comes in.  Since 2009, chapters of this non-profit organization have been popping up on college campuses all over the country, to help teens with diabetes manage the transition into college.

Mindy Bartleson, Dawgs for Diabetes said, “We want to raise awareness and get rid of the myths about diabetes and make sure that everybody’s a little more aware and that the world’s a little nicer.”

At the University of Georgia Mindy Bartleson runs the “Dawgs for Diabetes” chapter.

The group has about 30 active members and regularly holds informational meetings for any student interested in learning more about the disease.

“It’s nice to know that there’s other people going through the same thing that you’re going through at college,” said student David Weinzierl.

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