November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Brighton, Michigan observed the month by gathering all students to participate in a presentation. However, this presentation was not only informative, but also special because it was led by one of the Ross Brighton campus’ very own students, Haylie Krpichak. Haylie was encouraged to share her story by her Instructor, Mrs. Lisa Smego.
Haylie is a current student in the morning Medical Assistant program and was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes eleven years ago as an adolescent. During the course of her treatment, Haylie has had to constantly educate most everyone she has come in contact with, including some medical professionals, on the differences between type I and type II diabetes. So, in honor of National Diabetes Month, she created a PowerPoint Presentation that shared diabetes statistics, signs and symptoms of the disease, and how stress affects diabetes. She also attempted to clear up any myths regarding diabetes and discussed how to be an advocate for diabetic patients. Haylie will be receiving a new insulin pump device soon, so she was able to demonstrate how her old pump works and then pass it around for everyone to examine.
She shared that when she was first diagnosed, her medical team included a nurse who was also a type I diabetic. “That nurse was so kind and patient with me,” she recalled. “She knew what I was going through, and made such a positive impression on me.” Haylie is passionate about Diabetes Education and plans to use her education from Ross as a stepping stone to eventually become a nurse/diabetes educator. She also aspires to start and mediate a support group for adolescent type I diabetics who struggle to accept the important lifestyle demands that go along with managing diabetes. Haylie herself struggled with acceptance early on and rebelled. Her goal is that through her support group, newly diagnosed adolescents can learn from her mistakes and learn to master managing their diabetes earlier than she did. Haylie is an amazing example of not letting a disease define who you are, but rather finding positive ways to live with it and her campus and the Ross community couldn’t be more proud.