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Meet the JDRF Dallas Interns

June 21, 2012

Meet Kristina Davidson! Kristina is one of our summer interns here at JDRF Dallas and she is a senior at Midwestern State University, graduating in December with a degree in Majoring in Mass Communication. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in event planning.

The JDRF Greater Dallas Chapter is excited to have Kristina on board with us this summer. She will be assisting in many areas around the office and at our various summer events including the Cliff Harris JDRF Reunion Golf Classic and the Walk to Cure Diabetes Kick Off. Read on to learn more about Kristina.

Q: So you have type 1 diabetes, when were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed with diabetes in August of 1999 when I was 9 years old. Since my dad is diabetic, my parents always kept a close watch for certain signs and symptoms. When I started drinking lots of water and losing weight, they knew something was wrong. My dad got out his meter, poked my finger and it read “over 600.” We all got in the car, drove to the hospital and later than day I was diagnosed with diabetes.

Q: What brought you to JDRF?

I am very passionate about diabetes and the people affected by it. Growing up in Dallas, JDRF was one of the biggest names I knew that was working with diabetes. I attended Camp Sweeney from age 9 to 18, I participated in various fundraising events held by JDRF and I knew they were really striving to demolish this disease that lived inside so many of my friends and family.

When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do once I got out of college, I knew I wanted to love my job and I wanted to help people. I did some research and realized that even though I couldn’t help with diabetes through direct medical attention, I could help by taking my story and my passion and using it to fuel the fire in people to fight with me.

Q: Could you tell us about your family?

My family is my support group and I don’t know where I would be without them.  They are the funniest people I know and we are always laughing at something. I am very protective of them because I love them so much.

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Kristina with her Dad, Joe

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My dad, Joe, works at Alcatel-Lucent as a program manager and I’ve never met someone that works as hard as he does. Not only is he a great father but he is also the person I share my disease with. He is the person I go to when I have a question or need help getting supplies. We have scheduled our endocrine appointments together since I was 9 and we still do.  We have such a strong connection through diabetes and I’m so glad I have him.

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Kristina with her Mom, Betty

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My mom, Betty, is the backbone of our family. She is the person who always knows what’s going on, where things are located and how to handle a situation. You would never know I was her daughter until we both opened our mouths. She is strong and genuinely cares about people. She is the person who pushes me to succeed and to always strive for better. She would do anything for us just because we are her babies.

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Kristina with her brothers, Kyle & Danny

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I have two brothers ages 18 and 26, which makes me the middle child and the only girl. My younger brother Kyle is witty and fun. He is going to Midwestern State in the fall to play tennis and I can’t wait to explore Wichita Falls with him during my last semester there. My older brother Danny graduated from the University of Texas and works at Dell in Austin where he lives with his wife and daughter. He is my mentor and someone I highly look up to. His work ethic is outstanding and I strive to be as successful as him one day.

Q: What have been some of your biggest challenges being Type 1?

Because I was diagnosed with diabetes at such a young age, I’ve had to grown up a lot faster than my friends. I always have to have my supplies, juices, etc. while they just have to worry about themselves. The biggest challenge I’ve had to face is not letting the disease control me. I decided at a very young age that this disease was put into my life for a reason and I think the reason was to make me a leader.

I’ve never been in the hospital for diabetes other than the first time because if I’m low, I handle it. If I’m high, I take insulin. I want to feel the best I can with the disease and the only way to do that is through managing and controlling the outcome. Yes, I struggle some days but I get back on track the next. I want to live a long and happy life and the only way to do that is to admit that this disease is something that is present 24/7 and that it needs attention.

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Kristina with her lab, Penni Pancake

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Q: What has been the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

I can’t think of one big exciting moment in my life but I think that graduating from college is something that will be a very exciting for me. In high school, I didn’t really care about grades or where I went to college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or how I was going to do it.

Once I began my first semester of college and really found my niche, I thrived. I give 110% in every class I take because I love my major and the people I come in contact with everyday. I have learned how to really talk to people and it is just the start of a new beginning. It may not have already happened, but lets just say I’m the most excited to see what my future holds because of the foundation I have created for myself.

Kristina would love to answer any questions you may have for her.

You can respond or ask her a question by leaving a comment below or email her directly at dallasintern@jdrf.org

If you see her in the office or at a JDRF event, go ahead and introduce yourself – she would love to meet each and every one of our families and corporate partners who contribute so much to JDRF!

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To learn more about the JDRF Dallas chapter, visit our JDRF Dallas website!

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