TL;DR: We are THE place for young adults with diabetes to figure out how to do this thing called life.
The Diabetes Link is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in helping teens and young adults navigate their diabetes among an ever-changing and fast-paced world.
And while WHAT we do is important (Peer support! Expert resources! Scholarships! and more!), it's WHO we are that matters most.
We were originally founded in 2009 as the College Diabetes Network, by a college student named Christina Roth. She felt isolated with her type 1 diabetes.
"As a student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I struggled with managing my T1D on my own. In my junior year, I formed a group to connect students with diabetes. We supported each other, exchanged strategies, and even supplies. The group changed my life and was the impetus for starting CDN."
Thus, our community was born! Made up of fellow people with diabetes, we’re confident that we know the unique needs of these young adults because, at one time or another, we’ve needed it too.
Fast forward to today, and we’ve served an estimated 12,000 young adults and their support network nationwide. And while we may have changed our name and footprint, our dedication remains as deeply rooted, personal, and intentional as ever.
Mission & Vision
The Diabetes Link is the only diabetes organization for young adults by young adults. We incorporate real-world lived experience in everything we do.
Our mission – which drives each of us, every day – is to empower young adults with diabetes by providing access to the peer support, connections, and expert resources they need to thrive.
Our vision is of a future where all young adults are equipped and inspired to live confidently and courageously with diabetes.
We invite you to learn more!
The Link’s Founder, Christina Roth, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14. While studying at the University of Massachusetts, she felt isolated because her peers didn’t understand how difficult it was to juggle classes, T1D, extracurriculars, and a social life. She started the first Diabetes Link (previously College Diabetes Network) chapter in 2009 and was able to find other students like herself on campus and across the country. As students founded Chapters across the country, Christina filed for and received 501c3 non-profit status in 2010.
What started as a student group on a single campus soon brought to light a significant gap in information, resources, and programs specific for young adults with this chronic illness. Christina quickly realized there was no support for young adults making this major life transition. They could learn from their peers about strategies and they could communicate with each other in-person and online. They didn’t have to go through the same struggles that she had.
She decided to take the lead in addressing the problem. After graduation, she ran The Diabetes Link as her “5 to 10” job, until she realized it was where her true passion was. She took a chance and quit her job in 2012 to run The Link full-time. Today, The Diabetes Link is a national organization serving thousands of students, their families, and their support network.