Interning in the JDRF Advocacy Office-Christina’s Story

The JDRF Advocacy office is lucky to have three wonderful interns with us this fall. We’ll be introducing you to each of them over the next few weeks. First up is Christina!

Christina and her niece, Olivia.
Christina and her niece Olivia.

Hello there! My name is Christina Choate and I am from Peoria, IL. I recently graduated from the University of Iowa and am currently applying to medical school for 2015. I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 11 years old and since then I have been dedicated to pursuing a career in medicine, particularly pediatric endocrinology. I moved to Washington, D.C. just 3 months ago and have been working both as an intern here at JDRF Advocacy and as a medical scribe in a local hospital’s Emergency Department.

During the summers in college, I returned home to volunteer at the local pediatric diabetes center where I was originally diagnosed. I was also a camp counselor for girls between the ages of 14-16 at a diabetes camp in Central Illinois each summer. I enjoy learning more and more about diabetes and finding ways in which I can help others. Interning at Advocacy has allowed me to see diabetes in a whole new light, and I am excited to use what I learn here as I move forward.

Christina with her Dad, who also had T1D.
Christina with her Dad, who also had T1D.

I have absolutely loved my time here at JDRF! It is such an honor to work for an organization that fights so hard to improve the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes. After I was diagnosed, my family became very involved in JDRF fundraising and outreach. I have a wonderful support system that is committed to doing all that they can to one day see a cure for diabetes, and luckily JDRF has made it very easy to get involved. I fondly remember my first JDRF walk in Chicago, IL- it was the first time I realized that I am not alone in the struggle and learned just how strong the T1D community really is. Dealing with the ups and downs (literally!) of diabetes every day is both mentally and physically taxing, but I see the glass half-full in that I will be able to use my personal experiences in the future to motivate and educate others living through similar struggles.

It is inspiring to learn about new developments in technology and health policy that affect so many across the U.S., including myself. I am very excited to be an intern here at JDRF Advocacy and I am entirely grateful to have the opportunity!