Alissa Martucci - your future Diabetes Educator!

When Tavish was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last December, we went through a life changing journey of learning how to care for him. We spent days with doctors and dietitians and diabetes educators, getting a crash course in teaching our brains how to think like a pancreas. Through this process, I experienced a gap in in the medical team that both surprised and inspired me. While we received good technical care,  no one really knew what it was like to be the parent of a child with T1D. Not one of our providers offered genuine empathy or knew how to support the emotional and psychological aspects of making this tough life transition to suddenly delivering numerous injections to our child every single day
I've since dedicated endless time and energy to inventing ways to help Tavish adjust to life with T1D: playing make believe diabetes when we have teddy bear picnics, taping matchbox cars to his arms to help him get used to the idea of wearing a glucose monitor,  giving him so much love and praise and reassuring snuggles to counteract the pain of injections, and loads of other tricks to help normalize the whole experience. I am happy to report that we've been successful, and little T is thriving, well adjusted and a symbol of bravery for us all!

Through these experiences, I've felt the overwhelming call to help other families making this same transition in their lives. There are over 40,000 kids diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in this country each year, yet there are very few diabetes educators who can relate to the experience of parenting a young child coping with this lifelong diagnoses. Given my decade-long career of trying to help people achieve optimal health and happiness through delicious food, it became clear to me that I needed to become a dietitian and diabetes educator, so that I can use my past experiences and my lifelong passion for healthy food to help other people manage chronic illness through diet. I am now on the path toward getting my Masters in Dietetics so that I can become a diabetes educator, but not just any diabetes educator- one who can actually relate to their patients with genuine empathy and a heartfelt desire to help them have the best transition possible.

That's where YOU come in!!! I am now 2 semesters deep in my education, working towards completing my Masters in Dietetics through an accredited online program at Eastern Michigan University. Given my excellent grades (that right, all A's so far!) I will most like be eligible for scholarships once I am full time in the program. However, at this point I am still completing a few prerequisites, and have 5 more classes to go before the next phase begins. Being that I am a part time student who already holds a Bachelors degree, I am not eligible for traditional forms of financial aid, and my education expenses from this pre-requisite phase are starting to add up to an unattainable amount for me.

So, can you help? I've come so far, but have so much further to go, and I continue to find myself becoming increasingly dedicated to this path. I considered putting my education on hold until I could save up some more money, but then I realized : I can't let a lack of personal funds stop me from pursuing this career and becoming all I am meant to be- its time to call on my community!

I have 5 pre-requisites left before I enter the full time program- That's 17 credit hours at $909/credit, totaling $15,453, plus books & administrative fees. College is expensive, and I can't do it alone. If you feel called to contribute and support my path toward becoming the world's best diabetes educator, here is your chance! Any amount means worlds to me, and means even more to the future families who I'll be able to help. 

Thank you so much for hearing my story. I hope you are inspired to make a contribution!

With love and gratitude,
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Alissa Martucci
Hood River, OR

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