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Young Diabetes Patient Gives Back to the Hospital that Helped Her

Thriving under the excellent care provided to her at Western Maryland Health System’s Center for Clinical Resources, Type 1 Diabetes Patient Dayna Logsdon (center) makes a gift to Western Maryland Health System. Her check will be targeted to help other diabetic patients in need. Pictured with Dayna are Karen Johnson (l), WMHS Chief Development Officer and Director of the WMHS Foundation, and Jennifer Perrin, Certified Diabetes Educator, who taught Dayna how to manage her disease at the beginning of her diagnosis and continues to assist Dayna and others with their care as diabetics.

Dayna Logsdon was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes five years ago at the age of 19. The news shocked this healthy, active teen. “My world was flipped upside down,” says Dayna. “I became depressed.”

It wasn’t until she met Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) Jennifer Perrin that she was given hope. Jennifer, who works in the Center for Clinical Resources at the Western Maryland Health System, taught Dayna how to manage the disease when she was first diagnosed and continues to assist Dayna in her self-care as a Type 1 diabetic.

“It was then that I realized I had found my calling,” says Dayna. “I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life and future career. I made the decision to enroll in college and become a CDE – like Jennifer – so I could also give diabetics hope.” The Health System’s effective education and awareness about diabetes and her personal experience as a patient convinced Dayna that this path was for her.

“Living with diabetes isn’t easy,” she said. “It’s a constant balancing act of blood sugars, and a daily struggle.” But she is quick to add that this diagnosis gave her a new purpose – to be there for others like Jennifer was for her.

It was then that she began her journey to become a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has been working a full-time job while attending Allegany College of Maryland part time and will soon be applying for the registered nursing program, which will bring her one step closer to becoming a CDE.

Dayna’s expenses with bills, nursing school and living with diabetes pushed her to undertake a fundraiser to help her cover the cost of a Medtronic insulin pump. Additionally, she was determined to raise funds for one year’s worth of insulin pump supplies for herself and donate any remaining funds to local diabetics in the community.

Dayna began looking into local businesses to help conduct the fundraiser and ultimately decided to go with Snurr’s Meat Company, whose owner recommended to Dayna that a hoagie and meat raffle would be the best option to raise money.

“I had a lot of support from family members and friends through the process of fundraising. I also, advertised and reached out to people on Facebook,” she says. Thanks to the help of those across the community, as well as family and friends, she was able to raise all that she needed, with $2,500 to spare.

With the remaining funds, she contacted the Western Maryland Health System Foundation to make a restricted contribution, one that would go directly to help the patients with diabetes.

Karen Johnson, executive director of the Foundation, was moved by Dayna’s story. “Frankly, if she had given $100, it would be warmly received. Our patient assistance funds are directed where help is needed most, and always according to the wishes of the giver,” she said.

Logsdon, today, is an inspiration to many, “I refuse to let this disease defeat me and other diabetics in our community,” she says. As she pursues her studies, she continues to champion this issue, teaching and helping others and offering hope.

About the WMHS Foundation

Western Maryland Health System (WMHS) was formed in 1996 to strengthen the healthcare services across the region and in surrounding communities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In November 2009, WMHS opened a new state-of-the-art hospital on Willowbrook Road in Cumberland, Maryland. The Health System continues to improve the overall health of the community through a variety of health initiatives, including health screenings, classes on adopting healthy lifestyles, community education, and exercise programs.

The Center for Clinical Resources was established in 2013 to assist patients with managing chronic conditions, like diabetes. The multidisciplinary team addresses all aspects of patient health and helps patients improve their overall well-being by educating patients and keeping their chronic conditions in check.

The WMHS Foundation is dedicated to supporting the work, mission, and values of the Western Maryland Health System. Donations of any size help to fund capital improvements, equipment and technology, scholarships, and patient needs.

To learn more about Western Maryland Health System, visit www.wmhs.com/foundation. Find us on social media at facebook.com/westernmdhealth, youtube.com/WMHSCumberland, Twitter @westernmdhealth, and Instagram @westernmarylandhealthsystem.