MCOM 342 Profile Story

Sara Spinazzola: Diabetes will not defeat me

Diabetes as a college woman is tough, especially when your friends can eat whatever they want.

Imagine being a 20-year-old woman with diabetes. Constantly having to check your blood sugar, having to watch what you eat 24/7, and giving yourself insulin shots multiple times a day. All this is true for junior early childhood education major, Sara Elise Spinazzola.

When she was only 9-years-old, Spinazzola was diagnosed with type one diabetes the day before her first day of 4th grade. For every other child, they were worrying about what kind of Princess notebook to bring to class, but Spinazzola was worrying about how to regulate her blood sugar.

When she was diagnosed, she wasn’t sure how she would live her life. She said that she felt like she was zoning out all of the time because her blood sugar would get so low.

According to the American Diabetes Association, one in every 10 person suffers from diabetes, whether it is type one or type two. Type one is when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin and type two which is where the pancreas produces insulin, but the body can’t manage it properly.

In a recent study from the American Diabetes Association, “People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 attributed to diabetes.” This study results diagnosed diabetes patients to have medical expenditures around 2.3 times higher than the person who does not have diabetes.

With all of that information, Spinazzola had no idea about the numbers and facts with the disease.

Before someone is properly diagnosed with the disease, one will develop symptoms such as extreme thirst, blurry vision, fatigue, and extreme hunger.

“I got it when I was so young and I never really got the opportunity to process it in general,” she said. “But once I got it, I immediately started taking care of it. After I started giving myself my own shots, I was able to manage it myself.”

All throughout her childhood, her parents were able to help her take care of her because they would constantly remind her to check her blood sugar. But when she got to college, she didn’t pay attention to it as much, and began to neglect it.

“I never had anyone there saying ‘What’s your blood sugar?’ over and over again,” she said. “I would be scared to check it because if I checked it, I knew it would be over 400. I honestly think that it’s because I never wanted [diabetes] to be a defining factor in who I am, but it explains so much about me.”

According to “Dealing With Your Teenager’s Diabetes” by Joanne Moore, alcohol plays a huge factor into managing diabetes.

“Alcohol interferes with the liver’s ability to release stored sugar when blood levels drop,” Moore said. “As a result, someone who is intoxicated can have serious low blood sugar.”

Spinazzola said that throughout her freshman year, she didn’t have the best health life because she would drink almost every single life. She knew it was affecting her disease, but she didn’t want to admit it.

It wasn’t until this past summer that Spinazzola started to fully control it. After feeling sick and depressed almost every single day, she went to the doctors and they explained that she has to take care of herself in order to feel better.

After going to the doctors, she learned to count calories in what she eats. For every 10 carbs that she eats, she takes one unit of insulin.

“The little things make a huge difference in my life,” she said. “I don’t get sick and I don’t get as depressed. I’m generally happier when I treat it.”

Although she does treat her diabetes with a healthy diet and proper exercise, Spinazzola is still allowed to eat whatever she wants – for the most part. She said that one of the biggest misconceptions with type one diabetics is that they can’t eat any sugar at all.

“On my birthday of course I’m going to eat cake,” she said. “When I tell people I have diabetes, they look at me and say, ‘wait so you can’t eat any sugar?’”

After diabetes is becoming more common in today’s health, no doctor is really certain about a cure to the disease. Since technology is becoming so prominent, researchers are working on creating a pump that continuously checks your blood sugar and notifies the diabetic through a phone app.

In “New Diabetes Bluetooth Device for Glucose Meters” by Victoria Candland, Glooko, the maker of a mobile system, diabetics will now have the option to control their insulin level all with the power of a pocket cellphone.

Because of this, patients are able to share their data with doctors and also allow them to evaluate the levels of the glucose.

“The device especially helps those who are at higher risk, such as women with gestational diabetes,” Candland said. “It can also help patients better adhere to their prescribed glucose control regimen, as they and their doctor can easily review their home glucose monitoring patterns.”

With technological advances improving, any diabetic will be able to improve their health even more.

“I feel like the ball is in my court now,” she said. “I’ve always had a pessimistic outlook [on life], but now I decide how this thing goes.”

Spinazzola said that she works hard every single day to make herself feel good. She’s learned how to manage her diet well and is starting to exercise the right way.

“It’s hard to be 20 years old without diabetes, but I’m just like everyone else – I just have a broken pancreas.”


Julia Keller of Chicago Tribune – Pulitzer Prize

After carefully reading Keller’s article titled “Left in tatters by a tornado, a small town remembers, rebuilds and begins to recover,” she wrote about how a devastating tornado hit Utica, Illinois. In the article, she starts off by describing the scene that was present. I really like this because it sets the mood and draws the reader into the story. It describes a scene, a mood and even a feeling. She said:

“They picked at the pile, inch by inch, stone by stone, just in case. They thought they’d gotten to everyone who was alive, but you had to be sure. You had to. Buckets of debris were passed from hand to hand along chains firefighters. It began to rain, but nobody noticed.”

After the lead, she then reports about what happened in the city where she was at and also gave us a little more information about the facts of the tornado. One thing I liked about this feature story was the fact that she gave us a time diary about when the deceased were lifted out. She wrote:

At 6:59 a.m., they lifted out Jay Vezain.

At 7:04 a.m., Carol Schultheis.

At 11:12 a.m., Mike Miller Jr.

At 11:15 a.m., Larry Ventrice.

At 11:17 a.m., Beverly Wood.

At 11:22 a.m., Marian Ventrice.

At 11:25 a.m., Wayne Ball.

At 11:28 a.m., Helen Studebaker Mahnke.

To me, this makes the story more heartbreaking and detailed. It’s different to see this in an article and I actually really like it — it’s out of the box.

This story is incredibly long and I love how detail-oriented it is. The amount of scenery described, the feelings talked about and even the actions that were written about — everything was very somber and every well written.

MCOM 342 Homework – Webify TJ Story

Trump Rocks the Hill – The Johnsonian

by MiKayla Catoe January 9, 2016

GOP front-runner Donald Trump brought thousands of supporters – and many protesters – out to Winthrop Coliseum Friday evening. Hundreds of people waited for several hours in the cold before they were allowed to enter the rally.

Vietnam veteran Jim Yates was waiting for Trump at 10 a.m., even though the event did not start for another nine hours.

“I waited because we have somebody here who supports what we actually need,” Yates said. “The people in office now are not doing what they should, and America needs somebody who can run a straight show.”

Susan Rieger of Chester was also one of those hundreds of supporters who were willing to wait in the cold to get a good seat.

“If it were snowing out I would still be standing here,” Rieger said. “I just love him and his beliefs on how he wants everyone to come into the United States legally.”

Supporters of Donald Trump showed up to the Winthrop Coliseum to hear the former businessman discuss why he should be the next President of the United States. Jacob Hallex/ The Johnsonian. SUPPORTERS OF DONALD TRUMP SHOWED UP TO THE WINTHROP COLISEUM TO HEAR THE FORMER BUSINESSMAN DISCUSS WHY HE SHOULD BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. JACOB HALLEX/ THE JOHNSONIAN.
However, several “hecklers” or attendees not in support of Trump’s campaign, were removed from the event during Trump’s speech.

The audience was instructed to chant “Trump” if they saw any sign of protest, which they did when Trump spoke on more serious matters including foreign policy.

A Muslim woman, Rose Hamid, from Charlotte was forced to leave the rally after people “Trumped” her into the spotlight. Hamid was wearing a Hijab, a religious headwrap, and a T-shirt with “I come in peace” printed on it and a yellow button with “Muslim” printed on it as well. She was videotaped in the audience silently standing while Trump suggested that Syrian refugees fleeing war in Syria were affiliated with ISIS.

Even though Hamid was not yelling or chanting, this was enough to have her ejected from the event. And while she was escorted from the event, many Trump supporters got in her face and were yelling offensive remarks as she quietly left the coliseum, according to an interview with Hamid on CNN.

Many Winthrop alumni, students and faculty expressed their “disappointment” and “embarrassment” on Facebook following the rally.

Winthrop alumna Raven Brown posted a link to a story about Hamid’s exit. Brown wrote, “I’m in disbelief and disappointment that Winthrop, which prides itself on diversity and embracing different cultures (so much that attending cultural events is required in order to graduate), would allow this man to use our coliseum as a platform to spout/promote his ignorance.”

University of South Carolina freshman and Rock Hill native Pamela Benavente said she was not happy with all that transpired at the Trump event.

“He doesn’t know politics, and he doesn’t love all people,” Benavente said. “If he loved all people, that Muslim woman wouldn’t have been kicked out. Or the other people who simply had on ‘End Islamaphobia’ buttons and stood up.”

The Republican presidential candidate and businessman spoke on the “immigration problem” in America, which he hopes to solve by “building a big wall” and making Mexico pay for it.

“We have to be strong on immigration and we have to build a big, beautiful wall,” Trump said.

Following this statement, he had the crowd chant back “Mexico” three times when he asked who would pay for the wall.

The Second Amendment was also a hot topic due to the recent executive order from the Obama Administration concerning gun laws.

Trump promised that he would protect the Second Amendment, because he sees the value in the right to bear arms, especially the right belonging to servicemen and women.

The idea of having gun-free military zones, simply put, is “stupid,” according to Trump.

“You know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait,” Trump said.

Executive Search Firm Owner of Charlotte Bill Mitchell has followed the Trump campaign since it began and said he agrees with almost all of his beliefs.

“It is madness, pure madness to have a group of trained and able-bodied men that serve to protect American citizens without guns,” Mitchell said.

Trump also said he sees the value in self-protection. Trump referred to the Paris Terrorist Attacks late last year and how he believes that 130 innocent lives would not have been lost if people would have had the arm power to protect themselves against the ISIS attackers.

“In France, generally, you can’t get a gun in unless you’re a bad guy. If somebody in Paris had guns, during the attack, it would have been a whole different story, folks. There would have been bullets going two ways,” Trump said.

Council of Student Leaders Chair Ray McKetty said he was interested in learning more about the businessman’s approach to foreign policy and dealing with ISIS.

“I would really like to hear him go more in-depth about foreign policy,” McKetty said. “I know he has a lot of big ideas concerning how to deal with ISIS – some that not many people agree with.”

Trump also took a hit at President Obama when he started to talk about ISIS.

“Obama doesn’t understand the game. He doesn’t know radical Islamic terrorism. He refuses to say the name. If you can’t even say the name, then you can’t solve the problem. I know the game,” Trump said.

Winthrop Coliseum has not come close to holding as many people as it did Friday night with over 6,000 people in attendance. This is the most that has turned out for a single presidential candidate yet.

Winthrop Political Science Professor Dr. John Holder said he sees the value in hosting large scale events such as the Trump rally.

“It is good publicity for the university,” Holder said. “The attendance does not ever get like this for games or even graduation.”

Editor’s Note: A statement in the eighth graph was changed from, “She was videotaped in the audience silently standing while Trump started speaking about ISIS,” to “She was videotaped in the audience silently standing while Trump suggested that Syrian refugees fleeing war in Syria were affiliated with ISIS.”

Three More Weeks.

It’s getting to that point in the semester where I am totally brain dead from school work. I’ve been so busy this year and I haven’t really had that much downtime at all.

As a college student, I want to share a few motivational quotes that I’m going to be reading over and over again int the next three weeks.

It’s almost summer everyone. Hang in there.

xox, C






Celebrity BFF

I think this was one of my favorite projects to do in my mass communciation class because it was fun and I loved how I got to choose my own topic. I had the opportunity to ask my closest friends a fun question:
“Who would your celebrity best friend be and why?”

So think to yourself… who would you want to be best friends with?