BUT don't pay any heed to her reference to my "vision", I just wanted to get a very large group of people with type 1 diabetes in the one place to hear some bloody great speakers and have a bit of fun! (What is she like?)
"To the parents still ‘on the fence’ about attending Thrive-abetes…..
I am one of the volunteers helping with this conference and I can see Grainne’s amazing vision for what will be achieved, but I am also a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes. I will also be a delegate at the conference. And I need this conference. My daughter was diagnosed just before her 8th birthday and is now 15. You hear about how hard the teenage years can be, but when you throw in diabetes it is a whole other ball game.
I will admit it: I am struggling. I know that as a parent it is something we don’t want to admit to – never show signs of weakness! Easier said than done, of course, and when diabetes is thrown in, at whatever age your child is, there can be many stages of struggle, weakness and burnout - for the parent and the child.
Clinic visits can be so… clinical. I rarely have been asked, ‘How are YOU doing?’ Whilst the visits are ultimately for the betterment of the child, this can hardly be achieved without the parents being 100% comfortable and made to feel ABLE to take on this disease for their child.
Empowered is a good word. As parents we should feel empowered for our children so that we, in turn, can bestow this on to them when the time comes. I don’t think we will ever get enough of this from clinic visits. It ultimately is not really their job, but where else do we go?
I’ve found where, and am so delighted to be a part of it: Thrive-abetes, Thrive with Type 1 Diabetes Conference. In my time helping my daughter with diabetes, I’ve found that there has been no better encouragement then speaking to other parents. It can be hard to say ‘I’m struggling’ but with parents like us we all GET it! And when it’s spoken about you don’t feel alone.
The conference is an opportunity to connect with other parents just like you. You might be able to help someone who has yet to reach the stage your child has already conquered, or you might find help from someone who has already been there with their child. And the speakers will be the icing on the cake. The presentations on the day will help strengthen our efforts on guiding our children with how to cope with diabetes, not just medically, but emotionally, psychologically and on a developmental level.
With all of this on offer, I’d hope that when asked, ‘How are YOU?’ we can all, after Thrive-abetes, say EMPOWERED!!"