Speaker Spotlight - Joe Solowiejczyk

IMG_3343 Joe Solowiejczyk, or Joe Solo, is returning to Thriveabetes for a second year. And for those of you who may not already be familiar with Joe - you are in for a treat! Joe has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 50 years. He grew up in New York but now lives in California.

He is a registered nurse, diabetes educator and family therapist and works extensively with both patients and professionals on the Family-Approach to Diabetes Management. Helping children with type 1 diabetes and their families to cope with their child’s diagnosis and daily challenges of living with diabetes.

His ebook “A Type 1 Guide to the Universe” introduces a new way to learn to thrive with diabetes. It is the first book to integrate the psychological and emotional aspects of dealing with diabetes into the core of its approach.

You always get more than you expect from Joe and when I asked him to write a blog post for Thriveabetes I was blown away.


Joe Solo's Thriveabetes Experience

if you feel yourself needing some new information on how to manage it, if you feel like you’re dragging a bit, weary from the ups and the downs of it all, then you definitely need to come to Thriveabetes 2016 – guaranteed healing, fellowship and fun!

It was nearly 2 years ago when I met Grainne at the Friends for Life Conference held by Children with Diabetes in the UK. At that time, she shared with me her dream and Christine’s dream and Rebecca’s dream about creating something like that for Ireland.

She asked me if I would be willing to present at that conference if it were to ever come to be. Of course I said “YES” – how could I not to Grainne/ Her enthusiasm, courage, determination and heart made me want to “get on any train” that she was on! Of course I would do it.

Well, last year, the first Thriveabetes Conference happened and it was fantastic!!! Parents, older children and adults with their partners with T1 came – it was a sellout! And it was freakin’ FANTASTIC!!! I’ve been to many diabetes conferences in my life BUT this one was one of THE best for me. The energy created by Grainne, Christine and Rebecca together with the energy that the participants brought with them made the gathering something magical and mystical! People were hungry for information, which the promotion for the conference promised there would be plenty of – speakers from all over Ireland, from Diabetes Ireland and 2 presenters from the States – Kevin McMahon and myself. Kevin spoke about technology and about the diabetes industry. Consultants from Ireland presented on the most current standards of diabetes care available in Ireland today. Reps from the medical device companies were there showing of their newest and brightest diabetes gadgets!

DSCF1186There were presentations on coping with the daily challenges of living with this stupid disease (I’m very happy to be alive BUT I do hate it, on parenting on dealing with the emotional and psychological aspects of it. Besides being comprehensive IT WAS EMOTIONAL in the best possible way imaginable. Everyone at the conference had diabetes or lived with someone that had it – we were like a gathering of Fellow Pilgrims. Listening to others stories made each of us make more sense out of our own stories, like putting things into perspective and most importantly, realizing that each of us was really not alone. People were laughing and crying at the same time 

It was like there was a magical understanding amongst all the participants – even though we might not have personally known everyone there – we did feel, or at least I did, like I “knew” what each and every other person goes through – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And that made me feel better about having diabetes for 56 years. It totally relieved me of the exhaustion.

The most wonderful part for me was just that – the group understanding, the acknowledgement received from being with a group of Fellow Pilgrims for all the stinking hard work we put into managing our diabetes day in/day out – it was the feeling of not being alone. My “colleagues” provided me with new inspiration and energy, I left feeling like I could do it for another year – my batteries were fully re-charged!

If you’re looking for a magical diabetes experience, if you feel yourself needing some new information on how to manage it, if you feel like you’re dragging a bit, weary from the ups and the downs of it all, then you definitely need to come to Thriveabetes 2016 – guaranteed healing, fellowship and fun! It felt so good to laugh at such serious things with so many walking the same path! You owe it to yourself to check it out. And if you come and you really don’t get something deep out of it I personally will refund the cost of the conference to you!!!! I’m that sure that you’ll love it.

Joe Solowiejczyk, A Mile In My Shoes Consulting joe@amileinmyshoes.com

You can also find Joe on Facebook.


Thank you Joe for your words of inspiration. You can find out more about Joe's presentations at Thriveabetes 2016 here.

Register soon for Thriveabetes

“Thriveabetes” is a one-day conference for people living with type 1 diabetes, or for people who care about someone with type 1 diabetes. It takes place, less than 8 weeks away, on Saturday, October 1st 2016 in The Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. Register or find out more about our amazing speakers here.