Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realise what Thriveabetes 2015 and 2016 achieved. This time last year, we were on a high after a successful Thriveabetes 2015 in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. We ploughed into planning Thriveabetes 2016 with complete and utter dedications and passion.
During this year, we have watched our online community grow and grow, making us feel less alone with diabetes. About a month ago, our Thriveabetes Facebook page reached the milestone of 500 page likes and we have 240 people signed up to receive our weekly blog post by email. This alone is like being hugged 500 times:-D
In June, myself and Rebecca were invited to be part of the Diabetes Ireland and Diabetes T One Delegation to the Dail. We asked the 42 public representatives who attended to commit to developing a multi-year financial plan to implement the services required for all people with diabetes in Ireland. Starting with approving a request for an additional €5 million per year to implement all the recommendations on the Paediatric Diabetes Model of Care, improving not only the quality of life for all children and teenagers with diabetes but for their families also.
It was at this point in our journey that we realised how supportive our community was. The number of TD’s and Senators who attended this briefing seemed to be unprecedented and quite a lot of them told us of the numerous emails they had received from their constituents - that was you guys!!!
In Autumn, we were approached by two companies asking us to share their product news with you all - this told us that we may have some influence in the diabetes community and we very quickly realised that with this influence comes great responsibility. We will promise to always be transparent where this is concerned and to never take advantage of this influence…. Unless, of course it raises the cash needed to pay for Thriveabetes 2018;-)
In January, now that we are fully recharged, we will put the hunt for venue 2018 into high gear. In late Spring, we will organise a fundraiser raffle to raise the venue deposit and from there on until spring 2018, we will recruit exhibitor, sponsors and the remaining speakers openings that we have.
To all of you, we give you our deepest thanks and hope that you will continue to give us your feedback to improve Thriveabetes all the time. Happy Christmas!
From the Team Pam, Ken, Davina, Phil, Brian, Christine, Grainne, and Rebecca.