Freestyle Libre on the LTI Upate


FreeStyle Libre Review Ireland It’s been over a year since the Abbott Freestyle Libre became available to purchase in Ireland. This product is a new way of monitoring blood glucose levels without finger pricking. Instead you use a reader device (which is just like the Freestyle Optium Neo meter) to scan a sensor that sits on your arm. And it has been a game changer in diabetes management for most who have used it.

I don’t know how many people are using the Libre in Ireland but from the chatter in the diabetes online community it would seem that the number of users is significant. And there are a lot more people who can’t afford it, so have to wait until it’s available on the Long Term Illness Scheme.

When is that going to happen? Is it going to happen?!? Any day now!!! Surely any day now. That’s my wishful thinking anyway.

If you are wondering what has happened in this process in the last 13/14 months I’ve put together a little summary which might be useful. And last June, I wrote this piece on what was happening then with the process of getting it included on the HSE long term illness scheme. I was very optimistic. I still am!

I should probably mention that I don't know anymore than any other member of the public. All the information below is in the public domain.



  • 2014 September Libre available in the UK and lots of Irish people were able to get their hands on it.
  • 2016 November Libre available for purchase in Ireland
  • 2017 February Abbott applied to include the Libre on the HSE long term illness scheme. The company published this statement on their website. With another update in August
  • 2017 September NHS announced that the FreeStyle Libre will be available on the NHS from November 1 (three years this took). Diabetes Ireland’s published this statement on their reaction to the announcement.
  • 2017 November 1st Libre included on an NHS reimbursement scheme
  • 2017 November 27th We wait! Still.



A lot of people, myself included, are people of action. I mean I do have a certain amount of patience but it’s has limits. So, if you would like to get this done and the Freestyle Libre included in the Long Term Illness scheme here are a couple of things you can do.


I know most of you have already done this and it's frustrating to have to do it a-gain! But this really helps strengthen the case for a speedy approval. Especially, if they hear from LOTS of their constituents. You can write a letter, email or telephone but it’s important that you contact ALL of your local TD’s. If you’re not sure who all your local elected representatives are, find them and their contact details here.

What to ask? Ask them to ask the HSE when the Freestyle Libre will be available on the Long Term Illness scheme and why it’s taking so long. They will submit a parliamentary question in the Dail that will be referred to the HSE who are legally required to answer. This is a fabulous way to spend our income tax and creates lots of extra work for people who then get motivated.



This petition was started by Limerick Mum Louise Hackett, whose daughter has type 1 diabetes in December 2016. It had well over 4,000 signatures. There have been a couple of other petitions shared over the year but this one has the most signatures at well over 4,000 and it hasn’t been delivered to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris or the HSE just yet. A boost in the number of signatures would really help and then present it.



If you are paying for your Freestyle Libre at the moment please be aware there are money saving offers such as the occasional Free Shipping, etc. on the Freestyle Libre website, as well as claiming refunds through your tax return. More than this here.

Thriveabetes 2018 Going for your Dreams with Diabetes Panel


It has been a number of weeks since I published a post but now I’m back on task until mid December. The time is passing so quickly that it’s hard to believe once we all get over Christmas Thriveabetes will only be around the corner. Advance registration is required to attend Thriveabetes and you can register here.

I’m doing a series of posts that will feature some elements of the conference the team has put together. This is the second, the first highlighting what is in store for an adult living with type 1 diabetes which you can read here.

This post features one particular element of our Programme for children aged five to teens and I’m really excited about it. The “Going for your Dreams with Diabetes” panel comprised of successful adults with type 1 diabetes. The panel includes;

Naomi Clarke Owner and Creator of The Style Fairy

Naomi was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 15. She is married and has one, happy and healthy daughter. She is a qualified fashion stylist and is the owner and creator of the award winning blog, The Style Fairy. Having spent 2 years working in the fashion industry in Sydney and Singapore, Naomi moved back to Dublin to set up her own business in 2013 and so began The Style Fairy.

As well as a Business degree from Trinity College, Dublin, Naomi has a diploma in Fashion Buying & Merchandising coupled with a Diploma in Professional Styling for TV & Film. She writes about affordable, attainable, real life fashion and beauty as well as showcasing her personal style in her ‘Outfit Diaries’ segment, which is one of the most popular elements of her blog.

You can Follow Naomi on: Web: Twitter: @TheStyleFairy1 Facebook: @thestylefairy Snapchat username: thestylefairy


Kate Gajewska, Diabetes Educator, Psychologist

Before she moved to Ireland, Kate had worked for many years as a diabetes educator, psychoeducator and insulin pumps certified trainer in one of the biggest pediatric diabetes Centres in Warsaw, Poland. Her project ‘Edu-Diabetes’ aimed to educate people in all age groups on how to live well with diabetes.

Kate has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years. She is a also a psychologist and currently a Doctorate candidate at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She is conducting a study looking at the access to insulin pump therapy in Ireland.

She is a member of Diabetes Ireland, the Adult Type 1 Diabetes Support Group in Dublin, and a member of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. She engages in a lot of initiatives aiming to improve the quality of life of people with type 1 diabetes, she is also a proud Thriveabetes supporter.

In her free time she likes to run, sail, dive and travel and spend time with her 1 year old daughter, her husband and two pets.

Follow Kate on Twitter @gajewska_kate


Kevin Nolan Dublin Senior County Gaelic footballer, Teacher

Kevin Nolan is a former Gaelic footballer for Dublin Senior team and continues to play for Kilmacud Crokes. He played on the team when they won the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship for the first time in sixteen years. Kevin was named the man of the match in that game.

Four days after experiencing the euphoria of Dublin winning the 2011 All Ireland Final, he was diagnosed Coeliac disease. Three months after that, in December, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After weeks of sitting out training he did finally get back out with the team and played to another victory in 2013. He no longer plays at Senior level and is a teacher based in Lucan.

You can read more about Kevin's journey with diabetes;

Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinNolan7



James O’Reilly Trainee Solicitor, Cyclist

James was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in October 2006. He is from Kilkenny but currently living in Cork. He started cycling In the summer of 2011, while on holiday in the U.S. In 2013, he started taking part in some local charity cycles.

However based on medical advice he was only doing rides of up to two hours in duration. It was only out of curiosity that he did a google search for “professional athletes with type 1 diabetes” that he realized he could go beyond. He started following the NovoNordisk Team Type 1 professional cycling team and broke through that barrier.

In 2015, James was featured in an Irish Times article because he took part in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour which involved a 1,500km cycle with 20,000 metres of climbing over 10 days with 26 riders, all with type 1 diabetes. And in 2016, he took part in Team Novo Nordisk’s Development Camp. James wrote a blog post for Thriveabetes just before he went off on this trip. You can read it here.

Follow James on: Facebook James O'Reilly Instagram james.f.oreilly Twitter @semajoreilly


I think you will agree that these four individuals will inspire and motivate everybody who attends Thriveabetes 2018.

Thriveabetes 2018 takes place on Saturday 24th February in Dublin. Thriveabetes; The Thrive with Type 1 Diabetes Conference is a one-day conference for all people living with type 1 diabetes. This Type 1 Diabetes conference focuses on the psychological impact of living with a chronic, lifelong condition. We aim to provide “Inspiration, Motivation and Information” to all people living with type 1 diabetes (adults, parents & children). Advance registration is required and you can find out more about our amazing event here.

What to Expect at Thriveabetes as an Adult with Diabetes


Last week, registration opened for Thriveabetes the type 1 diabetes conference which takes place on Saturday 24th February 2018 in Dublin. And with over four months until the event takes place we are almost one third of the way to being sold out. If you are an adult with type 1 diabetes you might be asking yourself what’s different about this conference?

Well, for starters, I’m an adult who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 24 years (so far) and it’s not often I get to be in a room with over one hundred other adults with insulin dependent diabetes. And just knowing that, before you walk into the room means you have made friends before you say “Hello”. An additional bonus to being in the room with so many people like me is that the only experts in the room aren’t the ones giving presentations, it’s the person sitting next to me too.

However, our speakers are world class. They come from all over the UK, US and Ireland and most of them have type 1 diabetes also.

Here is what we have planned for you as an adult with diabetes:


T1 International Elizabeth Rowley

Elizabeth Rowley is the Founder and Director of T1International , a global organization that advocates access to insulin, supplies, and medical care for all people with type 1 diabetes around the world. She will talk about the work her organisation does and how T1 International support local communities by giving them the tools they need to stand up for their rights so that access to insulin and diabetes supplies becomes a reality for all.

She was born in the United States and has lived with type 1 diabetes for 25 years. Elizabeth moved to London in 2011 to complete her Master’s degree in International Development and has worked with nonprofits, diabetes and health organizations ever since. She believes that where you were born should not determine whether you live or die with diabetes.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter & FaceBook @T1international


Diabetes Burnout Joe Solowiejczyk

Diabetes Burnout, also referred to as diabetes distress is when someone with diabetes grows tired of managing their condition, and then simply ignores it for a period of time, or worse, forever.

Type 1 isn’t just about counting carbs, checking glucose levels and taking insulin. The disease takes an emotional and psychological toll as well. And it’s not unusual for some to just get fed up with all of it.

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" and dealing with psychosocial issues that come from living with type 1 diabetes.

You can read & watch more of Joe here:

Diabetes and Depression

2015 Thriveabetes on TV3's IrelandAM


Technology & Treatments other than insulin Dr. Kevin Moore

More and more doctors are prescribing medication, in addition to insulin, to manage insulin dependent diabetes. In this session, we will discuss the technology and what other medications might be available to help make life with diabetes easier.

Kevin Moore is a Consultant endocrinologist in Tallaght Hospital, Naas General Hospital and the Beacon Hospital. Kevin has been making occasional guest appearances at the Type 1 Diabetes Support group meetings in Dublin for a number of years.

He works tirelessly to improve the life of patients with diabetes and those with chronic endocrine disorders. Dr. Moore is a strong advocate for healthy lifestyle with chronic conditions. He has undertaken a number of activities with patients, including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, participating in triathlons and 5-10Km runs. He regularly gives voluntary patient education talks throughout Ireland, including at the Type 1 diabetes support group for adults in Dublin.


Type 1 diabetes; Managing Blood Glucose and Exercise Dr. Alistair Lumb

Fear of hypos is one of the biggest reasons that people with type 1 diabetes avoid exercise, even though we know that it really helps with glucose management.

Dr. Lumb has worked with the OneTouch Sports Weekend (formerly known as the Animas Sports Weekend) since it began. He is a Consultant in Diabetes and Acute General Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Through his career he has been interested in the management of Type 1 diabetes for sport and exercise and has worked with athletes in nationally recognised clinics in the area. He is particularly interested in how technology can be helpful in this arena. His other professional interests include inpatient diabetes care, antenatal diabetes, cystic fibrosis related diabetes, and integrated diabetes care. Outside of work he is a keen cyclist.


Living with Diabetes; Kate’s Top 10 Tips Kate Gajewska

Kate has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years. She is a diabetes educator, psychologist, and currently a Doctorate candidate at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She is conducting a study looking at the access to insulin pump therapy in Ireland. Prior to that, she worked as a research data manager in Diabetes Centre of Our Lady's Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin.

She is a member of Diabetes Ireland, the Adult Type 1 Diabetes Support Group in Dublin, and a member of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. She engages in a lot of initiatives aiming to improve the quality of life of people with type 1 diabetes, she is also a proud Thriveabetes supporter. Follow Kate on Twitter @gajewska_kate


HSE Diabetes Services Update Seán Dinneen, National Diabetes Programme

The National Diabetes Programme acts as an advisory committee to the National Programme for Diabetes and also provides national advice on diabetes management. Since it began, they have published and implemented;

During this presentation, Prof Dinneen will update us on what’s next. In 2016, Prof Seán Dinneen; Consultant Endocrinologist, UHG, was appointed as National Lead for the Diabetes Clinical Programme of the Irish Health Service Executive. His professional interests include developing and evaluating programmes of self-management education for people with diabetes, developing optimal models of community-based diabetes care and understanding the diabetic foot. He was part of successful bids which brought a School of Podiatry and a Clinical Research Facility to NUI Galway. As you can gather we have a a very full day in store packed with lots of information for adults with type 1 diabetes at Thriveabetes.


Please note that if you have type 1.5 (LADA) or if you are an adult with type 2 diabetes on intensive insulin therapy, you are very welcome to join us at Thriveabetes also.

Register here. Thriveabetes takes place on Saturday 24th February 2018 in Dublin