Conference Speakers

At Thriveabetes we pride ourselves on having world class speakers who live with type 1 diabetes as well as health professionals.


Chris Aldred: The Grumpy Pumper

Person with diabetes, Diabetes Blogger, Advocate, Business Professional

Chris Aldred is better known as the Grumpy Pumper, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1994. He works as a Business Continuity specialist and is a  Diabetes blogger,

He created the hashtag Let’s #TalkAboutComplications to open a discussion on a topic that most of us would rather avoid, and to prevent the blame surrounding this dicey issue.


Adam Brown

Person with diabetes, Author of  Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me, DiaTribe Senior Editor

Pre Recorded Presentation and Live Q&A afterwards

Adam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001, he joined diaTribe in 2010 as a Summer Associate, became Managing Editor in 2011, and now serves as Senior Editor. Adam's book, Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me, was published in May 2017 and to date, over 100,000 copies of Bright Spots & Landmines have been sold/downloaded.

He is passionate about exercise, nutrition, psychology, and wellness, and spends his free time cycling in San Francisco.

Follow DiaTribe on their Website, Twitter & Facebook @diaTribeNews

  • Follow Adam Brown on Twitter @asbrown1

  • Bright Spots & Landmines: Download Free PDF here, Download Free Audiobook here.

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Noirin Farren

Person with diabetes, Development Officer, Glór na nGael

Nóirín was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2013, one month before her 30th birthday while training to compete in her first triathlon. Nóirín currently works as a Development Officer for the Irish language in Dublin with Glór na nGael, a role which has enabled her to develop opportunities for children and adults to experience and embrace the Irish language through the medium of the creative arts. She also an MA in Directing for Theatre from UCD and a BMus in Music from UCC. Throughout the years, she has worked as both a professional singer and as a stage director she has professional experience with The Gate Theatre, Fishamble Play Company and a specially commissioned show for Croke Park. She facilitated weekly drama workshops with Mayo Youth Theatre for a period of two years, culminating in two devised shows and has directed many school shows and musicals during her time as a secondary school music teacher. Over the years she has performed with many music groups at festivals, corporate events, private functions and weddings. 


Helen Fitzgerald

Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Paediatric Diabetes, Tallaght Hospital

Helen has worked in the Paediatric Diabetes Department of Tallaght Hospital for the past 18 years having completed her MSc Paediatric Diabetes with Warwick University in 2015, and a Post graduate Certificate in Advanced Practice in UCD in 2016. Since 2017, when she became the Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Paediatric Diabetes her job involves working as part of the Multidisciplinary Team in delivering diabetes care to 350 children/adolescents and their families.

“I have seen lots of changes in how diabetes is managed over the years. The biggest changes have been in technological advances. It is an exciting time to be working in diabetes with all the different technological options available to children, to improve glycaemic control and quality of life for children/ adolescents and their families.”

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Kate Gajewska

Person with diabetes, Diabetes Educator, Psychologist,

Kate has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and was diagnosed at age two. Originally from Poland, 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 before she moved to Ireland.

In 2018, she conducted a study looking at the access to insulin pump therapy in Ireland as part of her post doctoral with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

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

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Keith Garland

Parent to a child with type 1 diabetes, an IT Project Manager

Keith’s son, Geordan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 2 years old, seven years ago. Keith is an IT Project Manager, a licensed "radio ham" and a self-confessed hacker! They have been using a range of DIY solutions since 2015 to help with the management of Geordan’s condition. Keith lives in Dublin with his wife, Shirley and their six children. 


Phil Graham

Person with diabetes, Sports Nutritionist, Trainer, Author and Fitness Educator

Live Webinar Presentation

Phil was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over 12 years ago and quickly realized how important exercise, nutrition and lifestyle were in diabetes management. His book, Diabetic Muscle and Fitness has been titled a ‘Game Changer’ by many leading diabetic healthcare professionals. Phil has spent over a decade developing his knowledge and experience.

He has been responsible for hundreds of life-changing transformations and educates thousands of fitness professionals on nutrition, exercise physiology and strength training every single year. When it comes to body transformation and credible fitness education Phil is known the GO-TO’.

  • Follow Phil Graham on his Website Diabetic Muscle and 


Lesley Jordan, Input:JDRF

Person with diabetes, JDRF UK Senior Technology Access Specialist

Lesley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over 50 years ago and has gone from once-daily injections and urine testing in a test tube to DIY artificial pancreas using a pump, CGM and her mobile phone!

Using her first insulin pump in 2002 made such a difference to Lesley's life that she started volunteering for INPUT to raise awareness of NHS funding for insulin pump therapy. When INPUT's founder retired Lesley took over running the organisation and registered it as a charity. INPUT joined forces with JDRF UK in 2018, and now Lesley is their Senior Technology Access Specialist. Together with colleague Melissa Holloway, Lesley has, over nearly 15 years, provided information and support to thousands of people with type 1 about how to access diabetes technology In the UK.

Input:JDRF has information about technology access in the UK here (


Sara “Coach” Lasker 

Person with diabetes, Teacher, Master Certified Health Education Specialist, and Certified Diabetes Educator 

Sara has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since 1983. She is a biker, a runner, a beer snob, an avid traveler, and animal lover that brings an amazing energy to the things she does. As one of the first people in the world with dual certification as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®) and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE®) she believes health is more than just a number and utilizes that philosophy to connect people with the resources they need. As a kid and teen, she spent her summers at diabetes camp. That passion followed her as an adult where she worked at 6 diabetes camps around the United States. After years of zigzagging across the United States she has brought her diabetes passion to Ireland; moving with her husband and two cats to County Galway earlier in 2019. For the past few years Sara has been using her experience and knowledge to coach people with Type 1 Diabetes to live their best lives. 

Follow Sara’s Video Blogs (Vlogs) on her website: Healthy and Hygge®:

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Moira McCarthy Stanford

Parent to a now Adult with diabetes, Author, Diabetes Advocate

Moira’s was an award-winning reporter and magazine writer when her daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed with T1D at the start of her kindergarten year. She swore then that she would never write about diabetes. Flash forward almost 20 years: Lauren is all grown up and Moira has written several books, runs a successful blog, and is an internationally award winning adventure travel writer.

Moira was named JDRF’s International Volunteer of the Year in 2007 and served as national chair of the JDRFD Outreach Government Grass Roots Advocacy, Outreach, as well as ChairMom of JDRF’s Children’s congress. She served as Chairman of the Board of the Diabetes Scholars Foundation, on the board of the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, and serves on the board of Insulin For Life, a group that has been key in providing insulin during the hurricanes of the past year. She speaks about living well with diabetes in the family all over the world. She lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts and is a two time grandmother.


Kevin Moore

Consultant endocrinologist in Tallaght Hospital, Naas General Hospital and the Beacon Hospital

Kevin 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.

Kevin graduated with an honours medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1996. In 2005 he completed the Irish Specialist Registrar Training Scheme (SpR) in Diabetes, Endocrinology and General Internal Medicine. He then travelled to America where he undertook a Fellowship in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. which is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest hospitals. He returned to Ireland 2007 and took up a post as a Consultant Endocrinologist where he continues to work today.


Paula short

Parent to a teenager with diabetes, MIACP. BSc Counselling and Psychotherapy

Paula Short, lives in Co. Galway. Paula’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 four years ago, when he was seven years old. Paula tutors in Counselling and Psychotherapy and is in private practice as a Psychotherapist. When someone in a family is diagnosed with Type 1, the whole family is affected. Paula would love to see families being given, not only practical, medical and educational support at this time, but also the emotional support they need.

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Joe Solowiejczyk

Person with diabetes, RN, Diabetes Educator and Family therapist

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.

Follow Joe on his Website, & Facebook

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Vicky williams

Person with Diabetes, Health Promotion/Improvement Officer with the HSE

Vicky has been living with type 1 diabetes for a number of years. She is a former employee of Diabetes Ireland and still volunteers at all children and teen Type 1 events organized by Diabetes Ireland. Events include Sweetpea kids club family weekends, Christmas parties, summer picnics, child and teen family weekends, teen activity days and Barretstown teen camps!glucose monitoring and insulin supervision and hypo treatment is part of my role while assisting these children while maintaining normality and allowing them all to have fun!

Vicky is one of our youth programme coordinators.