Firstly, I would like to thank ALL of the organising team – and despite what they tell you, it is a team effort. And secondly, I would like to thank the Diabetes online Community for their neverending support and encouragement.
Thriveabetes is a one day conference for people living with type 1 diabetes which took place on Saturday, October 1st 2016 in The Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.
The explosion of social media in has been extremely beneficial and supportive to people with diabetes in Ireland. For many years, people with diabetes have been connecting with others from all over Ireland through the Diabetes Online Community. So a group of volunteers have created Thriveabetes to give this community, people with type 1 diabetes, the opportunity to meet face to face in real life.
Thriveabetes 2016 was 50% larger than 2015, with 248 individuals attending;
– 62 children aged 5 to 16 years
– Approximately 70 adults living with type 1 diabetes and
– Approximately 90 parents of children with type 1 diabetes.
We had 45 people on a waiting list and it never seemed to get shorter! Most of whom were looking for more than one ticket to Thriveabetes. This demonstrates a clear demand for this type of event which ensures it’s future for at least another year.
From my perspective, I feel like it achieved what we set out to achieve; to provide information, motivation and inspiration to all living with type 1 diabetes. There were a couple of things we tried as experiments, which mostly worked but it did provide us with information on how to make it better.
But also in our primary objective to provide emotional and mental support to all the adults (both parents of children with type 1 diabetes and to adults with type 1). Why? Well, because most of the medical information on living with type 1 diabetes is available from your diabetes clinic, from attending diabetes information conferences and from the internet. But diabetes doesn’t read textbooks (thanks Liz Warren on Twitter for that quote -it’s priceless) and everyone’s diabetes is particular to them, this is what makes Thriveabetes different from other diabetes conferences.
And because, Parents of children with type 1 diabetes, how often does anyone ask YOU how you are doing? I bet people ask about your child plenty, even about their diabetes! But not about how you are doing!
Adults with type 1 diabetes, are you ever asked how you’re coping with this life long chronic illness? I bet not often. But I’m sure people ask how your diabetes is doing.
Thriveabetes is first and foremost a support event for adults. Everything else, such as the children’s programmes to allow more parents attend, is a bonus. We do have plans to repeat Thriveabetes, we are just not sure if we can pull it off in 12 months or 18. But our blog is here to stay. And if you would like to share stories with us on the blog we’d love to hear from you. Because you ALL have stories to tell.
Looking to the Future of Thriveabetes. In the coming weeks we will upload all the photos taken at Thriveabetes and our conference booklet. The Thriveabetes organisation team will have a debriefing session on how we move to plan the next Thriveabetes and how to overcome the financial challenges we faced this year. As always you can keep up to date with our planning progress through subscribing to our email newsletter or through our Facebook and Twitter pages.