Being Brave: BritMums and Type 1 Diabetes

Helen on stage at BritMums Live blogger conference

In June 2015 I attended the BritMums Live conference for parenting bloggers. I have been many times to the event, and have transitioned from nervous new blogger to being relaxed and excited to catch up with friends and discover new brands. I have spoken at the event in previous years, and gained valuable experience in public-speaking. I have even read a blogger keynote speech before – a funny one that gave me the satisfaction of a few audience laughs.

This year though, I was brave. This year I spoke out about what it means to suffer a life-changing event in your family, after my beautiful, perfect daughter, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a condition which makes her life less than perfect forever. I spoke about the grief, the distress, and the unfairness of it all. For those are valid emotions. But I also spoke about the positives that we have found as a family by living through the despair. I wobbled a fair bit, but I held it together and did my kids – and myself – justice.

I am not a great fundraiser. I find it difficult asking family and friends to part with money. And yet research into a cure for Type 1 Diabetes is massively underfunded, despite there being promising science for the future. The papers are full of how easy it is for diabetics, how the cure is imminent and everything is ok, and how Type 2 diabetics only have themselves to blame. The reality is much more complicated than that, much more stark.

So I am not a fundraiser. But I think I can speak well. I have some social media presence. I am smart, motivated, and articulate. I’m good with words, and with people. And I’ve been on the biggest learning curve of my life in the last twelve months. I know my stuff. My role will be as an advocate; I will raise awareness, and educate. That is how I will contribute to the enormous need of the relevant charities to fund and further life-saving research.

I’m job-hunting…

8 thoughts on “Being Brave: BritMums and Type 1 Diabetes”

  1. What a beautiful piece of writing. You have me in tears. I cannot begin to imagine how hard that was but it sounds like there’s positives too. Good luck with it Hun, I wish you and yours all the best. Xxx

  2. Your reading at BritMums was incredible- you did your family proud. Good luck with the job hunt. You’d be an asset to any charity.

  3. Good luck with the job hunt! You’ve already done a huge amount to raise awareness over the last years. Your skills are worth way more than a couple of hundred quid raised through fundraising.

  4. you already are doing an amazing job of educating and raising awareness – I’ve learnt so much from your posts already that if diabetes was to affect our family or friends, i’d send them straight over to your blog to show them hope and inspiration! I feel the same way about fundraising for the causes close to our hearts (NAS/ASD, Arthritis and the other charities we support like compassion, and our local hospice) – I never feel comfortable asking people to donate even though i know it is such a worthwhile cause but we do share our experiences and stories with them. that way people can make their own choices about giving but more importantly they can go on to raise awareness when they tell others too. A huge well done for what you are already doing and what you will go on to do – Brilliant stuff! x


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