Wednesday, July 25, 2018

#dXDublin: Diabetes Bloggers

A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful country of Ireland.  I joked that my invite came with my marriage to an O'Connell, but really, it came from Abbott Diabetes Care.   I headed to Ireland for the #dXdublin Conference which welcomed thirty influencers from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The weekend kicked off with a tour of the beautiful city of Dublin followed by a welcome reception at the Marker Hotel.  The reception took place on the roof top, which overlooked the harbour - what a beautiful way to kick off a weekend with thirty amazing bloggers, you-tubers and social media gurus. This gave us all an opportunity to share our diabetes stories - all similar, yet unique.  We shared our social media channels, and some of us were so excited to meet the face behind the blogs and pages that we love.

The next day was full of excitement as we knew we would be heading to Google European Headquarters in the morning. We all met in the lobby and walked over to the building for some insight sessions on video blogging, and analytics. All topics that we all were able to take and apply to the work we do as diabetes influencers. Following our morning at Google we headed to a working farm called Airfield Estate.  We enjoyed a fresh healthy lunch there, followed by a walking tour of the grounds and then right into two speakers who shared their experiences with advocacy and social media.

There was plenty of time to get to know the influencers around us and here what the struggles, barriers and triumphs are in each country.  It was important to recognize that while we all live with type 1 diabetes, we are all facing unique obstacles due to the regions in which we are living. While some of us have access to free supplies, others are scrambling to find the supplies.  We all empathically shared our stories and listened to one another - bringing the stories back to our own communities to share.

By the end of Saturday, it was like we all knew one another from the start. Having diabetes was now normal, being surrounded by Libres on arms, pumps on waistbands and a constant buzz of diabetes topics floating across the tables.

We were surprised to learn that Sunday we would be touring the factory in which the Libre is assembled.   Having the opportunity to see the production was absolutely amazing and truly makes you appreciate the amount of care and thought that goes into the product in which you wear.  This was an opportunity of a lifetime as not many people are given the chance to see the factory.

Wrapping up the weekend was hard, living many miles away from one another, we knew the goodbyes would be difficult. But, to no surprise, since we are creatures of the online world, we found one another online, gained new followers, and shared our photos and memories from the weekend.

Ever since trying the Libre, I have constantly given the product credit to my lowered a1c and overall feeling of wellness.  Diabetes is hard, and any tools that take some of the burden off myself, and makes me feel at peace with living with the disease, are welcome.  I've welcomed the Freestyle Libre into my life without hesitation, and I'm happy that Abbott could let me into theirs!

Disclaimer:  Abbott Diabetes Care paid for my transportation, accommodations and meal expenses for this conference. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


  1. So happy to have met you Kayla. It was a pleasure to talk to you and get to know you. Hope we will meet again. I truly enjoyed your blog.

  2. You as well! Hopefully we can meet again soon and I can enjoy some of that amazing food you make! Take care xo