Thursday, 11 July 2013

Greater Minds Inspire 2013.

Hedgie Pricks Diabetes is a charity organisation founded by Zoe Scott. It's main focus is "the two D's" - diabetes and depression - and aims to raise more awareness about the "psychological, emotional and social sides of living with this condition, especially depression, diabetes burnout and anxiety problems.

On Saturday (July 6th) I had the privilege of attending the first Hedgie Pricks Diabetes event: Greater Minds Inspire. And it was just that: inspiring!

My day started early, what with travelling from Norwich down to Colchester where the event was taking place (and then I went from Colchester back to Kent). I got the train at the spectacularly early time of 8am, arriving in Colchester at 9am where I met the lovely Lizzie and together we figured out where the University of Essex campus was ready for the start of the event at 10am.

Upon arrival, I headed straight for the free coffee being offered needing a caffeine fix before the start. We then headed into the lecture theatre where Zoe opened the event. Throughout the day, we heard talks from various people within the diabetes community that have done some incredibly inspirational things with their lives, and a lot of the things said really did resonate for me, and I'm sure many others that attended.

  • "Diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions." --> Douglas Cairns gave a talk on flying with diabetes (as in being a pilot, not being a passenger on a flight!) and how laws are actually changing now and people with diabetes are being allowed to sit in the drivers' seat of an aeroplane.
  • "Thrive with diabetes" --> Team Novo Nordisk explain how we need to do more than just live with diabetes. We need to thrive with diabetes. 
  • "What's stopping you?" --> Pete Shaw spoke about his interest in kite surfing and how he deals with his diabetes. He posed the question "what's stopping you?" as diabetes shouldn't be something that holds us back from doing what we want to do and achieve in life. 
  • "It's easy to let diabetes become the biggest part of your life" --> Another quote from Pete Shaw's talk, something I can very much relate to, particularly when I was first diagnosed. Diabetes was all I thought about, and it was horrible. But I soon realised that actually it's a small part of a bigger whole.   

My favourite talk was given by Gavin Griffiths who did what is being called the 30/30 challenge: running 30 miles a day for 30 days (crazy if you ask me, but a huge, huge achievement nonetheless!) I was aware of this challenge as it was all over social media sites, but hearing first-hand of his experience was brilliant! 

I very much enjoyed the event, and I hope there are more like it in the future, as I would definitely attend another. Well done, Zoe, for such a successful first event!

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