It’s not every day that you get to meet the CEO of Twitter, but on Thursday, 30 March Diabetes UK Northern Ireland volunteer Lauren Friel did just that as she explained to Jack Dorsey how important Twitter had been in helping her cope with her Type 1 diabetes.
Lauren from Derry/Londonderry, pictured above with Jack Dorsey, was diagnosed at age 11 and felt like she was the only one in the world struggling with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that if not managed can lead to life changing complications so it can be a heavy burden when there is uncertainty and no support.
Thanks to Lauren’s diabetes clinical team she was persuaded to go on to Twitter and connect with others living with Type 1 diabetes to share experiences.
On Thursday 30 March, Lauren joined 7 other invited guests at Twitter HQ in Dublin and got to tell the co-founder and CEO how important the social media platform had been in changing her life and helping her take control of her diabetes.
Lauren Friel, now 23 years old, said, ‘I wanted the team at Twitter and its CEO, Jack Dorsey, to know the impact that connecting with other people through Twitter had on me and my attitude towards diabetes. I struggled with my diabetes and fought against it and anyone who tried to help me.
‘For the first time since I was diagnosed I started to have some confidence in managing my diabetes as a result of sharing my challenges and concerns with other people with the condition on Twitter. I followed my consultant and nurses on Twitter and slowly but surely found myself empowered to take on diabetes.
‘It was such an honour to sit with the man responsible for Twitter and say thank you. I cannot stress enough just how much talking to other people helped me with my own struggles with diabetes and for me, Twitter provided a platform for that.
'From that, I have been involved with support groups for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland who meet face to face and volunteer to speak to others about the importance of talking about diabetes. The more people we get talking about diabetes the better so if you need to talk to someone then call theDiabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399 or the Northern Ireland office on 028 9066 6646 and they can help provide the support and advice that you need to know diabetes and fight diabetes.’