Despite a very sporty and active childhood I developed from having the experiences of living
with overweight, to then obesity. I am familiar personally with different treatments needed for obesity, understanding weight regain and the stigma that comes with it.
In 2011 I created a Dublin patient support group which in turn led me to become a patient advocate with the Association for the Studies of Obesity Ireland (ASOI) from January 2020.
Alongside Susie Birney as lead, I am a founding active member as our organisations secretary since 2020.
With the high prevalence of obesity, I have been keen to learn and raise awareness in order to help my family and those close to me living with this disease, to gain knowledge of the science behind obesity and how it is not their fault.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020 with the start up support grant from ECPO, we began hosting weekly online support meetings for our community.
Sometimes we have session topics to discuss weight regain or coping strategies for example. Sometimes we invite healthcare professionals. Every three weeks we have our weight management physiotherapist join to show members how to get active at home in a safe way.
We as ICPO members work closely with our National Clinical Programme for Obesity Lead, Professor Donal O’Shea. We aren’t only just consulted on matters and decisions, we sit on various Health Service Executive (HSE) committees and have an equal seat at the table in these discussions.
We took part in the European Image Bank and were delighted to see our images on ECPOmedia.org. Our community look upon our groups as their other family, and with their support we are encouraged to keep improving the lives for People Living with Obesity in Ireland and across Europe.