By far, this is the hardest thing that I have been involved both in and with; on our diabetes journey and within our diabetes community. It is hard. It is sad. It is reality. And quite truthfully it just sucks.
The number one thing that occurs when someone dies in our diabetes community, is the loss of what to do when it happens. What can we do to help?, is asked over and over again. What to do, what is right, how to help. Now there is something with true substance that we can all do when someone passes away. And unfortunately, it will happen again. My picture today is the blue candle, but I have added a glimmering light, small as it is, because it is a light that many families will need at their most difficult time, that may now be there to help. Somewhere to turn when so all alone.
Today is National Bereavement Day and Beyond Type 1 has ONCE AGAIN stepped up, to help our community. I believe that Beyond Type 1 (BT1) is truly one of the most remarkable organizations in existence. What no one touches…..they hit head on. Listening to Sarah Lucas, Thom Scher, and/or anyone at BT1 when they discuss diabetes topics, you feel their passion–it becomes tangible; their actions are a force, their actions are quick, their actions have substance.
Today, this wonderful organization has partnered with one of the people I respect most in this battle, Michelle Page Alswager. Michelle lost her precious Jesse at age 13. Others may just give in and give up, and truthfully, no one in the world would ever blame them. Michelle has taken her grief and reached out to help as only someone who has experienced this pain can…….she has made it a rallying cry to help others. She has been an advocate for years to those who lost someone and, as is their custom (missed diagnosis, Tu Diabetes etc), Beyond Type 1 has stepped in to fill a void, and if you know BT1, you also know they do nothing halfway…….this is no exception.
Jesse Was Here
From their new website page:
Launching August 30, 2018, Jesse Was Here was inspired by Michelle Page-Alswager’s experience after the sudden death of her 13-year-old son, Jesse, from Type 1 diabetes. Grieving the loss of her child, and the potential loss of the diabetes community, she created an online community to support parents who had also lost their children to Type 1 diabetes. By connecting with others who shared her experience, she realized many of those seeking support and opportunities to honor their loved ones, also struggle with unexpected funeral expenses, ongoing medical bills and sometimes even the funds for a headstone. Through her efforts, she discovered many others — not just parents of young children — were looking for peer support, practical information, coping tools and financial assistance. Working together, Michelle and the team at Beyond Type 1 are creating a very special program to serve this unique and deserving community.
Keep this as a resource because, the painful reality, it will be needed. While you’re at it, give a few bucks to them as well because in reality, they can only help with what they have. If you have ever asked, How can I help that family?—-now is your chance.
Truthfully, I hated writing this article today because it just reminded me of just so much pain I have seen others go through over the years. But it is comforting to know that people like Michelle are not afraid to walk-the-walk, and organizations like
Beyond Type 1 are not afraid to listen, and step up.
It is what makes being part of the club none of us wanted to join; a little more bearable.
I am a diabetes dad.
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