Introducing Jesse Was Here

Supporting those navigating life after a Type 1 death, Jesse Was Here, a unique program of Beyond Type 1, expands our efforts to a community often invisible and cements our commitment to addressing all aspects of this disease, even the most challenging. Jesse Was Here was inspired by Michelle Page-Alswager’s experience after her son Jesse’s death. She’s been mentoring several hundred parents on her own and we have others – spouses, siblings, grandparents, friends – who are in need of similar support and resources. Working together, we hope to serve this unique and deserving community.

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Empty Heart; Empty Closets – Their Belongings

The smell of dirty socks. Once something you complained about, asking your son to pick them up, get them to the laundry chute and maybe, just maybe learn to wash them.

The used test strips. Littered throughout every room of the house, on the kitchen floor, found in suitcases and garages. Everywhere a sign of your child’s diabetes.

And then the day comes that all of us know too well. The day you hold a dirty sock like it’s the most cherished item in the house. You pick up used test strips and cry remembering how much you hated Type 1 diabetes, but how you would do anything – anything – to have it back in your life.

My son, Jesse, who died at the age of 13 was an avid snowboarder, skateboarder and owned two guitars and a drum set. His love for music was everywhere. When Jesse died many things were a blur and remain so. Yet other things so vivid – like his snowboarding permission slip for his middle school ski/snowboard club just sitting on the kitchen table, signed and ready for the day. On that fateful Wednesday, it sat waiting to be taken to school, only to be a horrific reminder the next day that there would be no more release forms to sign.

My friends quickly walked through the house that Thursday morning trying to remove visible and obvious signs that he was no longer living in the house. The snowboard trip form disappeared from view, the testing supplies put in a cabinet.

But the main thing they did right: They didn’t throw a single thing away.

Read Michelle’s insights HERE.