MADISON (WKOW) -- Loosing a child is one of the most difficult things to go through. Michelle Page Alswager lost her son, Jesse, almost two years ago. But, she's turned her grief into action. Elishah Oesch introduces us to this month's Jefferson award winner
Michelle says,"We're coming up on the second anniversary of Jesse's death and its really not much different than two years ago." Michelle Page Alswager has been grieving the loss of her son, Jesse, since his sudden death from complications of type one diabetes on February 3, 2010. When thinking of her son, she says, "Jesse I think anybody would tell you was the glue. Not just in our family but in the community." Jesse passed away when he was only thirteen. However, during his life, and now through his death awareness about diabetes is growing. She says, "in his death, it brought together an international community."
Michelle has been at the forefront of that community, from that day to this one. Her friend and boss, Michelle Reddington says, "it felt like almost immediately she took her grief and turned it into action." Reddington says, she's seen Michelle spearhead efforts to cure diabetes in the midst of her grief. She also says, "immediately she started inspiring people to get behind advocacy and behind finding a cure for diabetes."
FFrom Jessepalossa, to the Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes, to writing a new book: "More lasagna please," Michele has made helping other people who've lost a child to diabetes her mission. Through it all though, Michelle stays grounded. She says,"life is pretty sobering. To think that other people haven't gone through a loss like you have is ridiculous."
And now, with the help of social media, JDRF, and the Diabetes Research Institute Michelle is helping in a brand new way. She's notified whenever a family loses a child to diabetes and then she reaches out to them. She says, "I message them on Facebook. I give them all my information and say its completely up to you." Michelle's Facebook page allows her to connect with families dealing with the loss of a child going through diabetes. Twenty-five families are on the page now, and they're literally all over the globe.
Michelle says, "talking to families who've lost their children to this disease is actually what keeps me going." Not to mention, its what keeps mothers like Lynette Allen going too. She just lost her daughter Victoria to diabetes. She lives in Evansville Indiana. So, she spoke with us just like she does with Michelle almost every day on Facebook.
Lynette says, "I went on the internet and was searching for someone that had experienced what I did and I found her and its really helped me." Lynette says, loosing her daughter is devastating, so talking to Michelle is vital. She says, "I needed somebody that had been through what I had been through"
Michelle will continue to help anyone dealing with this situation. Whether it's a call, a text, or a Facebook message, she promises to be there. She says,"you have to be positive. That's the key. You can't think you're alone."
For more information on diabetes you can go to http://www.dlife.com
For more information on Jessepalooza 2012, you can go to Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessepalooza/120018218031280
If you've lost a child to diabetes, you can connect with Michelle Page Alswager on her Facebook page as well.