After losing her daughter to diabetes, she wants to save other families from that pain

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jan 16, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Antroinette Worsham was at work when she learned her 22-year-old daughter, Antavia, had collapsed at home. 

"Her brother called me," she said. "He said, ‘Mom, Tay-Tay isn't moving. Her eyes are rolled behind her head and she's purple.'"

And then she was gone. Beaming pictures of Antavia still decorate her mother's home, but Worsham's last in-person encounter with her daughter involved a black bag and tears that seemed like they would never stop.

She keeps herself busy, now, to avoid thinking too hard about that moment.

"I just could not believe my baby was gone," she said. 

Antavia's death was a consequence of hypoglycemia connected to her Type 1 diabetes, Worsham said. It's a disease that's easy to manage with the right equipment, but obtaining that equipment can be debilitatingly expensive. 

"It can get up to be close to $1,000 (every month) without insurance," she said. "I meet my deductible pretty early in the year because it costs so much. For someone who doesn't have insurance or is in between jobs or recertifying their medicaid, it can be overwhelming."

Worsham is working to keep her 17-year-old daughter, Antanique, who also has diabetes, on track. She also hopes she can help other people who live with diabetes by providing mentorship, education and financial help through an initiative called Type 1 Diabetes Journey.

It's still in its fledgling stages, which is why Worsham is soliciting donations, but she said her ultimate goal is to combine donations, fundraisers and state grants to gift $500 to five families with a diabetic member every month.

She doesn't want any of them to have to experience what she did.

"It's like a dream, still," she said of Antavia's death. "I miss her. She was so young. She was very funny, she was always happy -- a happy young lady."

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