Michele Costello’s daughter, Megan Hallquist, passed away last month at the age of 30 from acute liver failure due to complications from diabetes. Costello remembers Megan as “a feisty, funny, giving person, who never thought of herself before others.” 

Megan was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was an infant. “For whatever reason, this was a great source of embarrassment and humiliation as she began school, and what I believed chipped away at her self esteem,” said Costello, “She had wonderful friends, but mostly abusive boyfriends. Her most significant challenge was believing she was worth more.”

Costello said Megan’s father died four years ago and that her daughter was never able to recover from that loss. 

Honoring one of Megan’s passions: violence prevention

Costello says the idea of doing a fundraiser in Megan’s memory seemed like an excellent way to honor her daughter, especially during this pandemic. According to Costello, Megan had a passion for violence prevention work, having endured abusive relationships. She asked Megan’s friends for some organizations that would be good choices to support. Michele chose to support 360 Communities. “I knew of it from my husband, a professor of social work, who had students do internships at the Lewis House.”

Megan remembered by family and friends

With the help of Megan’s friends, she set up a Facebook fundraiser, Within 24 hours, donations surpassed her initial $1,000 goal! “From there it just took off!” said Costello. To date, she has raised more than $7,000 for 360 Communities! “I’m not sure from where or why, but I knew Megan would want to give back to a place where women could be free from violence and abuse,” said Costello, “She would be so excited to see how much was raised for 360 Communities. She would be completely overwhelmed and grateful. I was personally blown away!”

Since Megan passed away, Costello says she has received many kind letters, texts, and Facebook posts and has discovered that so many people loved Megan’s sarcastic humor. “She was quick-witted and one of the funniest people we all knew. She had a tenderness for the underdog and a passion for helping women who were abused. She had a passion for social justice for as long as she was alive. Her many friends said she would drop everything to help them, often when it was difficult for her to do so.”

“She would be so excited to see how much was raised for 360 Communities. She would be completely overwhelmed and grateful.”

Michele Costello, Megan's mother