axel project

Slain toddler’s memory lives through bicycle project for toddlers

When Jen Charrette watches toddlers scooting around on pedal-less Strider bikes, she feels a grief-tinged happiness. The children remind her of Axel, her 2-year-old son who was slain in a Mexican beach town while the family was wintering there in February 2013. Axel liked nothing better than to push himself along on his Strider — or his “chariot” as his parents called it — as fast as his chubby little legs would take him. “It is bittersweet,” Jen Charrette said about watching other kids on the bikes now. “It mostly just makes me feel good to remember him in that way.” Instead of withdrawing into grief, Jen, her husband, Randy, and their oldest son, Kalden, continue to honor Axel by ensuring other kids learn to enjoy cycling. Through their Axel Project fo...