Something woke Susan in the middle of an August night in 2011. Perhaps she sensed her life was about to change forever…
Minutes later the police were at her door. They asked about her 23-year-old daughter, Ashley, and Susan knew instantly something terrible had happened. She began to tremble.
“I sat down on the stairs and the officer knelt beside me. He told me my daughter had passed away in a car crash,” Susan recalls. “He asked me if there was someone I could call. I couldn’t hold the phone. I couldn’t even move. I just curled up in the fetal position.”
Everything stopped that night for Susan and her two other children. Life, as they knew it, ended the moment someone made the decision to drive impaired, robbing them of a beautiful daughter… a dear sister. It’s hard to imagine their lives could ever begin again.
Slowly, painfully, Susan and her family began to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. But they didn’t do it alone. “MADD Canada provided us with the tools to cope and survive,” says Susan. “They gave us the strength to know our lives were going to move on.”
As we look to a New Year and think about new beginnings for our own lives, I hope you’ll start your New Year with a donation to MADD Canada. Your support will help thousands of victims/survivors start a hopeful, new beginning of their own.
Susan will never forget the night her daughter was taken from her. Right before Ashley left for a concert, Susan gave her a big hug and reminded her not to drink and drive. This was a very important message in their family. But it was someone else’s criminal actions that claimed Ashley’s young life.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was pick out a casket for my daughter,” Susan admits. “I wanted to buy her a wedding dress one day, but instead, I bought her a headstone.”
It was Susan’s nephew who first reached out to MADD Canada. Before she knew it a Victim Services Volunteer offered to come to the house and talk to Ashley’s family and friends. “There were about 20 of us and we were all scared and at a loss for words,” Susan says. “The volunteer brought us comfort.”
Since that night, Susan has attended our National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving twice. And she and her family have benefitted from having a MADD Canada volunteer accompany them to court.
In 2015, we expect 20,000 victims/survivors to reach out to our specially trained volunteers for comfort and support and their own chance for a new beginning. With your help today, we can be there for each and every one.
Your thoughtful gift will also help us accomplish great things in the areas of impaired driving education, awareness and prevention.
“Impaired driving has to stop because, sadly, this isn’t just our story. It has destroyed so many families.” says Susan.
Right now, thousands of families like Susan’s are suffering. Your generosity will let them know they are not alone. It will help us gently remind them that, with time and support, new beginnings are possible.