We are pleased to share with you a new opportunity for victims and survivors to honor loved ones killed or injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes: the Portraits for Healing program.
With a minimum $50 donation that goes directly to MADD Victim Services, victims and survivors will receive a hand-sketched portrait of their loved one created by Artist Bill Small of Danville, CA, a MADD volunteer generously donating his time and talents to provide this healing opportunity. All donations received through the Portraits for Healing program will help provide free support services to those affected by these preventable crimes.
Bill Small has agreed to donate 200 portraits a year to MADD, so order your portrait now at madd.org/portraitsforhealing to be one of this year’s recipients.
Tonight at our National Conference, we gathered together to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have been impacted by drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking. Seven of MADD’s Presidents spoke and shared inspirational poems, while the Arlington Children’s Chorus provided the music.
We also released our new Victim Service PSA, which is the first new PSA for MADD Victim Services in over 10 years.
Please watch and share this new PSA to help victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes know that they’ll always have a place at MADD.
A special thanks to the families who helped make this new PSA possible:
- Gwendolyn and Louis Edwards for honoring their son Louis Jarrod who was tragically killed in a drunk driving crash in November of 2010.
- June Monkhouse and her grandson Joshua Tisdale for honoring Kelly Tisdale, a daughter and a mother, who was tragically killed as a pedestrian in a drugged driving crash in September 2011.
- Hermelinda and Juan Martinez for sharing Hermelinda’s sister Maria Vazquez’s story with us. Maria was killed by a drunk driver on Father’s Day in 2012.
We also released the “You Always Have A Place Victim Tribute Recipe Book” as another way to honor victims and survivors of drunk or drugged driving and underage drinking. We invited bereaved survivors to submit their loved one’s favorite recipe and injured survivors to submit their favorite recipe. You can download this free recipe book here.
MADD has always been and will always be a place for help. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a drunk driving crash, please call our Help Line at 877.MADD.HELP or email email@example.com to connect with a MADD Victim Advocate in your area.
Victims and survivors are not alone. They will always have a place at MADD.
Events in my life have taught me about a personal power that I call, “Inner Permission.” Inner permission comes from my core belief that we are meant to be happy. It means allowing ourselves to find happiness by using courage and hope to make a fearless, positive stand against the many conditions in our external world that say, “You can’t!”
After signing a Nashville contract as a singer in the 1980s, a drunk driver’s selfish actions said, “You can’t have that dream!” Because of a head injury I suffered in the crash, I lost my ability to sing. As ecstatic as I had been to sign my contract, I was just as devastated to lose it.
I examined my deepest feelings and options. I discovered that it is music that I love and believe in, and that music involves much more than singing. So I decided that if I could no longer be a singer, I would become an instrumentalist.
I went to a music store, purchased a flute and a book on how to play the flute, and then dedicated the next six months to learning how to play. I practiced four to six hours every single day, and then called my agent. “Here’s what I’m going to do,” I informed him. “I’m going to become the world’s only country music flutist!”
Can you guess what he said? “You can’t! Nobody will want to hear that!” But, I gave myself permission and went for it.
I now perform at national concerts and have three successful CDs. I am on iTunes in more than 23 countries, even hitting the charts. I also perform motivational concerts, delivering my message of inner permission, and sharing my journey of not just surviving a drunk driver’s thoughtless actions, but actually thriving in spite of him!
Share Your Story
If you are a victim or survivor of a drunk or drugged driving crash and would like to share your inspiring story, visit madd.org/tributes.
It was 9:30 p.m. on November 18, 2011. The traffic light had just turned green as Fran and Steve Granado moved through the intersection in Sierra Vista, Arizona, when their pickup truck was violently hit from behind. The blow caused the backs of their heads to hit the glass in the truck’s rear window, shattering in into pieces.
Fran recalls thinking, “I thought we had been shot at.”
The couple was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Fran suffered trauma to her head and a blow to the left side of her face. Steve, who had to be loaded into his ambulance on a stretcher, had sustained injuries to his neck, lower back and left leg. They were released the next morning with orders to attend physical therapy for their injuries.
The driver who hit Fran and Steve was charged with a DUI the night of the crash. However, Fran and Steve were shocked to find out that the police report indicated the Granados had sustained only minor injuries. Their injuries were much more than “minor.”
After several weeks of physical therapy and no word about the case from authorities, Fran decided to go to the police station to try and get some answers. She was told they could not give her any information because the case was pending a grand jury. Fran periodically checked back and each time was told the same thing. When she asked if she could meet with the police officer in charge of her case, she was denied. They waited to be notified of the court hearing but no word came.
More than a year had passed and Fran and Steve were exhausted from trying to get justice for what happened to them. Their attorney couldn’t get any answers either, and the Granados grew frustrated. They were victims of the crash, and now, as Fran shared, “we were victims of our injuries and victims of neglect [of justice].”
Then, Fran contacted MADD Arizona and spoke with Victim Services Manager Jason Frazier about their case. He tried tirelessly to get justice for the Granados, and was eventually able to find out that the offender in their case had already been to court. She had plea bargained her case and had been sentenced. Their case was closed and could not be reopened. The Granados had been denied their right to appear in court to give their statement to the judge. They were completely left in the dark.
This past November – three years after the crash – the Granados were granted mediation on their case. Fran shared that she is still in disbelief that all this has happened. The offender in their case never showed any remorse for the crash she caused that severely injured the Granados, while Fran and Steve are reminded daily of that night. They both have anxiety. Fran has headaches daily, experiences pain in her shoulders and has difficulty walking for long periods. Steve has not been able to work full time since the crash and no longer drives. He is now seeing a psychologist to help him deal with the trauma of that night.
“We are still struggling with all the emotional damage of that night, even though it cannot be seen,” says Fran.
The couple says that MADD has been the only organization who has been able to shed light on their situation. Steve’s advice to anyone who is a victim of a drunk or drugged driving crash: “Call MADD first.”
This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to recognize those who have been impacted by crime and renew our efforts to make sure these victims receive justice. This year’s theme, Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims, emphasizes the role of the entire community, individually and collectively, as we support victims of crime and empower them to direct their own recovery. You can help by becoming a MADD Victim Advocate or by spreading the word about MADD Victim Services.
MADD is one of the largest victim services organizations in the country, working to ensure that victims' rights are maintained, as well as providing support for victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving. We have more than 1,000 trained victim advocates nationwide, as well as our 24-hour Help Line available to provide victims with the support they need, when they need it most. And we want to serve as many victims as possible...until there are no more victims left to serve.
That’s why this week, in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we are pleased to announce two new online tools for victims and survivors to find support.
We just created a new Facebook Group exclusively for victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving. The purpose of this new Group is to provide an online forum for victims and survivors to connect, share, and seek support. If you are a victim or survivor of drunk and/or drugged driving, please join our MADD Victim Services Facebook Group by clicking here and asking to join.
Please remember this Group is intended only for victims and survivors. If you are not a victim or survivor, we hope you will join us on our Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Facebook page.
We are also proud to announce that we have implemented a new online chat feature on our website, which provides another way for victims of drunk and drugged driving crashes to contact MADD Victim Services when they are in need of assistance. The live chat can be found on the MADD homepage and the Victim Services page and is generally available Monday through Friday, during regular business hours. If for some reason a Victim Services staff member is unavailable, you can leave a message in the chat box and your question will then be emailed and answered by a Victim Services Advocate as soon as they are available to respond.
If you are a victim or survivor, we hope you will take advantage of these new healing tools to connect with other victims and survivors, or if you are in need or support. You can also help us spread the word about these new tools to any victims or survivors you know.