Why We Walk: Officer Norman

Home City: Austell, Georgia
Crash Anniversary: April 17, 1988

Cobb County Georgia Officer Freddie Norman was given less than a 1 percent chance of surviving after a teenage drunk driver slammed into his patrol car as he was responding to an emergency call.

The crash left Officer Norman a quadriplegic and unable to talk, but he persevered and was able to communicate through a computer. He received the Blue Star Award, given to officers injured in the line of duty, and saw his daughter Christi Norman sworn in as an officer with the Austell Police Department.

Officer Norman succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash 21 years later, on February 14, 2009. He is survived by his wife, Faith, three daughters and three grandsons.

“It is heartbreaking to see a loved one deal with severe disabilities all because a 16-year-old made a bad choice by becoming intoxicated and choosing to drive instead of calling a taxi or having a designated driver. Freddie was confined to a wheelchair with limited movement and unable to talk for 21 years. It took a toll on his body. It is devastating to lose a loved one as a result of drunk driving. As an officer, one of Freddie’s main goals was to keep drunk drivers off the road. What happened to Freddie does not have to happen again,” said Faith.

Can we count on you to help us end drunk driving?

Join us at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Walk Like MADD 2017!

Vote for the 2018 Walk Like MADD tshirt

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Help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of Walk Like MADD and select next year's official from the three designs below. Vote now!

David Weinstein: Why We Walk

MADD honors David Weinstein and recognizes his loved ones who began our St. Louis Walk Like MADD. His story will live on. Watch the video:

Walk Like MADD from Ciderfly Studio on Vimeo.

Walk Like MADD training

We brought together volunteers and staff members from across the country for a multi-day Walk Like MADD training session.

Walk Like MADD is our signature fundraising event, and it takes place in more than 90 cities across the country. The walks and runs are a way of not only honoring and remembering those we've lost to drunk and drugged driving but, also, a way to celebrate their lives and inspire others to commit to ending drunk driving. Funds raised at Walk Like MADD events stay in the community, meaning participants are taking an active role in making THEIR streets safer.

Our largest training event yet, the training covered best practices, fundraising, a visit by Donor Drive and a celebration of what we are achieving with every step we talk to Walk Like MADD.

The first day kicked off with a mission moment from National Board Member Heather Geronemus. "Mission moments" are what we call the moments that help us understand the devastation caused by drunk driving and why we are dedicated to a future of No More Victims®.

Then, we were pleased to turn over our Facebook feed to drunk driving advocate and victim Bill DeMott out of Florida.

We thank everyone who could attend and everyone who supports Walk Like MADD. Together, we will walk to ensure #DrunkDrivingEndsHere.

Why We Walk: Omar Carrion

Omar Carrion was a happy child who had a great relationship with his extended family.

He grew up in Miami, was always a good student and started studying at FIU as soon as he graduated from high school. He had many academic passions but settled on Asian Studies, earning his diploma in 2007.

Omar had a meaningful experience in Japan teaching English where he continued to learn and make new friends. He enjoyed a career with J. Silny and Associates as a Foreign Credential advisor, but, in 2012, Omar left his job to pursue another passion: filmmaking and screenwriting. He made a few short films, was working on several exciting projects and helped create "Phyxius Pictures."

Omar loved baseball and video games, but his joy came from his relationship with his family and close friends. He was funny, happy, optimistic and deeply loved.

All of Omar's hopes and dreams were destroyed when he was killed by a drunk and drugged driver on March 2, 2013. Omar was meeting friends at Tropical Park to play Ultimate Frisbee when life changed forever for his Mom, Hilda, his Dad, Fernando, his sister Tatiana and a group of lifelong friends.

The Carrion Family travel to Miami every year to attend Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash. There is always a team of Omar's friends who attend and fondly honor and remember Omar. Hilda, Fernando and Tatiana Walk to raise awareness about DUI in hopes that no other family will have to endure the pain and grief they have. They feel a connection to the other families who gather to honor their loved ones as well. The Carrion family and friends feel like they are part of a team, something big! They Walk because they love Omar and because maybe they can stop just one person from driving under the influence.

We look forward to seeing the Carrion Family and friends at Miami Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash and hope this special time of coming together helps them feel strengthened.

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