Vanessa became a MADD VA volunteer in 2015 after the death of her daughter, Melissa. Melissa, 23, was a proud, recent graduate of the School of Nursing at Longwood College. She was killed on her way home from work when a drug and alcohol impaired driver going 85 mph crossed into her lane on a curve and crashed into her car.
Vanessa has participated in WALK like MADD and spoken as a victim speaker for the media as well as to police recruit classes, in prisons, and anywhere else that invites her. She has also volunteered at Sobriety Checkpoints and Law Enforcement Awards Ceremonies.
Vanessa says what she enjoys most about volunteering for MADD is speaking. She hopes that she can reach even one person and keep them from drinking and driving, so that families won’t go through what hers has.