STAND – Stop Texting and Driving?
This is not a Public Service Announcement… this is reality today. I mean, do we even hear about drinking and driving anymore, of course we do! However, texting and driving has taken over and is on the rise. In 2018, 4,637 people died in car crashes due to cell phone use.
On September 9, 2014, a good friend of mine was involved in an accident by someone who was texting and driving. Ironically, I was working that day at the 911 Center for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue. We had access to traffic cameras and when we can, we try to use those cameras to see the severity of the accidents. That day, we could not see what had happened due to trees blocking our view, but more importantly, I had no idea it was my friend Cliff who was injured.
I don’t think I need to say much more and let him share his story with you…
September 9th 2014:
I was at the gas pump thinking about my tee time. In three weeks, I would be playing the famous PEBBLE BEACH! As I pulled out on my motorcycle, I noticed a car waiting to turn left at the intersection. What caught my eye was that the driver was looking down at her phone while her turn signal was flashing. As soon as I shifted gears she just stepped on the gas, without looking up. She never saw me, she never heard me, and she never hit the brakes! There was absolutely nothing that I could do as the life I knew for 45 years was over…
I was born in Buffalo, NY (Let’s go BUFFALO!!!) and served in the Army during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. I married my college sweetheart and we have two amazing children Cassidy and Elias. In 2000, I moved to the beautiful state of Maryland (Let’s go O’s!) and have been in the Real Estate industry for 18 years. For eleven of those years my brother and I owned our very own brokerage, Exit Realty Plus. in 2006, we truly found our home in Urbana, Maryland. As my kids grew up, I started coaching baseball and basketball and experienced some of the best memories of my life. Every time I was Coach Cliff on that field, my goal was to make an impact on those kids and help them become better men.
…Doctors told the me that my ankle twisted around and round like closing a bag of bread. I lost 50% of my blood right there on the street as my brother watched powerless to stop it. During my first twelve days in the hospital an artery in my leg burst twice putting my life in danger yet again. My blood pressure dropped as low as 42/20.
Every day I praise God, thankful for this second chance and for the witnesses who stepped up for my life. I wouldn’t be here without strangers tying off my leg and doing everything they could to save my life. I will also never forget all the nurses and doctors at Baltimore Shock Trauma that invested their energy and time into saving my life.
After half a dozen surgeries doctors advised that it may best to amputate my leg in order to ensure a better way of life. For three days I deliberated. I thought about my family, my career, and my golf game. It was a difficult time coming to grips with everything. Looking back it turned out being the best decision for me and my family, and my golf game too! I was in the hospital for two months and had a total of twenty-three surgeries before being well enough to go home and lay down on my couch. That is where the real battle started.
Less than 60 days later, January 1, 2015, I was re-admitted for an infection which led to another five surgeries. I was dangerously close to becoming an above the knee amputee. Just one year from those 5 surgeries, January 28th, you guessed it, I was back in the hospital. This time it was a growing bone spur. As a result, they re-amputated my leg, who knew that was even a “thing”.
At this point in my life my leg dictates every decision that I make. The only decision I have left is whether or not to be a victim. The easy decision is to live in your tragedy and be a victim. Instead, I chose to live life to the fullest and in April 2015 I received my prosthetic leg and hit my first tee shot in May. I recently competed in the 69th Annual Amputee Golf Championship in Oklahoma.
When I came home from the hospital the first time, I was completely blown away by the 300+ people standing on my front lawn. There was literally a circle of people embracing my home and my family. Most of which were the great kids that I have coached. There is no better community than Urbana, Maryland. The outpouring of love and support means everything to us. We had meals brought to us three times a week for eight months straight! They had fundraisers for us! This community became stronger through this tragedy and I created this organization to return that love and support.
Life is so funny to me. As it slams doors in your face, it seems to open new ones. I spent a lot of time mourning, writing, and contemplating about all of the things that I went through. After forty years of life, wondering what I will be “able to do” now.
Because of my experience, I am able to speak to our young drivers about staying PRESENT, especially when it comes to driving. Our kids’ phones are the biggest contributor to distracted and dangerous driving. I am able to speak to my fellow Realtors about being the first line of defense in this fight. This profession PERPETUATES this problem more than any other. I am speaking to my fellow veterans who have suffered from lost limbs and PTSD. It motivates me to see the change in people when you help them with their PAIN and show them how to tap into their POWER. Suddenly their PROBLEMS don’t seem so tough.
The thing that brings me the most joy is seeing a someone grow to realize their true POTENTIAL. I invite all of you to take a STAND with me. It doesn’t matter who you are, your color, creed, how you pray, or who you love, ending distracted driving is everyone’s responsibility. Now is the time to get involved and help us keep our families safe on the road.
Please know that we deeply appreciate whatever part you play in this mission and we thank you for your continued support. We’re Glad You’re Here.
(and around the world) 11 people A DAY DIE in this country due to texting and driving 6 of those being our new drivers our teenagers our kids and our mission is to cut BOTH NUMBERS in half immediately!!!!
Our movement is all about saving lives and changing lives one community at a time!!!!
In a country so divided on so many different topics and levels it is our mission to unite us ALL and make a STAND together no matter what school what team what color what state what nationality or what Real Estate Company or brand and make a POWERFUL imPact (boom from a cannon) and a much needed difference….. Thank you for making a STAND with me…PEACE!!!
11 people day every single day due to distracted driving. In 2014, I was almost that statistic. I created STAND so that we could bring people together to make our roads safer. One driver, one school, one community at a time. It doesn’t matter who you are, your color, creed, how you pray, or who you love, ending distracted driving is everyone’s responsibility. Now is the time to get involved and help us keep our families safe on the road.
TO SAVE 11 LIVES A DAY!!!
11 Students and College kids die every single day due to texting and driving!!! On September 9th, 2014, I was almost killed by one. These are very interesting times we are living in, times we feel like we can not agree on anything anymore. I created STAND and believe that I have found something we CAN ALL AGREE ON!!! It does not matter who you are, what color you are, your creed, how you pray, or who you love, ending distracted driving is everyone’s responsibility and I choose to LEAD US!!!!! One driver, one school, one student, one company, one community at a time…Now is the time to get involved and we are SO LATE!!! Don’t wait until you are a statistic…Don’t wait until you do it to somebody or have it done to you or your family…Please get involved RIGHT NOW and help me Stop Texting ANDriving…Thank you for making a STAND with me!!!!
Are you RESCUE Ready?
- Is everyone trained and up to date with their certification?
- Do you have an AED at your business location?
- Is your AED being managed and checked on a consistent basis?
- Does your company have a First Aid kit?
- Does your First Aid kit include a STOP the BLEED Kit?