I am from a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I was born and raised here. It is a nice little town. Population around 12,000. I met my husband here. He too, was born and raised here.
All I every wanted to be in life was a mom. On May 2, 1992, God blessed me with twin daughters. Courtney and Kelsey. Absolutely THE best day of my life. We had the perfect life. Two beautiful well behaved girls, good jobs, and nice little house. A life that I dreamed about and I believe most girls do.
Then came January 24, 2010. Which becomes the WORST day of my life. The girls were seniors in high school. Graduation and their 18th birthday was just a few months away. Our life as we knew it would end. It would turn into a life that we NEVER EVER thought would be ours.
You see, our Kelsey, a new driver, was on her way home from a friends house in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. She was distracted by her cell phone (she was talking on it) when she misjudged the distant of an oncoming vehicle as she went out to pass a slower moving vehicle. She made it back into her lane, but clipped the snowbank when she did, over corrected and her car flew into the path of that oncoming vehicle.
My husband and I were called by her friend, who was following her, so we went to the scene. Kelsey was still in the car but unresponsive. They took her to the hospital but she passed away a couple hours later.
So as a Mom, how could I NOT go out and educate other parents and teens on the dangers of distracted driving. So I created The KDR Challenge. "Kids Driving Responsibly" and KDR just happens to be Kelsey's initials. ("Kelsey Dawn Raffaele")
It is my purpose in life to save lives. Kelsey would want me to tell everyone to STAY OFF YOUR PHONE while you are behind the wheel of a car. Pay attention to what you are supposed to be doing and that is driving. So that is what her Mamma is doing.
2017 Governors Service Award for Volunteer of the Year, United States House of Representatives Congressional Recognition, Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club, Michigan 2013 Outstanding Traffic Safety Achievement Award, 2013 Brain & Injury Associations Prevention Award, 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Associations Public Service Award, Special Recognition in the MI House of Representatives, and United Way Volunteer Group of the Year.
Want to purchase my book. Just click on the picture to get one. All proceeds go to The KDR Challenge.