Prom holds lifelong memories, but I did not go. I played sports at high schools in San Joaquin County but graduated from Tracy High in 1993 in a wheelchair. I never planned to end school like that.
As my holiday letter of 2014 stated, a drunken driver hit me head on in 1992 when I was 16. I was in a coma and suffered paralysis, brain injuries, and broken and dislocated bones. I stayed seven months in two hospitals and 17 months with therapy followed. Not a life a teenager expects.
Some teens believe that drinking alcohol is mixed in with the fun. That is wrong, especially if driving is included. Why copy a drunken driver? Many of my hopes and dreams for my life vanished after a drunken driver hit me.
I cannot drive and hear perfectly now, but I can walk. That is a huge achievement for me considering my injuries.
My letters throughout California and speeches at schools in the Central Valley brought sober drivers to the roads. As a proud partner with the CHP, I am determined to make that continue.
A few of my friends attend UCSB and have learned to not drink and drive. Show us you have learned too: Do not drink and drive. This saves lives, including yours.