Why We Walk – Kamalani Kalama
REPRINTED FROM MADD HAWAII’S SPRING 2015 NEWSLETTER
The season of proms, graduations, and summer are just around the corner and the following is a reminder that driving is a privilege and taking care of another person, especially a child, is a responsibility. Jackie Kalama, the mother of 13-year-old Kamalani Kalama, who was killed May 5, 2013, at the hands of a drunk driver, shares her story with us.
Kamalani was a bubbly teenager who enjoyed spending time with family and friends and whose love of ocean activities led her to join a paddling team. Her life was tragically cut short when she rode home from a paddling practice and dinner with her best friend and her friend’s father. Police reports indicate that the friend’s father had been drinking and crashed his car on the Pali highway. Kamalani and the driver died at the scene.
Her mother tears up as she describes her loss. “Kamalani was my miracle baby. Never in all my life could I have imagined the day that my precious loved one would be taken from me. When you put your child in someone else’s care, you believe they will respect and uphold their responsibility.”
Jackie wants to share her story so that her beloved daughter’s death can help save the lives of others. She encourages every driver to stay sober and remember they have a responsibility to their passengers and fellow drivers. She also wants to remind young people to call their parents or guardians if the person driving them had been drinking or is impaired. She hopes parents will support their teens and pick them up without negative consequences thereby encouraging these healthy and lifesaving decisions. As a way of honoring Kamalani’s life her family and friends have organized Team Kamalani in the September 2015 Walk Like MADD.
Kamalani was killed in 2013; if she was able to walk with us on September 17, 2022, she would be 23 years old. She is one of the many reasons why we walk. Visit www.walklikemadd.org/hawaii to register, join a team, create your own team or, if you can’t walk this year, donate.