Volunteer Spotlight- Dr. Sandra Adside Wright- Sept 2021

Forty-two years ago, what I thought was supposed to be a Good Friday was actually the most devastating day in my life. How could I prepare for the rest of my life without my 4-year-old child, even after decades later? The April 13, 1979 loss of my daughter, Glenecia LaSelle Cain (aka NeeNee), still overwhelms me today.

My fiancé at the time, Bruce, had been drinking at a Firestone company picnic and left there under the influence of alcohol. It was a very rainy day and when he pulled up to my sister’s, NeeNee just ran out of the house and jumped into the passenger front seat, something she never did. I promised her she could buy an Easter basket after I got off from work at the Miami Seaquarium, a 25-minute drive down U.S.1.

Bruce rarely drank, but as they were on their way to pick me up that evening, his driving caught the attention of two police officers who noticed the car haphazardly weaving in and out of traffic. As one of the officers attempted to turn on the sirens, Bruce veered off of the highway and hit a concrete pole on the front passenger side. Although NeeNee was wearing a seatbelt, the impact of the crash caused her head to hit the dashboard with such severe blunt force that she loss an immense amount of blood and never regained consciousness; she was pronounced dead shortly after the crash.

The doctors said that NeeNee didn’t suffer, but it disturbs me that she was afraid and that her mommy wasn’t there. Bruce, however, only received a small cut to his forehead and was arrested at the scene for drunken driving and vehicular homicide.

I am consistently reminded on the anniversary of the crash, but I have since tried to move on, married someone else, and now have two adult children.

1. What is your proudest achievement as a MADD volunteer?

To be able to participate and speak on behalf of MADD on the long-term effects the loss of a loved one has on family members.

2. This work can be hard. What gets you out of bed in the morning to further our cause?

So I may be able to be that encouragement to others suffering loss of a loved one.

3. How would you describe the work you do with MADD?

Working and speaking about my experiences can be trying, but it provides a bit of satisfaction knowing that someone else can benefit from hearing my story.

4. What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas is my favorite holiday because I love spreading the cheer, bringing joy to someone else, and seeing how families and friends come together to celebrate one major event that continues to change our lives each year.

5. Pineapple on Pizza – Yay or Nay? What is your favorite pizza topping?

I’d rather NOT have pineapple, but you’ll have me every time with pizza baked with fresh veggies!