Turning Pain Into Purpose

By Rosalind Donald, MADD Kentucky Victim Services Specialist

This story is about a mother who has paid her daughter’s cell phone bills since 2012.

What situation caused this parent to pay for her adult daughter’s cell phone bill for the past 5 years?

The reason is heart-breaking

Ashley Martinez

Her daughter, Ashley Martinez was killed in a drunk driving crash April 29, 2012. A drunk driver hit the 23 –year-old college student, who was studying to be an elementary school teacher,  head on.

Theresa Martinez, Ashley’s mother, pays the phone bill to have the comfort of hearing her daughter’s voice, the only thing she has left of her oldest daughter.

Theresa’s story certainly speaks volumes of her compassion and love for her beloved daughter. MADD is blessed, because soon after her daughter’s death, Theresa decided to serve as a MADD volunteer. She truly chose to turn the daunting pain of losing her daughter to the purpose of helping victims like herself with the sole purpose of ending drunk and drugged driving.

Recognizing courage

Theresa Martinez and Officer
I am so pleased to announce that her services to the community are being recognized soon. Along with retired NBA star Darrell Griffith and national hero Stephanie Decker, a courageous mom who lost her legs saving her children in the 2011 Henryville Tornado, our very own Theresa will receive the prestigious Bell Award in a televised red carpet award ceremony October 20.

It is the passion of courageous volunteers like Theresa, because of whom our mission succeeds, and, for that, I am ever grateful. It was my honor and privilege to nominate her for this wonderful award!

MADD Kentucky and the Bell Awards

In addition to the pageantry and celebrity of the Kentucky Derby, our WLKY Bell Awards makes our state shine.  The awards show is nicknamed the “Louisville’s Oscars” because participants show up in fancy gowns to walk down a red carpet and, at the end of the night, honorees receive prestigious awards.

It was shocking to me as a lifelong Louisvillian, who grew up watching the Bell Awards on TV, that MADD KY had never nominated a volunteer for the award. I set out to correct this by nominating one of the many exceptional MADD KY volunteers. When thinking of a volunteer who lives and volunteers in the greater Louisville, KY/Indiana area (known as Kentuckiana) and who dedicates countless unpaid hours to achieve MADD’s Mission to stop impaired driving and support the victims of the crime, Theresa Martinez was the first volunteer to come to mind.

MADD volunteerIn addition to volunteering for MADD, Theresa volunteers at the Attorney General’s office and on the board for Compassionate Friends. Today, Theresa also speaks publicly for KY highway safety events, as well as for Jefferson County court programs. She also works with various police departments and high schools throughout Kentucky. Theresa has also been active in on-going legislative efforts and has been monumental in advocating for victim’s rights in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Recently, Theresa expanded her role at MADD by training to volunteer as a victim advocate on our 24-hour victim national hotline. Theresa began working with the Bardstown, KY WALK and accelerated her activity around the state.

We are extremely proud of Theresa’s award and the good work she does for our state.


Volunteer With MADD


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