Hello everyone. I am proud and humbled to write to you today as MADD Canada's National President. When my son Craig died in an alcohol-related crash in 2008, the prospect of standing up in front of people or media and sharing my family's story was unimaginable. Like so many of the people who come to MADD Canada, I was trying to understand what had happened. I was trying to cope with (not accept, as I have come to realize, there is never acceptance), this new reality. I could not envision how my family and I were going to carry on in this new life without Craig.

Craig was a child any parent would have been proud to call their own. Beautiful inside and out, he grew up to be a thoughtful and caring young man. He excelled in sports, particularly hockey where his size allowed him to be a tough defenceman. He was devoted to his younger brother Shao, and his entire family. He was full of plans and ideas about what he would do with his future, describing each one to us more passionately than the next. In his last year, he focused on music, and was working on developing skills as a DJ. One of my cherished memories is of Craig proudly allowing me to listen to a mix he had made which he ironically titled "Life Goes On".

In my professional life, I am a social worker. I have more than 27 years of experience in this field, and I have a specialty in Trauma. I have accompanied countless parents and families in their journeys of grief and healing. While that experience and that knowledge helped me in many ways, learning to live without Craig is a daily struggle. His loss is so senseless. I will not say that it has become easier to share my story. I still get very emotional when I talk about Craig.

What has increasingly made sense to me though, and what has felt right to me, is my work with MADD Canada. I have come to understand that by telling Craig's story and by sharing MADD Canada's message, perhaps I can help another family avoid the pain and grief that so many of us have felt.

I joined the MADD Montreal Chapter and got involved in many of its events and activities. Eventually, I became President of the Chapter and, later, joined the National Board of Directors as the representative for the Quebec Region.

Now, here I am. I look forward to meeting and working with you over the next three years. I am committed to representing MADD Canada with a passionate, steady and knowledgeable voice. I will also continue to ensure that our perspective, as victims of impaired driving, is heard and heeded.

One of my first official duties at this year's National Leadership Conference was to thank our outgoing National President Denise Dubyk for her service. Denise has been a committed, skilled, compassionate and powerful leader for our organization. She often talks about how she has been inspired by others; I hope she knows how much of an inspiration she is to me personally, and to all of us. She has set an excellent example, and I will do all in my power to follow her lead.

Angeliki Souranis
National President

Last updated on: 2013-10-02 | Link to this post