One minute Renaye was living life dancing, graduating from high school and fostering a future with her boyfriend; the next she was fighting for her life. While waiting in a stalled car on the highway, a distracted driver hit the car Renaye was in, pushing it into the path of an oncoming semi truck. Renaye’s tailbone was broken, as was her jaw on both sides. Her pelvis was cracked and she suffered a major brain injury causing her to lose two years of memory. Renaye persevered through many months of recovery at four different hospitals. As an outpatient at the Glenrose she faced intense rehabilitation to relearn everything.
Many therapies were painful. The impact of Renaye’s brain injury and the associated memory loss presented significant challenges, yet she found strength in humour and preventing others from suffering the same tragedy. With the support of her parents, she started Renaye Against Distracted Driving – radd.ca – which launched a successful petition to urge the passing of Bill 204, thereby raising the distracted driving fine and demerit points in Alberta. Renaye is now a strong advocate for change and her courageous perspective to see beyond her serious injuries has led her to become a positive role model. She speaks at schools and has further aspirations to influence tougher distracted driving penalties. “I am not mad because I have helped change laws, that’s nothing to be mad about.”
“Renaye and her family demonstrated tremendous courage during an impossibly tragic time. They have faced it together; at times her parents are strong for her and at other times Renaye provides the strength. They live courage encouraged. Together they mean to change distracted laws so that other families do not need to experience what they went through.” – Don, Shauna, Michelle & Team