Enact Mandy's Law!
Enact Mandy's Law!
On March 2 2009 I lost my oldest daughter Amanda and her unborn baby daughter Abby to a fire in their home. She was 29 and 7 months pregnant. She left behind a 6 year old son named Dylan. There were no working smoke detectors. Some people just think they'll be ok. They can get by another week or month and then change the batteries or buy new ones. She is proof that a minute is even too long to wait.
Amanda was young, and vibrant. She loved life. She loved her kids and her three stepsons. She was months away from becoming a mother for the second time and also, graduating school and entering a new job field and phase in her life. She was three months away from turning thirty years old, and exploring a new decade of life when she dropped her son off at kindergarten one afternoon and went home to take a nap. The house caught fire some time between noon when she talked to her husband and two-thirty, when the fire department arrived. Amanda's aunt, Cindy, survived, but was crippled after falling off a second-story ledge. Amanda, or, Mandy, as we knew her, crawled under a mattress to try and fend off smoke and flames, both of which took her life, and the life of her unborn baby. A girl, like she had suspected for months.
It's been two years since we lost Mandy, and life, as it's often put, has gone on. But life isn't the same. She was a sister and a daughter, a cousin and a friend. And her presence in the world has been so sorely missed. Instead of burying themselves in their grief, her family, myself included, have decided to become activists. We don't know why Mandy, my baby, and Abby, her baby, were taken from us, but we know that we can help other people and try to prevent it from happening to other mothers, daughters, fathers and sons.
We want to make it illegal for insurance companies to insure anyone who fails a mandatory, routine inspection of their homes. Smoke detectors should be made mandatory in all Ohio (and possibly other states) homes.
We understand that up until now it has been a person's choice to have a safe home, and most people do. But too many don't. Smoke detectors are inexpensive and fire departments will provide them FREE OF CHARGE. There is NO excuse to not protect your home. There is no good reason to not check your batteries and change them regularly. The benefits far outweigh the hassle. You're here today, and as a human you have the right to live. Mandy had that right too. We hope her death will inspire each of you to live a little more cautiously.