Mark Manion tell his heart-gripping story of being paralyzed by a drunk driver in a presentation at First Congregational Church on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.
Manion and his cousin, Mike, both teens at the time, were enjoying a cross-country bicycle trip from San Diego to Ely, Minn., when four young men were out enjoying a drive in their car. Those men combined drinking and driving and now Mike is dead and Manion is paralyzed.
The driver went to prison and the passengers live in the “prison of their minds,” Manion said.
Manion has been a guest speaker at schools, military bases, drug and alcohol recovery centers, and churches for approximately 15 years. He was San Diego County Victim Advocate of the Year in 2006 and Volunteer of the Year in 2002 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
He is also the author of “Unfinished Miles, One Man’s Unthinkable Journey,” and he has produced a 20-minute video of his story. He has appeared on radio and television and was recently on the cover and wrote the feature article for the Navy and Marine’s Ashore magazine.
Manion captivates audiences with his humor and down-to-earth, positive approach to life. His wheelchair makes a strong visual statement and his story gets people thinking about the choices they make and the consequences of those choices, especially in regards to drinking, driving and drugs.
“I think it would be great for families to bring their teenage kids,” said April Powell, with the office staff of In His Steps, a Christian recovery home in Ramona. “He’s unbelievable,” Powell said of Manion. “He’s quite a motivator.”
Manion’s 30- to 45-minute inspirational talk will be held during In His Steps’ Wednesday night program at First Congregational Church.