The X-Man Foundation strives to educate drivers to the dangers of distracted driving with an emphasis on texting.
In a whole new world of distractions through the introduction of cell phones, we are tasked with what some would deem the impossible.
Mom and Spokeswoman Valetta Bradford says keeping silent is her impossible. In the beginning of Xzavier’s paralysis, Valetta would wake up and for just the briefest of moments believe that her son was unharmed and that this would be just another ‘normal’ day. Then reality hit like a ton of bricks and Valetta recounts that in those moments her advocacy began.
She cannot keep silent and I believe this stance has been very supportive for her son to get through the grieving stages of what he has lost in this life to a distracted driving moment.
Xzavier Davis-Bilbo was five years old when he was struck in the confounds of the Lee Elementary School’s crosswalk. He is paralyzed from the diaphragm down and now depends upon a respirator for every breath.
Valetta has hosted an annual walk-a-thon on or near the anniversary of Xzavier’s injuries which is October 10th of 2010.
The theme for every one of our annual events is a Survivor-Hero mode.
Xzavier is important because he has survived. He has to deal with the consequences of his injuries and those consequences are so severe, he now depends upon a 16 hour medical regimen for his daily survival.
Valetta has told us some days this is an hour to hour struggle. Mom Valetta is Xzavier’s primary caregiver. Her dedication to making every day the best day she can possibly make it for Xzavier goes way beyond what I can describe for you here and would also invade Xzavier’s privacy as I would be describing medical procedures that do not concern you but must be performed every day none the less to ensure Xzavier’s survival.
Further crippling these complications is an economic decision Valetta was forced to make shortly after Xzavier was assaulted.
Fortunately Valetta owned her home before Xzavier was struck by a distracted driver. She only received $25K dollars from the distracted driver’s insurance to care for her son Xzavier in this condition for the rest of his life.
That money was used up quickly on purchasing a second hand wheelchair accessible van and remodeling the bathroom in her home to be able to accommodate the medical procedures that Xzavier now depends on and installing a wheelchair lift to their home.
The second hand wheelchair accessible van completely broke down in the Fall of 2014 and Xzavier has had to sit out most of the appearances in the ‘Don’t text 4 X’ campaign since he lost his transportation.
The newest development is that Xzavier’s wheelchair is not holding up well enough to allow him to make the trip on the school bus to his school. It’s not sturdy enough to allow him safe mobility.
Mom Valetta and a handful of volunteers at The X-Man Foundation are busy scouting all avenues at our disposal that will replace Xzavier’s wheelchair. We will enter our third week of wheelchair resourcing tomorrow.
Many people think that this equipment is free. It is not. After two weeks of working on this situation, we have come up with a source who discounts wheelchairs and for an electric wheelchair, we are still talking thousands of dollars.
Xzavier does indeed require an electric wheelchair because he also lost most of the use of his right hand. Mom Valetta says, “X went in a rightie and came out a leftie.”
These setbacks are disparaging.
For people like Xzavier and mom Valetta Bradford, no matter how disparaging the odds, the instinct to survive is stronger than all the opposition they have come across so far.
Mechanical breakdowns, loss of income, crowd funding disappointments, have all been par for the course on top of Xzavier’s paralysis, his 16 hour a day medical regimen, now his homeschooling. I have to interject here that this is all on top of the very real need to monitor Xzavier’s respirator and for that Valetta has to hire a night nurse because no Wonder Mom can do it all without sleep.
These and more are all the issues Valetta Bradford has to deal with everyday and that is on top of running a household, which we all know takes more time than any of us really have.
Frankly, I have no idea how Valetta turned herself into a national spokeswoman and advocate against distracted driving, but click on this link and it will take you to a Cliff’s Notes version of that very journey.
Xzavier was honored on October 11, 2014 with a proclamation of ‘Xzavier Day’ by Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Wisconsin for his work in the ‘It Can Wait’ and the ‘Don’t text 4 X’ campaigns. Xzavier also received a citation from the State of Wisconsin.
Werner Herzog directed the PSA for AT&T, Sprint, & Verizon that featured Valetta and Xzavier. Werner said he was so impressed by Valetta, that he went back to AT&T, Sprint, & Verizon and asked them to produce the documentary ‘From One Second to the Next’ which they did and you can now view on Youtube.
Xzavier got to go to the premiere of ‘From One Second to the Next’ in Hollywood!
And that is what winning feels like because Xzavier is important. We are not asking for people to follow the laws of the land because we know that people view distracted driving as a minor mishap. Of course everyone knows that they should keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road, yet everyone I know is driving around and they look at their phones every time it rings.
Just imagine the impact this duo has when they make appearances. Valetta and Xzavier have appeared at driving schools, colleges, high schools, other walk-a-thons, radio stations and local news stations in their campaign ‘Don’t text 4 X’. They have been interviewed by Katie Couric.
Meeting Valetta and Xzavier is a profound moment in any driver’s life. It may even give these drivers pause before continuing on in a determined course of distracted driving.
We are going to find sponsors that will get them back on the campaign trail with all of the equipment they need. That is winning.
The life saving work of advocacy against distracted driving is being carried out by many families of the victims of distracted driving. Bills are being passed that will ban cell phone use while driving. Then we are still left with enforcing these laws. This is an epidemic that needs all of our efforts if we ever want our roads to be shared appropriately again.
Every time his story is told, a driver becomes more aware of why we all need to watch the roads. That means lives are saved and that is WINNING!!
Please contact Valetta Bradford at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to donate to The X-Man Foundation. You can also donate to The X-Man Foundation at any Educator’s Credit Union nationwide.
The X-Man Foundation is a federally recognized non-profit under Section 501 (3)(c).