“It can wait.” Those words pack a powerful message for LaSandra Cleaves. A message she wishes had reached the distracted driver who crashed into her son, Fletcher, in 2009, instantly changing him from a college football starter to a quadriplegic. A message that Fletcher eventually delivered as spokesperson for a national campaign to raise awareness that no post, text, search, glance or email is worth a life.
Cleaves and her husband credit Shepherd Center of Atlanta with teaching them how to care for Fletcher in his new body. After the accident, they spent six months at the nonprofit hospital devoted to spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Regions is donating $1,000 to Shepherd Center in honor of her Better Life Award.
Cleaves, a Commercial Banking paralender in Memphis, Tenn., is the December 2016 recipient of the Regions Bank Better Life Award. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community.
Cleaves’ positive attitude influenced Fletcher to graduate college, move out on his own and learn to drive his own specially-equipped truck. She and her husband often mentor other quadriplegics and their families, providing hope and inspiration. In addition to that work, Cleaves is also a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants wishes of terminally ill children.