Son killed by drunk driver gives Madison mother a mission to save others’ lives

MADISON, Ala. - Mothers would do anything for their children, but planning something in their memory on Mother's Day weekend hardly seems right.

"He loved Bob Jones Football and I wanted to do something in the memory of Dez, Bob Jones football, because that was his heart," Amy Dennis, Dezmond Dennis' mother, said to a crowd of people attending the first Dez Dennis Memorial 9K.

Dennis remembers October 25, 2013 like it was yesterday.

"It's not only his life that was affected," Dennis said. "It was our lives that were affected by carelessness. It took the wind out of us."

October 25, 2013 is the day a drunk driver killed her son on Martin Road.

"You young guys that loved Dez so much, just remember what killed him," Dennis said to the crowd, "It was drinking and driving."

She remembers why she's walking this challenging journey, even on her worst days.

"It took me three years to get up and get this going because it took me three years to get up out of the bed."

Despite the heartache, Dennis finds ways to move her son's mission, like planning Saturday's race at Bob Jones High School.

"I never want to forget who Dez was and where he came from, and it's been hard," Dennis said.

Dozens of people came together for the love of one man while a mother, committed to saving others, challenged them to make smart decisions.

"I did it and I'm going to continue doing this cause I'm going to keep Dez alive," Dennis said about picking herself up and carrying on. "I'm his voice."

The money raised at the race benefits the Bob Jones High School Football Team. Dez proudly wore the #9 jersey on the field, which is the reason for the 9K race. Dennis hopes it gets bigger each year.