On December 20, 2011 pregnant Andrea Manan was in the passenger seat of a Chevrolet Aveo on Highway 37 in Ontario, Canada. Her co-worker was driving and two teenage sisters from a nearby group home where Manan and her colleague worked were in the backseat. As they were waiting to make a left turn, a distracted transport truck driver texting on his cell phone hit the back of their car, pushing it into oncoming traffic. The car was struck again by another vehicle, and Andrea, her unborn child and her co-worker were killed instantly.
Andrea spent her whole life dedicated to making the world a better place for others, and for her that started with education. At the time of her death, Andrea, a social service worker with a Bachelor’s degree of applied arts in human service, worked for a group home dedicated to providing an understanding and kind atmosphere for young women who may have experienced trauma in their lifetime. She served as a teacher in their New Directions education program where she sought to adapt to each individual students’ needs.
According to her mother, Linda Henderson, education was a driving force throughout Andrea’s life. “Andrea embraced education and considered it lifelong. As she was having her own family, her goal was to care for some teens in her own home, and run her own group home,” she said. During her time in school, Linda remembers Andrea reading and writing avidly. After Andrea’s passing, her mother published a children’s book about sharing that Andrea wrote and illustrated in high school in her honor.
Above all, Andrea was endlessly kind-hearted, patient and dedicated to her family. She was a beloved wife to her husband, Imran Manan, and doting mother to her two year-old son, Tristan Soloman Manan and would have become the same passionate mother to her unborn child. “She loved her little boy with every beat of her heart, and I enjoyed our many conversations about every step of her motherhood with Tristan,” Linda said.
Linda now plans to follow Andrea’s passion for writing and education by writing a book about grief and the loss of a child. “My book is something I have wanted to do for many years but my grief was an obstacle. I have reached a place in my life where I can accomplish my goal,” Linda said. “In the first year of losing Andrea I was like a sponge, I read everything about grief and needed to know that I was not alone. My goal is to provide some hope to shattered lives and that survival is possible,” she continued. She also hopes to share Andrea’s story in an effort to honor her memory and stop distracted driving.