For No More Stolen Childhoods Vice President Christian Mester, life is like solving a puzzle. Though his work as a trial lawyer at his practice McCarthy, Winkelman & Mester LLP does involve the investigation and prosecution of medical negligence cases, the mysteries he aims to solve go far beyond financial settlements and sanctions. For Christian, the pictures he tries to paint for both himself and others center around justice, hope, and healing.
Christian first became involved with No More Stolen Childhoods in September of 2015. At the time, he was serving on four boards, and with the end of his term on a school board, he was eager to step down to only being a member of three. That all changed when he met Wayne Coffey, No More Stolen Childhoods’ founder. Christian was undoubtedly moved by Wayne’s survivor story and the two formed an immediate bond.
“There was no way I was going to say no,” Christian says, explaining his decision to take yet another board member position and step up to a leadership role within the organization.
Being a member of the NMSC board serves as an extension of Christian’s professional calling as an attorney. Like many of the other organizations on whose boards he serves —Brigance Brigade Foundation, NASA Catholic Alumni League, and the Parent Board for the Eagle Swim Team— Christian sees NMSC as an opportunity to provide others with the resources they need to live a complete and fulfilling life. These pieces, whether they be contact information, the dispersal of public knowledge, or the funding of counseling grants all work together the positively impact people’s lives.
As a medical malpractice attorney, Christian sees many gaps in the ways in which child sexual abuse and other forms of trauma are handled within the U.S. healthcare system. Speaking to the financial burden that often comes with counseling services, he states that there is a rather obvious choice to be made when it comes to choosing between putting food on the table or paying rent and paying for therapy. Through the work done by NMSC, Christian hopes for a future where seeking counseling is as important to the bigger picture of individuals’ health and wellness as sustenance and shelter.
Both in his professional and personal endeavors, Christian tries to make a difference in any way that he can. He tells me that one of two quotes that he lives by comes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s letters from Birmingham Jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The sentiment of ensuring that everyone is accounted for is one that Christian holds close to him. Moreover, he has dedicated his career to holding those who have wronged others accountable for their actions, for the sake of offering closure to the wounded.
In a recent case his firm settled, two parents who lost their 19 year old daughter to brain meningitis in Washington D.C. were offered a nice settlement, which the couple in turn used to start a scholarship in their late daughter’s name. According to Christian, this settlement, which comes three years after their daughter’s death, was the final piece to a life of continued healing for these parents and a step towards a sense of closure that they had been missing.
Christian’s dedicated service on NMSC’s board is deeply valued by the rest of the team.