Our guest on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast is Casey Parks of Mercer Island, WA., who is a deputy prosecuting attorney and father of two children, one of whom, Ford, was diagnosed with CTNNB1 Syndrome, a rare genetic deletion. We’ll hear the Parks family story and all about Casey’s wife Effie who created the Once Upon a Gene Podcast. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
For more information on CTNNB1 Syndrome go to https://www.ctnnb1.org
You can check out their Facebook page at: https://www.ctnnb1.org
To hear Effie’s podcast and to find out more go to https://effieparks.com
Find out about The Kindering Center at https://kindering.org
Dad to Dad 132 – Casey Parks of Mercer Island, WA Has A Son With CTNNB1 Syndrome, A Rare Genetic Deletion
[00:00:00] Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is thrilled to be sponsored by Rubin Law. A multi-generational law firm dedicated, exclusively to serving families, raising children with special needs.
Casey Parks: I think probably the number one thing I would say is be kind to yourself and be kind to those around you. Be kind to your spouse. And does your child understand and have grace for the fact that you are all going through something incredibly difficult and you’re all going to deal with it. In different ways.
Tom Couch: That’s Casey Parks, uh, deputy prosecuting attorney and father of two children. One of whom Ford was diagnosed with CTNNB 1 syndrome, a rare genetic deviation.
We’ll hear the park family story and all about Casey’s wife, Effie who has a successful podcast once upon a gene. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network, Dad to Dad [00:01:00] podcast. Here’s our host David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to this Special Fathers Network data dad podcast. I’d also like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the following donors who supported the 21 CD Ironman campaign.
Each contributed a thousand dollars or more to help keep our programs free. Thanks for your generous support.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is a Dad to Dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support dads, to find out more, go to [00:02:00] 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search Dad to Dad.
Tom Couch: And now let’s listen in on this conversation between Casey Parks and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Casey Parks of Mercer Island, Washington, who’s a deputy prosecuting attorney and a father of two, including his son Ford who has special needs. Casey, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for this Special Fathers Network.
Casey Parks: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really looking forward to it.
David Hirsch: You and your wife Effie have been married for five years now.
The proud parents of two children, daughter Esmay who’s one and son Ford. Who’s four, who was diagnosed with CTNNB1 syndrome, a rare genetic deletion. Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about yourself.
Casey Parks: Uh, I grew up here in the Seattle area. I’ve been on [00:03:00] Mercer Island since I was about nine years old on and off going to college.
That sort of thing ended up back here. Um, but for that was in Seattle, been here pretty much my whole life. Uh, my parents are both from Oklahoma. Um, and I’ve got an older brother who also lives in the area. Both parents still live near it. So, uh, we’re all very close and. I feel very fortunate to have them all still here.
David Hirsch: Formerly known as your parents now, the grandparents, correct?
Out of curiosity, um, what did or does your dad do for a living?
Casey Parks: Yeah, so my dad was technically an electrical engineer at Boeing. I say technically because that doesn’t, it just doesn’t even begin to cover what he actually did. His career was, was fascinating to watch growing up, especially as I got a little bit older and could understand some more of what he was doing, the things he was involved in.
A lot of that he couldn’t necessarily tell me about because it required security [00:04:00] clearances, but a lot of travel for Boeing working in different divisions on some pretty amazing projects. You know, I’d always joke. That’s all a lie. And he was actually like a secret undercover. CIA agent, because if you see him, he’s incredibly handsome and he’s incredibly ripped.
You know, he’s bought, he’s got a six pack he’s he’s over 70. Um, and the guy is in better shape than almost everybody at his exercise club that doesn’t works out every day. Smartest person you’ll ever meet, technically electrical engineer at the, at Boeing. Um, secret theory is, um, super spies for the CIA.
David Hirsch: Well, we’ll go with that story. So, uh, how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Casey Parks: Amazing, absolutely amazing. There’s so much that I can say about him. He was in a lot of ways. Still is my best friend growing [00:05:00] up. I didn’t want to go to parties during high school or anything like that. Um, I liked hanging out with my dad.
Uh, we go out on the weekends, we would go get a steak and watch a movie. Watch really terrible movies at home. And he still lives here on Mercer Island. Uh, so, so we get to be very, very close. Absolutely love him. We get together at least once a week to watch the Seahawks go Hawks. But a lot more than that, he’s just been everything to me, taught me, uh, how to think and how to be the person that I am.
David Hirsch: Well, that’s a wonderful testimonial from a son to a dad. So I’m hoping he’ll be able to listen to the podcast interview. Um, so I’m wondering if there’s any takeaways from your relationship, uh, something he said always said, or a lesson or two that you learned, uh, that you carry with you today?
Casey Parks: Yes, absolutely.
You know, I was actually just thinking about it earlier this week because being a [00:06:00] father and teaching me, like I said, teaching me how to think. Was always something that was extremely important to him and something that he thought about. Um, and so it is something that has carried on to me as a father to be very, very conscious and aware of how I am raising my children and who I am raising them to be.
And one of the things that he always said to me, you know, you’ve got this electrical engineer, hyper logical, hyper intelligence and data focused. And what he always said was that the most important thing that you will ever learn is how to be empathetic is how can understand where another person is coming from.
Because it doesn’t matter how much data you have. It doesn’t matter how much we’re all information you have. If you can’t apply it to the person that you can’t understand that person, the data’s not going to make sense. And obviously, uh, you know, that’s, that’s how you. Really get to [00:07:00] know somebody and it’s how you appreciate them.
And you appreciate everything that they’re doing as you see them. And you see where they’re coming from. That’s what’s always stuck to me more than anything else that I think my dad has probably ever taught. It’s being authentic. Make it intentional.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, that is interesting. Especially coming from somebody who might have an electrical engineering background, who would be sort of a analytical data driven, et cetera.
So, uh, thanks for mentioning that. From what I remember, you went to the university of Colorado, you worked for awhile, and then you went to law school and I’m wondering, what were you planning on doing once you graduated from university Colorado?
Casey Parks: Yeah, so that’s, uh, that is all accurate, but I actually went to the university of Colorado at Boulder for two years.
And then I decided that it just wasn’t the place for me. And I actually transferred back to the university of Washington where I finished my undergraduate degree after that. Yeah. I worked for a while. I just did a bunch of different stuff. [00:08:00] Um, I did retail, I did public relations. Um, I actually did catering for a while and at some point along the road, I realized that I wasn’t really happy in any of those positions.
And I took a step back and I thought about it and. From my perspective, there’s nothing wrong with any of those professions. I really respected the people that I worked with and every environment that I was with. And if there’s nothing wrong with any of them, then the question has to be what’s wrong. Um, and I, I came to the conclusion that, that I was the common denominator and that if I wanted to be happy, I needed to find what was going to make me happy.
So I took a little bit of time. I thought about it. And then we decided that the pursuit of law and specifically prosecution, criminal prosecution was my passion. Um, got to talk to some wonderful, wonderful people about that and, uh, was fortunate enough to get, to go back to university of Washington to get my water.
[00:09:00] David Hirsch: So you’ve been out of law school for how many years. And what path has your career check in? You?
Casey Parks: So I’ve been out of law school for six years and I was extremely fortunate. The way that the practice of law works, at least here in Washington state, is that they will, they start giving people opportunities after your what’s called your one L year.
It’s your first year of law school. After that year, they give you the opportunity to do what’s called an externship, which is basically an unpaid internship. You get to get your hands on cases. You get to kind of see what the practice of law is really like in a, in a criminal prosecution setting, because it is not for everybody.
It’s just not fortunate enough to come back the next year and do an internship. And I’ve been there ever since. And now I’m back into the DUIs. I’m supervising our younger attorneys. And teaching them how to do it and how we, um, what’s important in the office to us. [00:10:00] So, and how to, how to really be a trial attorney.
David Hirsch: Well, thanks for the quick fly by, and I’m happy to report that I’ve had very little experience with people like you, which probably has to do with the fact that knock on wood. I’ve had very few, uh, interactions with the law. So, uh, You’ve been married for five years. And I’m sort of curious to know how you and Effie met.
Casey Parks: Um, online, online is how we do it nowadays. We met on OkCupid and it was, I feel awfully, gosh, darn fortunate. Now looking back on it because I called her. Probably two or three times and canceled our first date. And it was, I was, I was so slammed at work. I was working until, uh, nine or 10 o’clock at night, and I said, I’m sorry, I can’t do it.
I have trial. And she had the incredible grace to wait for me and thank him as she did.
David Hirsch: Okay. Well, I [00:11:00] love that story and, uh, a lot of people are meeting online more so now than ever, right. Because of how everything works. So it vis-a-vis the internet. And did I pick up on something somewhere where she’s one of 13?
Casey Parks: Yes, sir. You did.
David Hirsch: Holy moly.
Casey Parks: Yeah. It’s about the size of my extended family is just getting together for her.
David Hirsch: Where is he in the birth order out of curiosity. Uh.
Casey Parks: He is one of what they call the four little girls. So she’s the fourth from the end. Okay. So she has three younger sisters.
One of four little girls, so, okay.
David Hirsch: So, um, how did this CT, N N B one diagnosis come about and what was the,
Casey Parks: yeah. When Ford was about four [00:12:00] months old. He just wasn’t, he wasn’t putting on weight. It would take an hour or two hours to try and feed him a bottle. And he just, most of it was spilling outside of his mouth and eventually it got bad enough.
He was obviously not comfortable. So on Halloween actually, Stephanie took him into the hospital and he was diagnosed with failure to thrive. We’ve got some. Adorable, but very sad photos of very sad dinosaur, uh, on that Halloween. And from there, it really, it was just kind of hanging on trying to figure out what was going on.
He was fairly quickly given an engine to, through the nose. That’s how we were, we were feeding him then and they said, Oh, you just need to get some weight on him. And everything will be fine. And we also fairly quickly came to realize that they didn’t really have much of a plan. Other than that, they weren’t [00:13:00] making any sort of plans to take the NG tube out or do anything with it.
They were just going to leave it until we pushed back on it, which we did eventually decided he needed to get a G-tube. Um, that’s still how forward it’s to this day. He just can’t um, can’t accept. Uh, so you threw them out a lot of guys and can’t really swallow them. So, you know, we, we just kept moving the who’s missing most milestones, uh, never setting up still can’t set up.
No, no real crawling, no walking, nothing, nothing like that. No talking. And so at 16 months he got a genetic test and he was diagnosed with CP and syndrome, which was incredibly rare. But at the time we were told there were about 30 other children in the world. That had been diagnosed with this specific condition.
And now we’re up to about 150 200 kids side. It seems to become kind of gotten onto [00:14:00] the map a little bit more and people are starting to look forward a little bit more, but obviously we’re talking about now a couple of hundred kids in the world, maybe, uh,
you know, so what is CTNNB1, then what.
What is it that it does or doesn’t do?
Yeah. So it’s a genetic deletion and there is a small piece of the CTE and the 1 gene that is cut off. And that prevents the body from producing beta Catenin, which is a type of protein that is extremely important in all sorts of things. Your body does. And so they, the affects that symptoms are fairly global.
Like I mentioned, it’s non-verbal you can say data. Thank goodness. And he has learned to say a few other small things. He has his way of saying mama, not necessarily like you where I would say it, but you know what he means. Um, and when he wants to talk about his sister, [00:15:00] he just gets out the ass. It’s just S and we know he’s talking about his sister.
He loves his sister so much. Um, and that’s really for physical speech. Um, he does have a number of different signs that he does sign language, um, consider a variety of different things. Um, but also still can’t sit, uh, can’t walk, he’s getting pretty darn good in this wheelchair, which is fun to watch. Give that kid some.
Some freedom movement and mobility, but boy, there are a bunch of different things. He has difficult difficulty with fine motor control, and
I can go on, well, good news, bad news, uh, getting the diagnosis and knowing what it is, you know, is a big step in the right direction. But the reality is that he still has all these challenges.
And I’m wondering if you can think back a number of years now, cause you mentioned he was diagnosed at 16 months and he’s over four. What [00:16:00] was it that was going through your mind? What was it that you and Nephi were talking about?
Um, boy, that was a, uh, incredibly different and, uh, difficult. And, and actually, and I handled it in very different ways.
The way that I kind of processed it was, I heard you don’t know really what the syndrome is. And you know, that it is a spectrum of the children that are affected by CGM one. It’s a very wide spectrum. Some of them want some of them talk, so they didn’t really know whether or not he would be able to do those things.
And I kind of just looked at it like, okay, we’re just going to work and we’ll get him to that point and we’ll be able to, and I think Jeff was maybe hit a little bit more just by the shell shock of, of. Mainly not the smoothest delivery ever by our genetics team. Your son’s never gonna walk. He’s never going to talk.
He’s never going to do any of these things. [00:17:00] And so I kind of kept my view is as a little bit of an open book and said, we just don’t know. And she, she really hunkered down and she started figuring out how to address a lot of the problems that you did have. Got her started down the path that she’s on now.
Um, if her podcast and you ever get an advocate and she’s just, she’s amazing. So really, really thankful for her and her dedication to your son and to this community.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. It seems like a very dark period when you go back and think about it. And I hate to hear these stories at some level, but.
It’s all about what your child’s not going to be able to do block talk, et cetera. Right. As opposed to, you know, being more, I don’t know if it’s objective and just saying odds are right. You know, and snuff out that [00:18:00] opportunity. A reason for hope you don’t want to be in denial. About what the diagnosis is or the reality of it.
But, uh, doctors don’t know, nobody knows only God knows, you know, what you know, someone’s destiny is. And, um, all too often we find that, you know, there’s reason to be concerned, but you know, when you look back five or 10 years and think, well, God, he was never supposed to walk or talk or do anything and now look what he’s doing.
So. I’m hoping that if nothing else, your expectations have been beat down so that anything that’ll transpire is only, you know, a lot better than perhaps was first suggested. So thanks for sharing.
Casey Parks: Yeah. I would say my expectations are just to see what Ford does. I don’t, I don’t really have any, there is, there’s actually a, a little story that, uh, epi heard somewhere that I thought is the best.
Representation [00:19:00] of how we like to go about this, this journey, but it’s just this idea that your entire life you’ve been planning a trip you’ve wanted to go to Ireland and you’ve been looking forward to it. You’ve been planning it, knowing where you’re going to go and knowing what you’re going to experience.
Um, and you get off the plane and you’re in Finland. And this is not the experience that you were planning on having. And if you. Focus on the things that you don’t have, the things that you’re not experiencing, that you were expecting to, you’re going to be miserable. And if instead you stop and you look around at where you are and you appreciate the absolute stunning view of the place where you are in life and appreciate the new things that you’re getting to experience that you never would have otherwise.
That’s how you find happiness in this sort of in this situation. And, and that’s, that’s where I ended up.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for mentioning [00:20:00] that. It’s actually, um, it’s a poem and the poem’s title is welcome to, huh?
Casey Parks: Oh, Holland, Finland.
David Hirsch: From literally 1987, it’s come up in conversations before. So I know a little bit about it by Emily, Pearl Kingsley.
I think the gist of it was you’re you’re planning. I think in the poem, it was a trip to Italy and you get off the plane and they say welcome to Holland. You’re like, well, wait a second. I, I bought tickets to go to Italy. Um, I didn’t want to go to holiday and you sort of, and it’s a metaphor for. You know, having a child or in some cases, children with differences, Hey, I didn’t sign up for this.
I didn’t ask for this, but this is your reality, I think, and you know, just basic terms, you have to make that adjustment and the quicker you can do that and accept the sort of facts as they are and make the most of the situation. It’s like, Hey, this is a pretty cool place too. I wouldn’t have thought about that.
Right. And there’s, you know, different. Ways to look at [00:21:00] things in different celebrations that you have. And I think that where I’ve heard it expressed Casey, is that you’re able to look at and celebrate some of the smaller things, right? Some of the things we just take for granted. And I think that sort of ties into what I heard you saying about your dad, which is your ability to empathize becomes much greater.
Because it gives you a better appreciation for, you know, what so many other families are experiencing that you would not have even given a second thought to. Absolutely. Were there some important decisions you made either early on or more recently that have really made a big difference?
Casey Parks: Sure. There’ve been a ton of decisions along the way.
You know, uh, just recently probably the most recent one is, or just went down to a very intensive physical therapy program. It’s called Napa. Not like Napa Valley, although it is on California. Um, I feel like they should give you a glass of wine when they get there just to just make it feel [00:22:00] better. But after you just took four down there for three weeks and he did just incredible with the, the specific technologies that they had and the Rumi dedicated staff that they had.
Wonderful. He just got back three days ago. Now, Sunday night. And just last night I took him his hippotherapy. So, so horse riding therapy, um, which he does once a week, um, which is also absolutely wonderful for him. Tremendous by the time we were done, his therapist was repeatedly saying how incredible it was that she had seen so much growth in this three to four week jump based on this, this camp from, for him.
Uh, that I think she said it was, it was the most growth she’s ever seen out of a trial in that period of time. Wow. Yeah, really amazing. So taking advantage of opportunities like that has been something [00:23:00] probably the biggest thing that we’ve done, a single biggest change that we’ve made is Effie changed her whole life.
She became a broadcaster should really be him an advocate in a lot of different ways.
I’m Effie parks. Welcome to once upon a Jean, a podcast, this is a place I created for us to connect and share the stories of our nuts. So typical lives raising kids who are born with rare genetic syndromes and other types of disabilities can feel pretty isolating. What I know for sure is that when we can hear the triumphs and challenges from others who get it, we can find a lot more laughter a lot more hope.
Feel a lot less alone. I believe there are some magical healing powers that can happen for all of us through sharing our stories and I’ll take all the help I can get. Uh, when she started, when we first got our diagnosis, she [00:24:00] felt alone in a lot of ways. Obviously she has this tremendous family. She has tremendous friends and you’re right there in the thick of it, but she still.
Didn’t know where to go. Didn’t know what to do, and didn’t feel like there were resources out there to guide her. And she really had to find them, find her people is how she puts it. And that led her to podcasts and they made a big, big difference for her. And eventually she just decided that that was what she was passionate about.
That that’s what she wanted to do. Um, so she started her podcast once upon a gene. She interviews different people in the, in the rare disease community once a week, that started actually last Halloween’s on the anniversary of the day we took for then for the first time, since then she’s done over 50 interviews, she’s got over 10,000 downloads.
[00:25:00] She’s coming up on getting a thousand followers. Uh, just, it’s been an incredible journey to watch her. Do these things, um, and to change her life in this way.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, I love this story. So let’s switch gears and talk about beyond your own personal experience and use the podcast. As the stepping off point, it was born out of this sense of loneliness and trying to find.
Connections with other people that can identify with what it is that your family was experience. And what’s really remarkable. One, you just take a step back is that, uh, you’re this young family, you’ve got two young children and for most people that would be a full challenge. And then when you add Fords, different abilities and for most people that plate’s full and somehow some way Effie has found the time, not only to educate herself, but then step on the other side of the microphone.
If you will. And to create a podcast and, you know, connect with [00:26:00] other people and tell these inspiring stories. And I’ve listened to at least a dozen of the podcasts that are amazing. And I know that, uh, she’s started something a little bit different more recently. She’s got the podcast or these interviews with individuals on all different, you know, parts of the rare disease community.
And she started doing something a little bit different. So what’s the backstory there.
Casey Parks: Yeah. So one of the things that she heard a lot was people wanting to know more about her and hearing more about board. So what she did was she started losing every other Tuesday, a little snippet, maybe five, five minutes long or so where she’ll just talk about what’s going on in Ford’s life.
And given that these are more fun, light little episodes, she took the obvious step, I think, um, and, and decided to name them at her episodes. Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in today. You’re listening to another episode. [00:27:00] These are short little bits and happenings, and what’s going on in the parks household of raising our own little rare dude.
It’s a way for you to get to know me a little better. There is a new moon V from Disney called soul that is out and there has been a buzz in the rare disease community surrounding it’s released because there’s a part in it that talks about rare disease in some way. And anytime that disability or rare diseases brought up, we’re always
David Hirsch: really excited episodes, not episodes.
Yeah, sure. That’s fair. Very creative. I love it. I love it. So, um, beyond the podcast, I know that there’s a Facebook page and I thought it was a really creative name, built Ford tough. Which if you asked 10 people on the street, what does that mean? They would say that that’s the Ford motor company. So I know that’s where the idea came from.
And I’m wondering how that started. And what’s involved with the Facebook page as well.
Casey Parks: Oh. You know, the Facebook page really [00:28:00] came out even before the podcasts. Um, and it was a way that he controlled having to answer the same questions over and over and over about forward, especially early in your journey.
That’s just tough. Like, you know, people are, people are asking, is hoard walking yet? Is he talking yet? What’s he doing? And just having to answer that over and over and over again, especially, um, she was a hairstylist at the time, uh, had her own salon, um, she’s since moved on from that to pursue her podcast.
But having to answer that so much was difficult. So instead of having to do that, what she did was she made a Facebook page for it, uh, called built Ford tough. I’m actually drinking out of a right now that says the same thing. And, um, she posts the updates there so that everybody that cares about board that wants to be involved in his journey and follow it and track.
It can just be a part of that community.
David Hirsch: I love it. Uh, so for all those people listening to this podcast who either own a [00:29:00] four to work for Ford, it just a matter of time I’m predicting before a Ford will be one of the sponsors of the podcast, or somehow get behind the effort that you’re putting out there.
So thanks for sharing. And there was a reference in a prior conversation about the Kindering center, and I’m wondering. What that is. And what role has that played in your life specifically?
Casey Parks: Well, the Kindering center is a blessing. Absolutely. Just a blessing. They are a wonderful program. I should honestly know more about, I know that they are out here in Seattle.
I don’t know. Um, if they are national, they focus on daycare and preschool for children, with disability of some sort or another. That was really the first program that we were able to get poured into on a regular basis where he was going in weekly and he would get to see other children that had other, other disabilities that they [00:30:00] were dealing with and some wonderful people.
Just incredible people that we met through. There is teachers and other people that were bringing their children and really built that community and help our little boy along the way, and then just cared so much about Ford. So they’re an organization that we’re still very much not supportive and try to be involved with.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. I’ve known of the Kindering center for literally two decades. James May I think who was the founding executive director. I’m not sure exactly what his title was and I crossed paths literally decades ago. And, uh, they do some amazing work. The reputation, you know, exceeds their footprint there locally there in Washington.
So I’m just thrilled, uh, to give them a shout out as it relates to your own experience as well. So I’m thinking about advice and I’m wondering what important takeaways come to mind if there’s any advice that you might share with a family with an even younger child?
[00:31:00] Casey Parks: Sure, absolutely. I think probably the, the number one thing I would say is be kind to yourself and be kind to those around you, be kind to your spouse.
And does your child understand and have grace for the fact that you are all going through something incredibly difficult and you’re all going to deal with it in different ways? I sure as heck. Wasn’t perfect. It was incredibly difficult on epi. Um, there were a lot of tears, uh, just all around and have the grace to not think that that is weakness or a fault in yourself or your significant other to not be able to take this blow without staggering Tangan move forward and just appreciate what you see around you.
And give that grace to yourself.
David Hirsch: Well [00:32:00] said, I’m sort of curious to know why you’ve agreed to be involved with the Special Fathers Network.
Casey Parks: Because I think it’s important too, to hear different voices. And really, I have to give all credit to my wife who, without her, I don’t think that I would be putting my voice out there.
I tend to be fairly private. I’m not going to stick my neck out and really get involved in a lot of different things, but seeing the way that she has has gone out and the impact that she has had on other people’s minds and listening to her, speak on the importance of this community and building this community.
It’s made me more comfortable. It has opened those doors for me internally where this is something wow. Now I I’m, I’m happy to talk about with other people and if I can help some other person along the way that was in the SA [00:33:00] that is, is, or was, or will be in the same place that ethanol when I it’s my honor to do that.
David Hirsch: Well, we’re thrilled to have you, and it’s not lost on me that, you know, you have four plus years of fathering experience. Uh, you might actually be one of the beneficiaries of what it is that we’ve created with a Special Fathers Network with these hundreds and hundreds of dads who have lots of different experiences and maybe not one with the exact diagnosis that Ford has, but similar enough diagnoses and experiences where I’m hoping that you can pick up some valuable insights that, uh, help you help your family.
Put a journey in perspective and make the most of the situation.
Casey Parks: Yes, absolutely.
David Hirsch: So let’s give a special shout out to your amazing wife, Effie for helping connect us.
Casey Parks: Yep. And bless Effie. She is wonderful.
David Hirsch: Is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Casey Parks: No, thank you so much for having me on the show for those who haven’t [00:34:00] gotten a chance to listen to Matthew’s podcast once upon a chain, I hope they do.
My, my favorite part of every episode is at the very end where AFI has Ford’s lap recorded. Um, it is the most magical sound that I have ever heard and it just, boy, it makes me smile every time I hear it. And I think it would, uh, for someone else out there as well. I don’t know what kind of day you’re having, but if you need a little pick me up, Ford’s got you.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, it is amazing. It’s like an effervescent, right? It just really helps underscore what’s important. Right? And that we’re raising happy kids. We’ll be sure to include information in the show notes on Once Upon a Gene podcast, built Ford tough, uh, Facebook page, the [00:35:00] Kindering center, and some information about CTNNB1 as well as any contact information.
Casey, thank you for taking the time in many insights.
As a reminder, Casey is just one of the Dads who’s part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs. If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own, please go to 21stcenturydads.org.
Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know. The 21st century dad’s foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free.
To all concerned, please consider making a tax deductible full contribution. I would really appreciate your support.
Casey, thanks again.
Casey Parks: Thank you.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the Dad to Dad podcast presented by the Special Fathers Network. The Special Fathers Network is a dad, dad mentoring program for [00:36:00] fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers go to 21stcenturydads.org. That’s 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help, or we’d like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search Dad to Dad also, please be sure to register for the Special Fathers Network bi-weekly the zoom calls. Held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story or know of a compelling story, please send an email to David@21stcenturydads.org.
Tom Couch: If you enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen.
The Dad to Dad podcast was produced by Couch Audio for the Special Fathers Network. [00:37:00] Thanks again to Rubin Law for supporting the Dad to Dad podcast. Call Rubin Law at (847) 279-7999. And mention the Special Fathers Network for a free consultation.