145 – Jeremy Kredlo of Seattle, WA Is Raising His Two Granddaughters with Special Needs
Our guest this week on the SFN Dad to Dad Podcast is Jeremy Kredlo. Jeremy is single and has two granddaughters with special needs, making Jeremy a senior member of the Special Fathers Network, a Special Grandfather, if you will. He also spends a great deal of time helping other dads at the Washington State Fathers Network and Arc of King County. We’ll hear all about his life and what makes him tick on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Find out about the Washington State Fathers Network: https://fathersnetwork.org
Find out about the Parent to Parent Program at the Arc of King County: https://arcofkingcounty.org/services/parent-to-parent.html
Contact Jeremy Kredlo at: email@example.com
Tom Couch: Special, thanks to horizon therapeutics for sponsoring today’s special father’s network. Dad to dad podcast, horizon therapeutics believes that science and compassion must work together to transform lives. That’s why they work tirelessly later. Research develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases.
Discover more about horizon therapeutics, mission to boldly change the lives of the patients and communities at horizontherapeutics.com
Jeremy Kredlo: You mentionedearlier, what a blessing I’ve been to Kylie. And the reality is, and I, and this is something that I tell people quite frequently. Kylie has been a blessing to me. I am a much better man, because of her.
I have learned empathy and compassion and patience from her. And if she had not come into my life, I would be a significantly more selfish. Self-absorbed impatient intolerant person. And I probably wouldn’t like the man that I was
Tom Couch: our guests this week. Jeremy Kredlo Jeremy is single and has two granddaughters with special needs making Jeremy a senior member of the special father’s network
a special grand father, if you will, we’ll hear about Jeremy’s life and what makes him tick on this special father’s network. Dad to dad podcast say hello to David Hirsch. Hi,
David Hirsch: and thanks for listening to the dad to dad, podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special. Presented by the special father’s network.
Tom Couch: The special father’s 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 21st century dads.com.
David Hirsch: And if your 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 death.
Tom Couch: And now let’s hear this conversation between Jeremy Kretlow and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Jeremy of Seattle Washington, who works in it at the Boeing employees credit union, and who is the father of two daughters as well as two granddaughters who have special needs.
Jeremy, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the special father’s day. My pleasure, David, you and your former wife were married for three years. Going back 21 years ago, you are the proud father of two daughters, Kirsten 30, who you adopted and your biological daughter Aryana 25. You also have two grand daughters, Kylie 12 and Ramona three, who both have special needs.
Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family. Sure.
Jeremy Kredlo: So I grew up in Northwest Indiana. Right around lake Michigan. My parents were married for about three years and divorced, uh, my father, Tim at the time that I was seven moved out to Washougal Washington.
While my mother Connie stayed behind in Northwest Indiana, I grew up. Primarily raised by my mother, along with my half-brother and half-sister who were both considerably older than me. My father, Tim made a concerted effort to stay involved in my life by having me fly out and spend parts of the summer with him.
And sometimes Christmas holiday throughout my childhood and well into my teenage years. I also was able to spend a couple of different school years living with him in Washougal. But for the majority of the time I was living with my mom in a single parent household. And my father was not in the picture on a day-to-day basis.
David Hirsch: Okay, so just to recap, uh, you have two older half siblings, your mom raised you primarily, you did spend some time with your biological dad, Tim, as you’re growing up, but predominantly raised by your mom. And then I remember that, uh, your mom was remarried and there was a stepdad or maybe two in the picture.
Jeremy Kredlo: My mom was, she had been made married previously. She got married again when I was about 11 and divorced, not long after that. And there were a couple of different men in my life who played a father figure type of role. She had a fiance who unfortunately passed away unexpectedly and then another long-term boyfriend who was in the picture for a few years, but most of my formative years were spent without a, um, male father figure other than my dad being out on the west coast.
David Hirsch: Fair enough. So how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Jeremy Kredlo: It was. Both fantastic. And a little bit terrible. It was fantastic in that my dad in a lot of ways taught me what the type of man I wanted to be looked like. And he did that by example, by exemplifying certain behaviors and qualities that I found admirable, it was terrible because he wasn’t there.
He left when I was seven and moved halfway across the United States. And while he made an effort to stay involved in terms of having me fly out and stay with him during the summers and made, made me a priority. When I was there, there was a part of me that as I was growing up, wondered why he didn’t stay.
Why I wasn’t important enough to him to have him not move halfway across the country. And so it was, uh, the type of relationship that had both pros and cons. I’m sort of
David Hirsch: curious to know what were some of the more important takeaways from your relationship with your dad or important lessons that you’ve learned?
Jeremy Kredlo: So there were a couple of stories that stand out to me. Actually, my father passed away from stomach cancer earlier this year in March. And. I had spent some time with him both before and after he went on hospice and we had talked through quite a bit of, quite a bit of the story of our relationship and the things that we’d done together over the years, many of which were pretty humorous misadventures.
If you will. I started writing a series of stories. Titled shit. My dad taught me, which were really these slices of these memories that I had of times that we were together, where he had, he had taught me valuable life lessons, without that being the intention, these weren’t experiences where he sat me down and said, let me tell you how life works on.
These were just things that I had seen him do, um, experiences that I’d had with him that fundamentally. Kind of formed who I am as a man. One of the stories was about a night that he and I were driving back from town along the Washougal river road. It’s about. 12 miles of just winding road, the river on one side and steep cliff on the other.
And it’s pretty hazardous, but normally my dad was pretty comfortable going well above the speed limit because he knew every curve of that road. He drove an old beat up pickup truck cause he was the kind of guy that always put a truck pickup truck to good use. And normally we’d be blasting some George Thoroughgood or fabulous Thunderbirds on the radio.
And he’d be singing along in some pretty off key tone, deaf pitch, but we didn’t have the radio on this time. And we were crawling along about 10 miles under the speed limit because there was a freak ice storm that had come out of nowhere and we don’t get that kind of weather in Washington. Very often the road was pretty hazardous and as he inched along.
He came around the corner and there was a line of tail lights up ahead, and he tapped on his brakes and the truck started fishtailing went back and forth across the road and eventually slid off into this gravel turnout. And we realized that there were about a dozen cars that had done the same. And that, that was where the light, the tail lights were from.
No, my dad hit the steering wheel, angry. Yeah. Some temper issues, never ones that he took out on. Other people just didn’t have a lot of patience and got frustrated easily. And then he threw his hat and coat on and told me to do the same jumped out of the truck and just started walking towards the front of the line.
My dad was not an intimidating man. He didn’t have a commanding presence about him, but when he, there was work to be done and something that needed to happen. Did it. So he walked by a couple of guys, told them, Hey, go head back up the road and play traffic controller, make sure nobody else slides into the ditch.
Just keep waving them through. Cause as soon as they slow down, they’re going to do the same, thing’s going to happen. And we walked up to the back of the first, uh, Subaru station wagon with this gentleman standing there looking bewildered was about 90 years old, I think. And my dad just said, Hey. Jump in there and throw it, throw your car in gear.
And me and my boy, I’ll put some muscle into getting it out, leaned into leaned in the back of the station wagon and we pushed and the tire spun and we got covered in slush and it finally caught some gravel and it took off and I fell on my face and my dad laughed at me. Finally, when I got up and kind of wiped myself off, we went on to the next.
And then a couple of guys joined us and we went to the next car and a couple of guys joined us. And before you knew it, we had every car that had slid out in front of us off the road. And by this time there was still another half a dozen stacked up behind us. We jumped in the truck. All of our new found friends, helped push us out.
And we got back onto the road and I cheered shivering, soaking wet. Couldn’t wait to get back to the house and throw some wood into the woodstove and get warm. And then my dad pulled off the road. I said, what are you doing? He said, well, I’m going back. There’s still people stuck. And I thought he was crazy.
And I was. Angry and cold and what is going on. And we went back and we stayed there. Just the two of us until the last car was pushed out of that turnout. And he looked over at me and he said, nice job. I’m proud of you. He didn’t go back because there was an expectation and he didn’t help in the first place because he wanted us to get.
He just saw that there were people that needed help and we were in a position to help them. And he did it, no thought of thank you or reward or any of that, just, this was the right thing to do and I’m in a position to do it. And I was there and able to share that experience with him. And it’s one of those things that has stuck with me my entire life.
There are dozens of examples like that, of those. Those life lessons that he taught me just by being who he was and me being there to experience it with him.
David Hirsch: Yeah. That’s very profound. Thank you for sharing. I imagine that the other stories that were in the sh blank T my dad taught me would be worthy of consideration as well.
So thank you again for sharing. So from an education standpoint, I remember that you went to a number of different high schools, uh, boarding school, um, spent a year at Kalamazoo college and, um, then you ended up getting three degrees, um, from American Intercontinental university and associate’s degree in business administration and then a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in IP.
And I’m wondering, uh, where was it that your career was pointing when you started your.
Jeremy Kredlo: Well, didn’t really have a career. To be honest, to start with. I had a series of jobs. I started out with a summer job after my first year at Kalamazoo working as a file clerk at the university of Chicago. And when I got involved with my ex wife and we moved in together, I had decided to take a year off of school.
Applied for some other roles at the university of Chicago that eventually those eventually led me into a career in desktop support and technical support because I had a natural, a knack for computers, and I had a, more of a knack for, um, interfacing with end-users and just talking to people and, you know, being able to communicate well with them.
That led to a series of consulting jobs in it. And then eventually I started working in project management in it, and I. Decided to go back to school to kind of move that to the next level. The jobs had turned into a career and the education was then the next step to further that career.
After my younger daughter, Ariana had. Started applying for colleges and had come to live with me full time. At the age of 13, she told me that she didn’t think she wanted to go to college in the Midwest. We had been to Washington state several times for vacation to visit my dad. And she had fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest and she wanted to look at schools out there.
And relocate potentially relocate that out there. And her, her words were dad. I really want to go to school in Washington, but I don’t want to leave you behind. And my response to her was you’re pretty much the only reason I’m still in Indiana. So, um, I had made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to move and.
Put her and Kiersten through a series of different schools and take them away from their friends. Because I had had that, I had moved quite a bit in my life as a child, and I didn’t want them to have that same experience. So when she said that I, we talked about it and she found a, we flew out to Washington state, we visited a few colleges.
She found one that she fell in love with, and we decided that we were going to collectively pick up and head on out to the Pacific Northwest.
David Hirsch: That’s awesome. And you landed this job that. Uh, Becca, right? Which is the Boeing credit union. And from what I remember, it’s like one of the largest credit unions of its type in the U S
Jeremy Kredlo: it is it’s the fourth largest credit union in the U
David Hirsch: S well, let’s switch gears and talk about.
Special needs, uh, first on a personal level. And I’m sort of curious to know before becoming a father or grandfather for that matter, if you had any experience in the special needs community,
Jeremy Kredlo: I don’t know that I would say in the special needs community by and large, but my sister, Erin, uh, who has six years older than me, has a son who is on the spectrum.
And who was diagnosed very, very young because he had missed quite a few critical milestones and he was, um, Considered low functioning is what they said at the time. And I had been involved in his life as his uncle, obviously, but he and my daughters were very close in age. And so he and my daughters and my sister and I would quite frequently spend a significant amount of time together.
So I was pretty involved in. Watching the path that she and journey that she was on and being able to see what effective advocacy looked like firsthand. So that was, that was definitely very, very, very helpful.
David Hirsch: So let’s talk about, uh, each of your grandchildren, uh, separately. Um, cause there’s a big age difference between Kylie who’s 12 and Ramona who’s three.
So what’s the backstory. Um, as far as, uh, uh, Kylie, you know, how did you get to be her.
Jeremy Kredlo: My daughter, Kiersten, uh, was pregnant and had a normal pregnancy up until she went into labor and Kiersten is a tiny little woman. She was 90 pounds and Kylie when she was born with seven pounds, 12 ounces. So 24 hours into her labor, they rushed her into emergency C-section surgery for failure to progress.
And. When Kylie was born via C-section, she wasn’t breathing. They immediately intubated. Her, took her to the NICU, the newborn infant critical unit. And they determined that she had lost oxygen for an extended period of time, either during the birth or shortly before the birth. It had resulted in global brain damage or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, uh, that had killed probably better than 95% of her brain.
She was diagnosed with seizures and cerebral palsy and a number of other medical conditions, pretty much at birth within the first, you know, while she was in the NICU. Um, and they didn’t think that she’d survive the first 24 hours. She did. And at two months old, she came home with a NG tube. So a nasal gastric tube that goes up through her nose and down into her stomach.
Um, because that was the only way that she could eat and on a series of medications. And in the meantime, my daughter had developed a Murcia infection from the C-section and she ended up. In a medically induced coma after emergency surgery and had almost, and shit almost died as well. Unfortunately, once she got out of the hospital, she had become addicted to narcotics from being in, you know, on narcotics for 30 days at the hospital.
And it became at eight months old, it became clear that. Kylie was not getting the care that she needed and that my daughter was in a place where she wasn’t going to be able to provide that care. And so I made an agreement with Kiersten that, um, I would help her go to rehab and I would care for Kylie and I would do what needed to be done to get Kylie home care services and everything that she needed to have the highest quality of life that she could.
And I would do that for the next six months, giving time for Kiersten to go through rehab and kind of get her life in order and get clean and, um, learn what she needed to learn about Kylie so that she could then take, take over care. And so Kylie came to live with me for that six months with temporary guardianship and it became, and then Kiersten didn’t do what she needed to do to fight her addiction.
And so. I ended up having to go to court to get permanent guardianship for, um, and custody of Kylie so that she didn’t go back to that a bad situation and that she had the care that she needed.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well thank you for being so open and transparent about, uh, this difficult time in your life, your daughter, uh, the challenges with the.
Delivery. Um, the challenges that Kylie faced, you know, in the first couple, um, six, 12 months of her life, and then concurrently with your daughter, um, getting on the wrong side of the, um, narcotics and not being able to somehow manage that situation. Um, and if you don’t mind me asking, um, whereas Kirsten today, how are things playing out?
Jeremy Kredlo: Uh, not, not fantastic. She’s actually in a, she’s in a women’s prison in Indiana. And I just found out she’s been sentenced to a minimum of three years. So, um, she never managed to beat her addiction for any period of time.
Addiction is a horrible thing. And I understand where she’s at and the decisions that she’s made and how difficult it has been for her. And she’s had a significant amount of support over the years, but she just never was able to really get on the other side of the addiction. And unfortunately it’s led her to where she’s at.
I’m hopeful that she’ll be okay. You know, she’ll be clean and sober for three years, and then that that’ll be enough for her to maintain that sobriety. And she’ll make some decisions that that’s, that she wants a different life than what she’s had for the past 10 years. But I’m also realistic about the situation considering that there have been times where she has said that’s what she’s wanted and not really been able to follow through on it.
So. We’ll see, in the meantime, I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing, which is, uh, raising Kylie and giving her the best quality of life that I possibly can.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well from one day to the next, my heart reaches out to you, and that sounds like a pretty dicey situation. Um, and again, I just appreciate your transparency to be able to talk about these things openly and, um, maybe remind some other dads that, Hey, you know, things don’t always pan out the way you hope or you anticipate, and this is life and, uh, you know what a blessing you are.
On Kirsten’s behalf and then, and Kylie’s life to be able to be there. Right. Um, cause not all dads are wired to do what you’re talking about. And, um, one of the questions that just like really weighing on my mind is where’s the mom in the situation, you know? Um, and I, again, I don’t mean to be negative when I say that, but, uh, this is the role in most cases that, you know, moms would be playing as opposed to dad.
Jeremy Kredlo: So when I filed for divorce with my ex I didn’t ask for anything out of the, out of what we owned, which wasn’t a lot, you know? Um, but one of the things that I did, I was adamant about was that I was going to have shared custody of my daughter. I was not going to be an every other weekend father because I know what not having my father in my life on a regular basis had done to me.
And I was not going to be that type of father. Also my ex wasn’t, she wasn’t winning any mother of the year awards. Um, she didn’t really. Put the girls first in any of her decision-making. And one of the many things that we disagreed with in our marriage was our children and the way to raise them. So I, I raised the girls until Ariana was 13 with a week on and a week off, a week on and a week off.
And during that time, I had filed for full custody two different times. And when Kylie was born and came to live with me full time after Kiersten had, uh, you know, had reached out to me for help with her addiction. My younger daughter asked me to go to court and get full custody of her, which I did. And so I raised her full-time going forward along with Kylie.
So when all of this happened, my ex’s priorities, weren’t really around. What’s the best thing for the kids. And Kiersten has lived with her off and on for most of this time. And. I still don’t agree with the decision making that has happened. And so she was part of the problem and not the solution when Kylie was not getting the care that she needed.
She was CA at the time that I filed for permanent guardianship, Kylie was living with her and was not getting the care that she needed. So it was just not a situation that I. Um, I can trust her to do what was in kind of these best interests or Kiersten’s.
David Hirsch: Okay. Okay. Well, this is pretty heavy. Uh, Jeremy, thank you for sharing.
And they’d been very diplomatic I think, and describing the situation. So thanks for sharing. So Kylie is 12. Um, you’ve described, uh, in some detail what the first, uh, year sober life has been. And I’m wondering how things transpired.
Jeremy Kredlo: It’s been a Rocky road, a lot of ups and downs. You know, when she was a year old, I found out that she was completely blind, which for what, whatever reason out of all of her diagnoses hit me the hardest, just maybe because so many other things had been taken away from her over the years, there’ve been a number of different challenges.
Everything from. Years and years of every couple of weeks or so, she would have screaming fits where she was clearly in pain for like excruciating pain for eight hours at a time. And there would be nothing that I could do to console her potential life-threatening surgeries. But in the past two years, a number of the medical conditions that she’s really struggled with.
Alleviated themselves. She no longer has those days where she’s in excruciating pain. Most of the time she’s happy and smiling and enjoying life. She really has developed this personality that. Playful and a little mischievous and, uh, it’s a little bit of a practical joker in a lot of ways, even though she doesn’t have any functional communication, she still manages to express her preferences and play jokes on people, which is pretty amazing.
And so the first 10 years, years were really, really, really tough for everyone, especially her, but the past two years, Something where I’ve seen such a change in her quality of life, that it makes everything that I had to go through worth it. It’s just so it’s so great to see her so happy these days.
David Hirsch: Yeah.
Well, thank you for sharing. And it is a, an uplifting to hear that things are improving as opposed to going sideways or getting worse. And just to clarify, you mentioned that, you know, she was diagnosed with outside at about a year. And is she verbal? Um, is she able to communicate, um, through the spoken word or with a computer at all or no?
Jeremy Kredlo: So, no, she, she’s not verbal. She can, she makes, sounds occasionally, but they’re not meaningful. Um, she had her hearing is fine. She loves listening to music. Gangster rap is actually her favorite, which is hilarious. Uh, A story about that, where I had accidentally mixed in some of my old school gangster rap playlist with some of her music.
And, uh, she just at bedtime was listening to ice cube and just kind of moving along to it and smiling. And I was like, oh no, what have I done? But she doesn’t have any other functional communication. Although for the past few years we’ve been working on getting her to be able to use her limbs to indicate yes or no.
And so she is getting to a point now where she’s pretty consistently, um, able to make a yes, no choice by raising her arm, which unlocks. So much for her in terms of her ability to express her preferences and make her needs known. Um, it’s one of the things that I’ve been wanting for her for a long time is I want her to be able to make a choice instead of have having things done to her, you know, even little things like, do you want music on, you know, w.
All of her life. I’ve I and the caregivers, the nurses have had to make assumptions that she would enjoy this, or she wants this. And now she’s getting to a point where she’s able to just lift her arm if she wants, if the answer is yes, just raise her arm up and say, yep, I want that. Which is, which is great.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. Um, I’m sort of curious now, if she’d been able to go to school or homeschool or what type of education has she. Uh,
Jeremy Kredlo: she has, uh, a special education teacher that comes to that or did before COVID come to the house for an hour and a half a day, had to do some heavy advocacy work to get her kind of based at home and get the right resources set up for her there.
But she’s been doing that since first grade.
David Hirsch: So if that wasn’t challenging enough, you have another granddaughter with a whole, a different sort of set of circumstances. And this is little Ramona, who’s three, uh, Ariana’s daughter. And what’s the backstory. And what role are you playing there?
Jeremy Kredlo: When Ramona was born, Ariana was living in Texas and at maybe 12 months or so.
Yeah. And I started noticing some milestones that Ramona was not hitting. And so, uh, she, and she stayed pretty close to the pediatrician and they worked through some things. And by the time she was two, um, my daughter had basically realized that and with the help of. Specialists that Ramona was on the spectrum.
Um, got her a formal diagnosis. And so Arianna went to school and got a certification as an ABA technician. And so she did that in order to better be able to support Ramona. And then they moved out here to Washington. Ramona’s she’s doing great. She is getting ABA therapy on a daily basis for half of the day, Monday through Friday.
And she, um, she comes over to my house and does her therapy here? So from eight in the morning, till two 30 in the afternoon, she’s here. She does therapies up until noon, and then she and I have lunch together. And then she plays for a while and then she has nap time and quiet time. And then her mom comes and picks her up.
So I get to see her every day. I get to be involved in her life and get to have some play time and some, some quality time with her on a regular basis, which is great.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well from one grandfather to another, cause I’m a new grandfather. I’ve only been at it for less than two years. Uh, it is a special experience, right.
To be able to play any role. Right. You know, in that next generation. And uh, you know, begging the question is where’s the dad, right. And all this.
Jeremy Kredlo: Um, my, my daughter and her ex Allan were together in Texas and they moved out here together. They eventually decided that the relationship wasn’t going to work, but Alan has, is doing his best to stay involved with Ramona.
So, uh, on the weekends, she goes and stays with him. He, uh, Depending on his work schedule, we’ll come over on occasion and be here during her therapy to try to learn from the therapists on what he can do to help there. So he’s, he’s doing his best to stay involved and, um, be there for her and be involved in her life, which I’m very, very thankful
David Hirsch: for my sneaky suspicion is that, uh, you might be serving as a bit of a father figure to him as well.
Jeremy Kredlo: I think that’s outside the realm of possibility.
David Hirsch: This sounds exhausting just to be Jeremy. Um, what is it that you do to keep it all together, to kinda stay in balance between, you know, working cause you still have a full-time job being the primary caregiver for your older grandchild, Kylie, and then, um, being, you know, as involved as somebody can be in the situation with Ramona, uh, what do you do to sort of keep it going.
Jeremy Kredlo: On a more of a, uh, kind of stuff and balance. One of the things that really helps me is giving back. So I do a lot of, um, I volunteer quite a bit. The arc of king county has a program called helping parents, a program where when a parent has a child with a new diagnosis or, um, you know, is very early in the special needs journey of some sort.
If they reach out to the arc, the arc, we’ll connect them with a parent who has a child with a similar challenge, or maybe you have similar life experiences. And then the you, that helping parent will act as a mentor and a support system for those, for those parents. So I do that on a, as needed basis and help teach.
Actually I helped teach the program to parents who want to become helping parents. And that, that helps that, that ability to give back and to kind of share my experiences with others so that they don’t have to learn things the hard way has been very helpful. And then I’m involved in the Washington state father’s network, the director of the Washington state fathers network, Louis Mendoza.
And I work pretty closely together on a advocacy class that we teach. Called telling your story with a purpose. And it is designed to help parents of children with special needs learn how to advocate for policy and systems changes using the personal stories of their experiences with their children.
And so it brings my love of storytelling and my love of advocacy together in a venue where I get to help. Other people become more effective of that, which I believe is, uh, something that kind of creates a ripple effect.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, you must be doing something because, uh, it sounds like there’s a mountain of challenges.
No doubt at work with whatever you do. Work-wise and then, you know, on the home front, I dare say that perhaps this is not the life that you were anticipating. If you look back a dozen years and if you could look forward and say, what would I be doing over the next 12 years? If you could not have looked back and said, this is what I was expecting.
Jeremy Kredlo: No, that’s definitely true. And I think you, you mentioned earlier what a blessing I’ve been to Kylie and the reality is, and I, and this is something that I tell people quite frequently. Kylie has been a blessing to me. I am a much better, man, because of her. I have learned empathy and compassion and patience and balance and a host of other qualities from her.
And if she had not come into my life, I would be a significantly more selfish self-absorbed impatient intolerant person. And I probably wouldn’t like the man that I was. So while this may not have been the life that I was hoping for, it is definitely not a life that I am not proud of.
David Hirsch: That’s a very profound statement.
Thank you for sure. I’m thinking about advice now. And I’m wondering if there’s any advice that you can share with a listener, a dad, a grandfather who might find himself in a situation that he wasn’t anticipating, um, involved with a child or children, grandchildren with special needs. What type of advice comes to mind beyond what you’ve already mentioned?
Jeremy Kredlo: I’d say the first thing that comes to mind is. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ve met some amazing, amazing people on this journey who have helped me out so much. And if I hadn’t undone that conditioning and been willing to reach out for help, I never would have met those people. And the person who would have suffered would have been Kylie and me to a significant degree.
David Hirsch: Uh, let’s give a special shout out to Louis Mendoza, the Washington state fathers network for helping kinda.
Jeremy Kredlo: Yeah, absolutely.
David Hirsch: Um, if somebody wants to learn more about the helping parent program at the arc of king county, the Washington state fathers network, or just contact you, what’s the best way to do that?
Jeremy Kredlo: probably email it J K R e D L firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Hirsch: Okay. We’ll include that in the show notes. We’ll also include the websites for each of the organizations. So it’ll make it as easy as possible to seek out those resources. Jeremy, thank you for taking the time in many insights. As a reminder, Jeremy is just one of the dads.
Who’s part of the special father’s network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs. If you’d like to be a mentor father, Are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own. Please go to 21st century dads.org. Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the special father’s network data dad podcast.
I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know. The 21st century dads foundation is a 5 0 1 C3 not-for-profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our kids. Free to all concerned, please consider making a tax deductible contribution. I would really appreciate your support, Jeremy.
Thanks again. Thank you, David.
Jeremy Kredlo: Have a wonderful day. I appreciate the opportunity.
Tom Couch: Thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast presented by the special fathers network. The special father’s 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 fathers to support fathers, go to 21st century dads.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 father’s network.
Bi-week 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. No, have a compelling story. Please send an email toDavid@twentyfirstcenturydads.org.
Tom Couch: The dad to dad podcast was produced by couch audio for the special fathers network.
Thanks again to horizon therapeutics who believe that science and compassion must work together to transform lives. That’s why they work tirelessly to research, develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about horizon therapeutics at horizontherapeutics.com.