Our guest this week is Shane Madden who works at Pfizer and is father to Marshall (6), who has Cerebral Palsy. We’ll hear how Shane and his wife, Emily, have raised young Marshall, about their aspirations and hopes for the future. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital – https://www.lebonheur.org
The Therapy Hut – https://www.therapyhut.com
Live It Up (formerly United CP of mid south) – https://www.livitupinc.org
Katie Beckett Waiver – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Beckett_Medicaid_waiver
Shane’s email – email@example.com
Tom Couch: Special, thanks to horizon therapeutics for sponsoring today’s special father’s network, dad to dad podcast, working tirelessly to research, develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about horizon therapeutics, mission at horizon therapeutics .com
Shane Madden: and, you know, you go to all these therapies week after week, and you think you’re going to turn a corner. Maybe he’ll be able to get rid of that Walker. And then just this year in August of this year, he started taking some independent steps and. That was a huge moment because there were, there were days where I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if he would ever walk independently.
Tom Couch: That’s our guests, Shane, Matt, Shane, his father to Marshall. Who’s just about six years old and has cerebral palsy. We’ll hear how Shane and his wife, Emily have raised young marshal and about their aspirations and hopes for them. That’s all on this special father’s network, dad to dad podcast say hello to David
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the father’s network. This
Tom Couch: special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching products.
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.org. And
David Hirsch: if your dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: And now let’s see here this special conversation between special father Shane Madden and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Shane Madden of Collierville, Tennessee. Who’s a father and operations analyst at Pfizer, the giant pharmaceutical, and the first us company to get approval for their COVID-19 vaccine.
Shane, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for this special father’s network. David, thank you for having me. You and your wife, Emily had been married for five years. One of the proud parents of Marshall who was five and a half and has cerebral palsy. Let’s start with some background.
Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your. family.
Shane Madden: David. I grew up in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, which is a suburb of Nashville, about 15 miles east. And I am the oldest of three children. The only boy, I have two younger sisters and my parents had been married a little over 40 years now. Glad to have both of them still around.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Well, um, out of curiosity, what does your dad do? My father
Shane Madden: is a mechanic. What brought him to Nashville in the late seventies, he, he moved from North Carolina to attend the Nashville auto diesel college and met my mother, had a family and made roots.
David Hirsch: And they’ve been there ever since. Been there ever since.
So how would you characterize your relationship with your dad?
Shane Madden: We have a good relationship. He’s always worked a lot. So, you know, some of the quality time I got to spend with him was actually, you know, going to work with him and him, you know, teaching me things hands-on and, uh, always cherish that time with him.
But. There were a lot of times, you know, he may not have been able to come to, um, a baseball game or sporting event because he was working so much. So, um, you know, spending that time with him and just being able to learn things from him, cherish those moments that we, that we were able to be
David Hirsch: together. Well, one of the things that I heard you say is that, uh, he has a good work ethic, right.
Which is important thing for anybody to role model. So thanks for sharing. And I’m wondering if there’s any important takeaways, um, a lesson or two that you learned or something that you’re trying to do as a dad, yourself, that you picked up from your own dad.
Shane Madden: Yeah. I kind of go back a few years back before I was working at Pfizer.
I had started working with another company and, uh, we were implementing a new. Planning software. The company had never had a demand planner position. It was totally new in the pro the project was, it was massive and, you know, things were moving really slow. And I can remember talking to my dad about it.
He came to me and said, you know, Shane I’ve had projects like that before. And he said, It’s like chipping down a mountain. You just got to keep chipping away everyday. Just a little piece, you know, a little more every day. And before you know, it, that mountain becomes a hill and then the hill becomes, you know, a hump and then eventually that mountain is out of the way.
So just, you know, just that consistency and just don’t get overwhelmed by this, this mountain in front of me. Just take it a little chips at a time. You know, that’s kind of how we have to do with Marshall cerebral palsy. You know, there’s no, there’s no timeline for his improvement of things. It’s just, you know, just keep chipping away day after day, week after week, just with that mindset, you know that the mountain will, you know, you, you can move it over time.
David Hirsch: Yeah, great advice. Um, and what comes to mind is the idea of being patient, right? Not impatient, you know, when you’re working on something that’s longer term and then the concept of being persistent, right. Not giving up, but just staying the course and having some faith that, uh, you know, you’ll be able to, uh, make some headway or to make some progress, um, great lesson to learn.
I’m still thinking about other father role models. And I’m wondering what, if any. Um, involving your head with your grandfathers first on your dad’s side and then on your mom’s side.
Shane Madden: Yeah, unfortunately on my father’s side, my, my grandfather was absence. He was actually absent for my father as well. Um, my father was born and his dad had, uh, abandoned the family.
Okay. Um, but now my mother’s father, he actually, he lived locally in the area I grew up in and, um, he passed away when I was in the eighth grade. It was a funny, a fun guy, but he was a, he was a huge Cubs fan and a huge Notre Dame fan sports, uh, which was a, kind of a nice balance because, you know, my father, he wasn’t a real big sports guy.
So I had an interest in sports growing up. And so, uh, I got a lot of feedback and stuff from my grandfather and my mother’s side, because he was more of the, uh, the sports guy and. It’s funny, you know, one of the games we love to play as a family growing up was trivial pursuit. And we always wanted my grandfather on the team for the, uh, the sports category, because he was just this wealth of knowledge in the sporting category.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about your. Uh, other grandfather or the one that, you know, wasn’t there, not only for you, but for your dad, that sounds like a really challenging situation, especially for, I guess that would be your grandmother who had to raise four kids on her own. And, uh, uh, thanks for sharing about your mom’s dad.
Uh, the Cubs fan, uh, go Cubs, you know, for somebody from Chicago, like me. So, um, I remember what a, you took a degree in econ from Eastern Kentucky, and I know that, uh, you’ve had a, sort of a circuitous career if I can refer to it as that working at a number of different companies first, starting out in the wireless business with cellular express and then, uh, moving to Virginia and then back to Tennessee.
And I’m wondering, um, where is your career to.
Shane Madden: Well, it’s taken me to Memphis the last eight years. Uh, I was very fortunate, you know, I went to, like you said, I went to school and got my degree in economics. I always love working with numbers. And so, you know, looking at data, I’m a very data driven person.
Um, and that’s, that’s what led me to be at Pfizer the last, you know, eight years or so.
David Hirsch: And what do you do there?
Shane Madden: So my role at Pfizer, I work on a team called the customer operations team. And we, you know, we’re the people that are looking at the inventory across these distribution centers and, and helping make decisions, whether something needs to be expedited overnight.
To ensure that patient has access. I mean, we’re a very small team, but we’re a very important team. We touch a lot of areas and we do a lot more than that, but that’s one of the main things we do.
David Hirsch: so you and Emily been married for five years and you’ve known each other for a number of years beyond that. I’m sort of curious now, how did.
Shane Madden: We met at work, actually, what brought me to Memphis was a job with Merck and, uh, they recruited me from Nashville and I worked on the third floor and my wife, Emily worked on the fourth floor and finance, you know, a new guy starts work, people start introducing people.
And, um, one day she asked. If I could give her a ride home from work, it was really more of a set up come to find out, but it worked out for both of us.
David Hirsch: So did you find out later that she left her car at work and she was just asking for a ride home?
Shane Madden: Actually, her, her roommate worked at mark as well, and they usually rode together.
So. Um, purpose told her roommate to deliver there, basically.
David Hirsch: Okay. Thanks for sharing. Um, so I like to switch gears, talk about special needs on a personal level, and then, uh, perhaps beyond, so I’m sort of curious to know before Marshall’s diagnosis, did you or Emily have any experience with the special needs community?
Shane Madden: Neither of us really did. Um, we don’t have any really close family members that are impacted by any special needs. And, you know, Marshall’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy. We both really only knew about it by name. We didn’t really know what it, what it meant or what it entailed. Um, but once, once it happens to you, you start to learn things very quickly.
David Hirsch: So what is this diagnosis and how did it come about?
Shane Madden: He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy on his two year checkup. And his mother’s, uh, pregnancy was a little bit unique when she became pregnant with marshal. Her doctor found this ovarian cyst early on in the pregnancy, and they track this cyst throughout the pregnancy.
And ultimately as Marshall grew in the womb, the cyst also grew. So Marshall ended up being delivered prematurely about two to three weeks. And, and that was done to ensure his safety. They were worried about the cyst. They didn’t know if it was, if it was cancerous and so they wanted to get it out and he was delivered via sectarian section.
And they remove the cyst and him at the same time. And I was in the delivery room, of course, when all this was happening. And, uh, the cyst at that point had grown to about the size of a cantaloupe. Oh my God. Yeah, and we kind of jokingly refer to it as his sister, but after he was delivered, he had some low app Gar scores and he was taking to the normal kind of recovery area after his delivery.
But within a few hours, Some of his vitals started to drop and they came and told us they were moving him, um, to the, to the NICU, the Neo intensive care unit. And within that first 24 hours, he started experiencing seizures, which we would come to find. Were caused by a brain bleed that he had, fortunately the brain bleeds stopped on his own.
So he did not require surgery, but that’s what led to his, his damage in his brain, which ultimately led to his cerebral palsy. Um, and he’s primarily impacted with his lower extremities. That’s his, his walking. He has, he has pretty good use of his arms. Um, occasionally he’ll have. You know what spasm or something a little bit uncontrollable, but his is primarily affecting his lower extremities.
David Hirsch: So is he verbal? Does he walk? Uh, what’s the situation? He he’s
Shane Madden: very verbal. Uh, we’re blessed. He has a great speech. Uh, sometimes he’s too verbal, but, uh, it’s funny because he’s five now and, um, He started using a Walker at two years old. And you know, you go to all these therapies week after week, and you think you’re going to turn a corner, uh, and maybe he’ll be able to get rid of that Walker.
And then just this year in August of this year, he started taking some independent steps and. That was a huge moment because there were, there were days where I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if he would ever walk independently. And so just to see him reach that level of independence is huge. Now he still uses his Walker at school.
He’s he’s, you know, he’s still off balance. He still has to catch himself from time to time. But around the house, you know, we, we let him go free without the Walker. You know, he has to catch himself on some furniture, maybe grab a wall, but, um, it’s amazing how far he’s come.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. I have this image in my mind, partially because you shared some videos with me.
And also because of my love for the movie, Forrest Gump, the young Forrest Gump, when he, you know, it was a boy, he was embraces and it was a little embarrassing kids made fun of him. And then, you know, as time went by the braces sort of fall away or they break away. And, you know, it leads to him like literally walking across the country back and forth.
And, you know, I don’t, I don’t know that that’s a Marshall’s destiny to walk across the country, but you know, you never say never is what comes to mind.
Shane Madden: You know, I I’ve thought of that analogy probably a hundred times myself and. If he ends up with the same fate for us, the government has throughout the movie.
I think I’ll be pretty happy.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, um, uh, I’m, I’m very serious when I say never say never because, uh, you know, if you impose some restrictions or expectations on the situation, I think that, uh, my big takeaway. With doing all the work that we do with this special fathers network is that you don’t want to further handicap your child by setting any limitations.
You know, you just have the same high expectations regardless of what the situation is. And, you know, you know, God willing he’ll be walking independently. And if it’s meant to be, he might actually be able to participate in sports while there’s special Olympics or other things, uh, that you know, would be a good match for his coordination.
So I’m going back to, um, Um, the two year appointment when he was diagnosed and it became sort of official about the cerebral palsy. And I’m wondering what your first reaction was, what was going through your mind back then?
Shane Madden: You know, David, you know, by that point, you know, we knew he was delayed in certain areas, so we had already started doing it.
A lot of research on our own to understand what might be the cause of the delays and cerebral palsy was, you know, top of the list for me. Um, And it was really, you know, once his pediatrician said that it was really more validation at that point. And it was like, okay, now that it’s official, let’s, let’s get the game plan together and let’s get the therapies lined up.
At that point. For me, it was, it was really more of a validation because like I said, we had already started researching weeks and months before to try to understand where the delays were coming from. But, you know, once, once we had the diagnosis, then we could start getting some, some extra tools and help help we need.
David Hirsch: I guess I’m knowing what it is. And then, like you said, having some idea about how to address that is really important. Uh, it sounds like it took a very, uh, I don’t want to say logical or pragmatic approach, but, uh, you know, you you’ve engaged. Right. And, uh, the journey is still relatively short, you know, since then he’s, uh, five and a half.
So that was three and a half years. W were there some fears or maybe there still are some fears that you have when you think about the situation?
Shane Madden: Oh, I, there are fears every day. Uh, David, I mean a few years ago, uh, just to give you an example, you know, he went on a trip with my wife. I had to stay back for work and he was at my brother-in-law’s house and.
He had started crawling walking and crawling up some steps and lost his balance and fell down and ended up taking the ambulance ride. So, I mean, uh, you know, you hate to be a helicopter parent, but it’s a real fear. Some of his physical disability that he could get injured, you know, hurt himself. You hate to say it, but you also, you have fears about him going to school and maybe being bullied or not accepted, you know, a lot of things that are just out of your control.
You know, I have those fears, you know, every day.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for being authentic and sharing. Um, I think it’s just a parental situation. It’s not necessarily his diagnosis or his circumstances. It just. I’m concerned that we have for our kids when they’re younger and, um, you need to deal with that, right?
We all need to deal with those fears and hopefully. Uh, funnel that energy that we get from fear in a positive direction so that, uh, you know, the outcomes will be better. And has there been any meaningful advice that you’ve received, um, from doctors, nurses, uh, occupational therapists or anybody else for that matter, that’s helped you and Emily be a little bit more clear-minded about all those.
Shane Madden: You know, one of the best resources that we’ve we’ve come across is, is the therapy HUD, which is his occupational therapist here in the Memphis area. And the guy that runs it, his name is with a w he works with a lot of different, special needs kids. And, you know, he’s, he’s helped me just, you know, be a better communicator with Marshall.
Uh, even though Marshall’s, you know, verbal skills are very strong. His ability to not listen and follow directions can be very strong at times, too. And so, um, Marwan, you know, he, not only is he a great occupational therapist, he’s, he’s just, you know, he’s worked with a lot of kids that have, you know, not only physical disabilities, but they have, uh, behavioral issues as well.
And Marshall has had some of those as well. He had some behavioral issues and so, you know, The best piece of advice Mara one is, has probably given me is, you know, you just kind of, you know, be consistent with your, you know, your rewards, your, um, uh, punishments, if you will, because Marshall is so, um, obstinate at times, you know, you just had to, you know, keep working at them with.
And just have that consistency, you know, day after day.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Well, thanks for sharing. And, um, I don’t want to focus on the negative, but what have been some of the bigger challenges that you and Emily have encountered? You know,
Shane Madden: one of the things that’s challenging for us has been really on, on kind of a social level, you know, it’s, it’s tough, at least from our experience, you know, For Marshall to make friends with with kind of the normal crowd.
And it’s also kind of tough for us as parents to, to find, um, time to socialize as well, and just find other individuals that fully understand, you know, what we’re going through. You kind of look for, you know, respite care, someone to kind of give you a break, but you know, we don’t have any immediate family in, in town with us.
And so, you know, finding someone you can trust to, to stay with your, your special needs child is, is tough. I think it hurts my wife probably more than me. You know, she really misses a lot of the social aspects. It’s hard to have a plate, a normal plate. At the park, you know, because all the other kids, I mean, we, we tried things and you know, the other kids run off and leave Marshall behind.
He’s just, he’s left to, you know, to sit in the grass and, um, it’s tough, you know, it’s tough to see that. And as a parent, you know, so that’s, that’s been hard on all of us.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thank you for your transparency. Um, I don’t know if there’s any silver bullet or simple answer, you know, from a social standpoint, either at the child’s level, you know, with peers or, uh, from a parental standpoint, other than trying to identify other parents.
I have a child about the same age or with a similar situation that you can relate to. Right. So, you know, you’re not up to explain yourself, you don’t have to worry about what other people think. And one of the biggest takeaways that I’ve learned mostly through the work that we’re talking about here, but well beyond is that, uh, you can’t control what people say or think, you know, if you’re a perfectionist.
And let me just mention that that tendency seems right. You know, different circles, you know, it can be frustrating. Right. And, um, I think that the sooner that you can accept the fact that, Hey, no, you can’t control what people do or say, you know, if you get stares or people point, um, when you’re in public, you know, just, just own it and move forward.
Right. And don’t take it personally, you know, you would know that just from like a sales standpoint, right. If a salesperson took everything that was said personally, you know, they would not be very success. So you’re trying to apply that to your, um, family situation. I think, uh, it’s hard not to take things personally, but developing a thick skin and just, you know, just understand that some people don’t understand.
Shane Madden: Yeah. I think that’s great advice. I really do.
David Hirsch: So I remember you sharing, um, a story or two that, uh, I felt like it was like a turning point. One of them was about the Zamboni machine. And I’m wondering if you can recall that.
Shane Madden: One of my Marshall’s favorite shows. He watches is his character on YouTube.
His name is Blimpie BLI PPI, and there was a episode where we’re Blippy. At an ice skating rink. And he was talking about the Zamboni machine,
my names, and today you and I are going to learn about Zamboni. And I, I told Marshall, I said, Marshall, do you know what the Zamboni machine, what it does? And he said, I said, it’s moves the ice in. And he looked at me and he goes, no, It’s an ice resurfacer. I thought, yeah, you, you just, you explained it way better than I did.
And so, you know, you taught me something here. I just told you it’s moved the ice and you corrected me with no, it’s an ice resurfacer.
David Hirsch: Yeah. That’s fabulous. Speaking of videos. Um, you shared some of those videos of Marshall, um, as he was learning how to walk. And one of the things that I took away from those videos is this magnetic smile that he has.
He seems like a really happy kid. Right. And even though he wears glasses, right. You know, it’s like, you know, he’s very, I don’t know, comfortable. No, he doesn’t know any different, this is a situation, right. He’s just a happy kid. And he wants to do things that all kids want to do. Yeah.
Shane Madden: He is magnetic. I call him, it’s kind of, it’s kind of like a superhero almost just the way that people just kinda, they kinda, they’re kind of drawn to them, but once they get drawn to them, they may not necessarily know how to handle them.
But the initial magnetism is there. I can remember one. We went to go see a, play a production of Mary Poppins at the local high school. And during the intermission, you know, we’re walking around and, and he was, he was maybe two or three years old at this time and he just comes walking through this crowd of people.
And I can remember this lady looking at him and I can, I can hear her response right now. She goes, The cuteness is strong in that one part of the forest or something, but, uh, yeah, it’s pretty amazing.
David Hirsch: Thanks again, for sharing. I’m sort of curious to know what impact Marshall’s, uh, situation has had on your marriage or the rest of your family that matter
Shane Madden: for the rest of my family, especially, uh, parents and sisters, you know, it’s, it’s really opened us up to the special needs community.
You know, before where we might just kind of look over something or not give it a second thought, you know, now we’re much more in tune with the situation. You know, if I see, you know, another parent that maybe has a child with down syndrome or another disability, you know, I feel like I’m much more empathetic.
I know my, my, my extended family is, is conditioned really? You know, w it wasn’t that we didn’t have feelings before, but we’re just so much more in tune with them.
David Hirsch: Yeah. It’s like a lot of other things in life, you know, once you’re there, it gives you a better understanding or appreciation for what’s going on.
And maybe you don’t take things for granted as easily as you might have otherwise. Absolutely. So, um, I’m thinking about supporting organizations, you mentioned one, the therapy hut and the occupational therapist Merwin. And I’m wondering if there’s any other organizations that have had an impact, positive impact on how your family situation.
Shane Madden: Sure David, one of the new resources that we’ve just discovered is the Katie Beckett waiver, which is a program offered at the different state levels for children under the age of 18, who have a disability or complex medical issues. They, they may have income that precludes them from other programs. So I would reach out, you know, to your local state to see if they participate in a Katie Beckett waiver program.
David Hirsch: And for you, how did it work for your family or how is it working?
Shane Madden: It’s new to us. So we haven’t received a. Our initial help yet, but we were in the state of Tennessee. They have a part a and a part B. So with the part B program, which is what Marshall qualified for, he’ll get an additional $10,000 a year for research, uh, his resources for therapy, uh, for deductibles, uh, health-related expenses.
For his needs.
David Hirsch: Wow. That’s a lot. Congratulations on securing that. And on relatively short notice. Thank
Shane Madden: you.
Le Bonheur children’s hospital located here in Memphis has been another great resource. They have a cerebral palsy, uh, program there. And, uh, Marshall has received, he’s received some of his orthotics through connection with that organization. He also received a Botox therapy. Believe it or not, Botox is not just for, for wrinkles.
Uh, they actually inject. Into his, his legs. And, uh, it helps kind of mask the, the broken signal that causes some of his stiffness. And so, uh, they did the Botox injections and Labon or children’s hospital as well. Great, great organization. Highly recommend them.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing any other.
Shane Madden: I think that’s the two biggest, the therapy hut, um, here in Memphis and Labon are, would be the prominent.
There, there is a organization called live it up. It used to be United cerebral palsy and the mid south. I know they’ve helped a lot of people with cerebral palsy, a little bit older than Marshall, not so much children his age, but for, you know, adolescents, I would definitely recommend them getting in contact with them.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Thanks for sharing. We’ll be sure to include some information on the show notes. Um, so I’m somebody curious to know what, if any role spirituality has played in your journey? You
Shane Madden: know, I think a lot of us says as humans, you know, we, we tend to, we want to ask the question, you know, why, you know, and, um, you know, uh, I’m just the same as anybody else, you know, you know, why, why did this, why did this happened to my son?
And, um, you know, you start asking these questions, but then, then, you know, you get, you get back into the faith and, you know, everything happens for a reason and it says, this is part of a bigger, bigger plan that, that you’re not always going to get the answer to, or, or get the answers in the timeframe that you want.
So you just have to, you have to have the faith and the trust that that is all part of a greater plan, David. And. As a, as a Christian, uh, that’s, that’s how I have to look at it. You know, I have bad days and good days. And, um, you know, occasionally I still ask, you know, why on a certain day, but I have to go back to, to that message that is all part of a bigger plan than that I may or may not be open to, you know,
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, one of the thoughts that comes to mind and it’s, um, it is a matter of faith, you know, believing in something that you might not be able to see is that you can’t connect the dots.
Looking forward. You can only connect the dots, looking backwards and, uh, you know, uh, there’s a lot of uncertainty in life, no matter what. Family situation is, and I think you just have to be a believer and that, you know, things will work out. Not always be easy or simple or straightforward, but things will work out.
Okay. Part of just managing your expectations and having, you know, a positive outlook on things, right? Not always thinking negative, like what’s wrong, what’s wrong, what’s wrong. But trying to figure out what what’s right about this, what do we have to celebrate let’s play to in this case Marshall’s strengths and try to help him develop to the full extent, right?
Has God given potential. So I’m thinking about advice now beyond, you know, the advice that we’ve discussed, if there’s anything else that comes to.
Shane Madden: You kinda, you kind of alluded to it earlier, David, um, you know, don’t pigeonhole your child or, or think that they’re, they won’t reach a certain potential level because they’ll surprise you every day, you know, focus on their strings.
Like you said, you know, like Marshall, like I said, he’s very, he’s very verbal. Um, we tried to play to those strengths then, uh, He’s already done things that we, we didn’t know if he’d ever be capable of. We never know if he’d be able to walk independently. And here he is, he’s 85 years old means he’s walking independently.
So never give up hope because there are things that happen every day that, that are nothing short of miracles.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Pearls of wisdom. Thank you for sharing. So I’m sort of curious to know why is it that you agreed to be a mentor father as part of this special father’s day?
Shane Madden: For me, David it’s really because, I mean, I’ve been in this father role of a special needs child for five years now.
And up until recently, I, before discovering the special father’s network, you know, um, I haven’t had a mentor locally myself. And so I know somewhere in this Memphis area, there’s a new father out there that has got his hands up in the air and saying, Somebody helped me. I’ve got questions. I need answers.
And I’m not saying that I have all the answers, but, uh, I’ve got five years of experience now and I have quite a few answers, especially, you know, for someone just becoming a new father into a similar situation.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, we’re thrilled to have you. And what I’m sort of impressed by is that even though you only have.
Five or six years of being a dad that you’re willing to open up all your schedule a little bit, you know, if, and when, you know, somebody comes along either formally or informally, uh, to, you know, be there. Right. Um, and let’s be perfectly clear. There are dads in the network that have a dozen or dozens of years of experience, and I’m hoping that you’ll be able to tap into some of the experiences that they have.
It will make your journey. Emily’s journey more importantly Marshall’s journey, know a little bit more relevant and meaningful so that you’re not going to be going down all these. Dark alleys and, uh, wasting time, right unnecessarily to try to get the answers that you need and get some inspiration because, you know, life’s a matter of up and downs.
And I think we all need people that, you know, come alongside us, that we can relate to, that they can relate to us. And it just makes the journey a lot more meaningful to do something in the community. So let’s give a special shout out to our mutual friend, Mark Wallace, McGuire for helping connect.
Shane Madden: Absolutely. I came across him in the great age of the internet and social media. I started reading a forum special needs to add, and you know, the next thing I know, I’m ordering his book off of Amazon and, uh, fast forward I’m meeting him in Atlanta at a special father’s network. So. You know, I’d like to be able to talk with mark more, but I know he’s a busy guy too, but, uh, a great, great person.
And I’m thankful to have met Mark Wallace, Maguire.
David Hirsch: So I’m sort of curious to know, is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap.
Shane Madden: Uh, David, I would just like to thank, uh, you and all the other fathers will the special fathers network for getting this organization together and, and, um, you know, promoting it and helping connect fathers, you know, I’m, I’m new as a newer connection, but I’m so thankful to be able to meet and, um, you know, discuss issues like this with other folks.
David Hirsch: So if somebody wants to learn more about the therapy hut Labon or children’s hospital, or to contact you, how would they go about doing that?
Shane Madden: You know, the best way is probably they could, uh, send me an email and I’ll be happy to give them that information. My email is D Madden, M a D D E firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll be happy to share any of the phone numbers or websites, um, for those
David Hirsch: excellent. We’ll be sure to include that in the show notes, Shane, thank you for taking the time in many insights. As a reminder, Shanda is just one of the dads who’s part of the special father’s day. Uh, 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 21st century dads.org. Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the special father’s network, dad to dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did as your pre.
The 21st century dad’s foundation has a 5 0 1 C3 not-for-profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free, to all concerned. Would you please consider making a text, a full contribution? I would really appreciate your support, Shane. Thanks again.
Tom Couch: And 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 would 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 dad’s . Org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help for 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.
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 to David@twentyfirstcenturydads.org.
Tom Couch: The dad to dad podcast was produced by couch audio for the special father’s 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. Forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about horizon therapeutics at horizontherapeutics.com.