Christopher Voelker

In rehab, I was cocky. Newly paralyzed at T12, I was determined to beat this new challenge and be the great shining star of rehabilitation. I took every new experience head on. Transfers? No problem. Rickshaw? Arm bike? Bowel program? I’m the champ. Then my wise occupational therapist handed me a coffee cup and told me to roll across the room with a cup of hot coffee. Ever the show-off, I put the cup between my thighs and started out across the floor. “Wait!” Andrea said, “Remember? It’s hot. You’d be burning yourself if that really were hot coffee in that cup.”

Since I’m now a mother, I know the experience of raising children can be akin to the above story. You can start out cocky, but eventually you have to slow down, re-assess, take your time and learn new ways of doing things.  Learn from others. Think it out.

Moms and dads share the same territory, but they occupy it differently. I know the mom and disability story. But I wondered what happens when you mix testosterone into this role, a role that I know to be filled with sacrifice and humility — not your stereotypical strong male traits. So I went looking for the story behind dads and disability.

The Single Dad