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Wish Blog

Jun 15, 2017

Dads of Make-A-Wish: Eric

Eric and his daughter, Evelyn
We're tipping our hats to dads this month. Long-time volunteer and first time dad, Eric Parks, tells us how his new role changed how he approached granting wishes.

Tell us about your daughter.   

Evelyn was born June 30th of last year.  I have always wanted and prayed for a baby girl, and she certainly hasn’t disappointed.  She finds a new way for me to love her more every day.  Currently my job is taking a lot of my time, however I do my very best to have bath time with her every night and help my wife, Amanda, put her to bed.  We also enjoy eating ice cream, having dance parties and swimming together.    

What does fatherhood mean to you?   

Fatherhood has given me a new outlook on life and how I view things that are important.  Activities I used to give a high priority in my life such as following my sports teams, traveling and personal time have given way to protecting her and providing for her as the #1 focus in my life.   

As a dad, how do you approach your role as a volunteer differently than before you had kids?    

I always took my role at Make-A-Wish seriously as I hopefully have been able to make a positive influence on families when they needed it.  My transition into fatherhood has made that commitment even stronger as I can now, in a small way, sympathize with what they are going through.  When you have a child who is sick, no matter how small it is, there is a helpless feeling that comes over you.  You would do anything in the world to take their pain yourself.  The first time Evelyn had a cold, hearing her coughing through our baby monitor was almost like torture!  Taking that experience and amplifying it to what wish parents must be going through, it only makes me feel like the work we do is even more important than I thought before.   

Eric and Patrick with Davionna

Looking through your dad lens, what does a wish experience mean to a child or a family?   

It means hope and an opportunity for them to take their mind off their current medical stresses and problems and focus on being a family.  I think it gives our wish kids hope and something to look forward to along with the parents getting to see their son or daughter be truly happy for a while.  As a father, when Evelyn is sick, I do everything I can to make her smile or feel better.  I think Make-A-Wish does that.    

What has been the most surprising thing about being a dad?   

The incredible amount of joy and love she brings into my life, every day. 

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