Glen became a quadriplegic after being pulled off a dock into a bay at the age of 25. Ten years later, Glen met Monica, and they fell in love and got married. Fast forward a few more years, and their daughter Elaina was born.
Glen admits that when he found out Monica was pregnant, he initially had reservations about the kind of dad he would be to Elaina.
“I wondered how I could interact with her, not being able to get on the floor and play with her physically. But that’s the great thing about kids. They’re pure heart when they come into this world and they don’t see you with a disability. She just saw me as Dad.”
Elaina learned to walk by holding onto Glen’s feet while he moved slowly backward in his wheelchair. And as she grew, the duo would spend hours together making up games to play with Elaina spinning on her dad’s chair. Sometimes Glen was Elaina’s horse in their games. Other times he was a carriage taking his princess to a ball.
Monica talks about the special bond that her daughter and husband share together as she’s watched their relationship grow. “He has taught her so much,” she shares. “It’s different when you show a child how to do something versus talking them through doing it themselves. She knows how to do a lot of things because he talks her through it. She’s the hands and he’s the brain. They make a great team.”
Glen decided he wanted to document his relationship with his daughter in writing. So he created a book titled We Can Go Anywhere that highlights all the fun, imaginative things he and Elaina have done together. Glen says he wrote the book for his daughter as a keepsake, but what he discovered in creating it was that other people might be able to benefit from seeing how he and his daughter interact and play together.
“If anybody that’s newly injured or has been in a wheelchair or has a disability and are facing fatherhood, maybe this is something that could give them hope and make them realize that your heart and your mind can take you a lot further than your body ever could.”
And what does Elaina think about the book her dad has created for her? “It’s pretty cool,” she says.
Pretty cool, indeed.
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