The Dad Of The Month, December 2020: Paul LeBlanc

(Photos courtesy of Grace LeBlanc)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for December 2020: Paul LeBlanc. Despite his job being eliminated, Paul spent 2020 being a rock steady support to his wife, raising two kids, and welcoming a new baby into the family. His wife, Grace, wrote a wonderful nomination entry, gushing over how thankful their family is to have Paul in their lives:

“My husband totally deserves to be The Dad of the Month. He wins every month in our house.

“When I met Paul, he had a 4-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. One of the things that helped cement that he was ‘the one’ for me was what a great dad he is.

“For the first 6 months, we only went out on dates on weeknights so he didn’t miss time with his daughter. He talked about her constantly and when I eventually did see the two of them together it was obvious how much she adored him right back.

“Since then Paul and I have gotten married and have had two kids of our own, we’ve had some setbacks. Because I was pregnant when Covid-19 first hit, he was advised to stay home from work to reduce his risk. While he was home on FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) his job was eliminated. Since I’m a stay at home mom that left us with 3 kids and no income.

“It’s been a rough 7 months since our son was born and there have been lots of times when I didn’t know how we would survive. Paul has been a rock for the family, always reminding me that we would figure it out and I feel so grateful that my son has never known life without his dad home 24 hours a day.

“He wakes up and cooks eggs for our 2-year-old, helps our 8-year-old with remote learning, and is always doing projects around the house with free Facebook marketplace finds. He even mows the lawn with a baby on his back!

“He’s going back to work next week and I’d love to honor him as The Dad of the Month to let him know how much he means to me and our kids. He is genuinely the most hopeful and determined man I know. He has shown our kids that family is the most important thing in the world, that every problem has a solution, and that sometimes all you need after a hard day is a hug from someone you love.”

When Paul found out he was The Dad of the Month for December, he humbly reminded us what being a father is all about:

“Being a dad is one thing I’ve always wanted my entire life and having a wonderful, supportive wife and three amazing kids has brought me so much joy and fulfillment. I know [even] with all of life’s ups and downs, I will always have my family by my side and I will always do whatever it takes to support them.”

To honor Paul and all he has done despite such a brutally difficult year, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Paul is a great example of what it means to be a rock-solid foundation for a family and to face hardships head-on. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, November 2020: John Kay

(Photos courtesy of Heather Kay)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for November 2020: John Kay. Since becoming a dad, John has exhibited a tangible excitement for fatherhood and a willingness to go above and beyond, even during a worldwide pandemic. His wife, Heather, couldn’t help gushing about him in her nomination:

“A good dad is hard to come by – John is the glue that holds it all together. He’s a one-of-a-kind dad. He was born for this. He embodies what every young boy needs in a father.

“We have a 2.5-year-old son named Hudson, who, thanks to his Dada, knows how to use mustard as a binder for meats when they BBQ on the Traeger. Hudson loves to read along to the book ‘Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada’ by Jimmy Fallon thanks to John’s wonderful impressions of animals! (Hudson’s dad also does a very good impression of Grover from Sesame Street.)

“John has worked throughout the pandemic. He manages transportation services and has been essential on the front lines, ensuring the public gets the goods they need. He comes home every day to help around the house, help with dinner, or pick up anything that’s needed. He volunteers to bathe our son every night and read him goodnight stories.

“He’s also a wrestling coach for a local high school and has taught our young son how to wrestle – he’s very good at it! The day we brought Hudson home from the hospital, John put pool noodles around every single hard surface in our home to make sure our new baby was totally safe! Looking back, it’s funny because now they wrestle and play WWE all the time!

“John has taken Hudson to every sporting event (pre-covid) and has also waited in lines for VIP meet and greets so that our son can meet famous hockey and baseball players! He’s is a wonderful dad and does it all with a smile on his face. He’s an excellent role model for our son and I am forever grateful that Hudson gets to have such an awesome father like John!”

To honor John and exuberance for fatherhood despite an incredibly difficult year, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. John’s unfailing optimism, creativity, and excitement for life are exceptional attributes that we should all strive for. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, October 2020: Steve Braun

(Photos courtesy of Tori A. Emerick Braun)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for October 2020: Steve Braun. Over the years, Steve has shown that he’s not only an all-star dad who wants his kids to experience all the fun life has to offer, but that he’s ready and willing to dig deep and do the real work when life gets hard. Here’s what his friend John wrote for his nomination:

“Nobody embraces or deserves the title of dad like Steve. His kids mean everything to him and it shows, as he’s constantly teaching them something new.

“Steve is a father of 4 that never stops doing for his family. In the summer it’s every imaginable outdoor activity like sailing, camping, swimming, or as simple as teaching them how to fix things like cars or household repairs. Then in the winter, it’s running his kids all over for hockey games and practices, but not to just watch. He’s also the coach, trainer, or referee. Somehow he manages to cram snowmobile rides in there too.

“Then 2 years ago, everything changed when his youngest son was diagnosed with retinoblastoma which in simple terms is eye cancer. Steve doesn’t miss a single appointment whether it be for a checkup or an in-depth revolutionary new surgery created strictly for his son Zayne. The expense incurred and the time spent in hospitals is quite vast. Steve always looks ahead at the future and how much Zayne will be able to do instead of looking at any limitations brought on by the surgeries, or the fact that through this battle, Zayne has already lost one eye.

“No matter what Steve is doing or where he is going, he loves having his kids with him to share in every experience.”

To honor Steve and his tireless endeavors to be the best dad he can be, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Steve’s thirst for adventure, excitement for life, and steadfast dedication to his family are admirable characteristics that we should all strive for. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, September 2020: Robert Bailey

(Photos courtesy of Robert Bailey)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for September 2020: Robert Bailey. We recently featured Robert in our “Dadding While ____” series because he’s facing one of the most harrowing of circumstances—raising his 2-year-old son and being a good husband, all while living with terminal cancer.

“I know my son is probably not going to remember me. He’s kind of young,” Robert states in the interview about his son, Parker. “I’m just trying to find things to leave that tell him who I was… who I am.”

Robert and his wife, Debbie, couldn’t have kids naturally but finally got to be parents when they adopted Parker. Tragically, Robert’s health began to decline rapidly just as they were finishing the adoption process.

(Photos courtesy of Robert Bailey)

“It’s like, I get this miracle that I never thought would happen, and then a couple of months later, I find out I have inoperable cancer.”

Despite his dire prognosis, Robert continues to do what he can to leave a legacy for his little boy. In fact, he’s currently working with local Nashville musicians to record a song and writing a book about his life story, all in hopes of encompassing who he is and everything he loves about being a father to his son.

“It’s definitely not my choice to leave [my son] alone in this world without a dad … I love him. I love him with every fiber of my being. Losing this battle is going to be very difficult because of him.”

(Photos courtesy of Robert Bailey)

To honor Robert and his fearless commitment to family and fatherhood, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Robert’s dedication and celebration of life is a true inspiration—one that reminds us all to hug the ones we love a little bit tighter, whenever we can.

You will always be a part of this Dad community, Robert. Cheers.


(Robert’s GoFundMe is no longer active due to a time limit for campaigns, but funds can still be donated. His Venmo is @RBailey77 and paypal is [email protected])

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

 

The Dad Of The Month, August 2020: Mark Paris

(Photos courtesy of Emily Paris)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for August 2020: Mark Paris. Despite being faced with serious health issues, Mark has remained a dedicated dad who always puts his family before himself. He was nominated by his daughter, Emily, who couldn’t say enough good things about her papa:

“My dad is the type of dad that continues to work and build and tinker even after retirement (yes, his first retirement project was to build a deck in our backyard, of course). He always needs to be working, thinking, and creating. About a month before I was scheduled to move into my college dorm, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes. Shortly after, he learned that he had stage-four melanoma, as well. While still adjusting to a new diet to regain control over his blood sugar, he needed emergency surgery to remove all the cancerous lymph nodes under his right arm.

“It was a terrifying time for both of us–he was preparing for the worst while I was worried about leaving my dad in poor health, especially since his line of work relies on his physical capabilities. I still remember a few days before his surgery we went kayaking (an activity I grew up doing a lot with him), not knowing if it was the last time we would get to go together. We were both secretly terrified, but he never let me see the side of him that was scared.

“My dad deserves to be ‘Dad of the Month’ because being a dad is the very reason he is still here today. After his surgery, he drove a painstaking 10+ hours with a drain bag attached to his incision site to move me into my dorm. It has always been his dream for me to go to college and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. He always reminded me that no matter what happened to him, I needed to promise I would finish my degree.

“Even though my dad was going through a lot, he never failed to be available and supportive during my educational journey. Not only is he an active person, but he’s also one of those dads that falls asleep at 6 PM and wakes up at 2 PM. There were too many nights to count when I would call him at 5 AM crying about the half-finished essay that was due at 9 AM that day. He was and is ALWAYS there for me. He would get all kinds of interesting, random jobs to help support me financially through school as well, even though he was in no state to be exerting himself to the level he was. One time my grandma sent me a picture of him cutting dead branches out of the 30-foot pine tree in her backyard. What a guy, honestly.

“Long story short, it is because of my dad that I graduated from college and am now going on to pursue my PhD. He’s my biggest supporter, my rock, and my role model. There’s no one else in this world that could persist through the challenges he has faced with the same smile on his face and capacity to put others before himself. I love you, papa!”

To honor Mark and his fearless commitment to family, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Mark’s tenacity, excitement for life, and refusal to let health issues hinder him from being the best dad he can be are admirable characteristics that we should all strive for. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, July 2020: Marwin Fernandez

(Photos courtesy of Jennifer Fernandez)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for July, 2020: Marwin Fernandez. Marwin is one of the brave medical professionals on the front lines fighting against COVID-19, an all-star father to two boys, and a loving husband. His wife, Jennifer, couldn’t help but gush about him in her submission:

“My husband Marwin truly gives his all to his family and is dedicated to working as an ER nurse, showing compassion to everyone in our small-town community. He is a badass that stands and fights death on the daily. He loves what he does and that he makes a difference in people’s lives each day and support his family by doing it. He comes home after a 12 hr shift, his pedometer often registering over 20,000+ steps and reads to our two boys (Landon age 6 and Kai age 4), feeds our dog, and hugs his wife (that’s me Jenn, a local art teacher). He supports me as an artist and will often watch our kids so that I can pursue my professional teaching degrees and have time to work on creating my own art.

“He worked tirelessly during the pandemic often putting himself at risk, therefore having to socially distance himself from his own family for about 2 weeks after his exposure. It was heartbreaking for him to explain to the boys that he couldn’t give them hugs and that he could only video chat with them, but they made the best of it because it was best for everyone.

“He was also working the day of the fatal school bus accident on the highway nearest to Hackettstown Medical Center. They received a few urgent patients at his hospital, one of which—his patient—was a young student. It was questionable how her severe injuries would have affected her life long-term if she had not received his team’s (because he is supported by many) knowledge, quick thinking, and care that ultimately resulted in saving her life. Months later, he was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to meet this young girl, see her smile, and give her a hug once she was healed because that is what it is all about!

“Last year we had the opportunity to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Marwin made sure to get out there at 4 AM in the cold just to make sure his kids got front row seats. This is a true testament to the great dad he is. He also recently taught our 4-year-old, Kai, to ride his bike without training wheels and helped Landon achieve his many cub scout badges. It would be a great honor for him to receive the DAD award because it sounds super hardcore (just like him) and being a Dad is truly the thing that he is most proud of!

“He left his home country of the Philippines to move here when he was 16 and work as an EMT, then a full time as a tech to support his family, having had his first daughter at the age of 20, all while completing nursing school. We are celebrating our 10th year of marriage this year and I was finally able to convince him to take a break from working his second job as a per diem PACU nurse at night. This way he can (maybe) get some rest and no doubt enjoy his time off on the weekends with his boys going on hikes, camping, and fishing.

“He was recently acknowledged for dedication to nursing this past November as the first Daisy award honoree at Hackettstown Medical Center for his ability to create an environment where attributes of trust, compassion, mutual respect for his colleagues and his patients.”

To honor Marwin and his tireless commitment to his family and community, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Marwin’s dedication to excellence in both the medical field and as a father is something we should all aspire for in our own lives!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, June 2020: Bryan Piatt

((Photos courtesy of Jessica Piatt))

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for June, 2020: Bryan Piatt. Bryan is a relentlessly hard worker and an all-star father and husband, even with a 4-year-old son who requires specialized medical care. His wife, Jessica, couldn’t help raving about him in her submission:

“Bryan is the most amazing dad. Our first baby was unplanned, but he was so excited to find out he was gonna be a dad. When he was born, we knew immediately something wasn’t right. Our son Nolan has gone on to be diagnosed with an incredibly rare chromosome disorder (very few in the world have it!), and in Nolan’s short 4 years, he’s had 4 surgeries, many ER trips, countless tests, procedures, and therapies. He’s significantly mentally impaired, so he relies on us for everything.

“Bryan has been there every step of the way, to every surgery, to most therapies, and is the sole reason Nolan learned to walk. He worked with him tirelessly. He was amazing with my post-partum depression, very encouraging, and helpful. Never judging. And all through this, he works third shifts in a factory, which is hard on his body.

“We had a second baby (no big health issues with this little boy, who we named Dallas), and he’s been just as involved with him. He gets very little sleep to make sure he gets to see the boys (and me!) before we leave for the day. We are so so fortunate for Bryan, and I couldn’t imagine living this life with someone else. Nolan and Dallas are so, so lucky.

To honor Bryan and his tireless commitment to his family in the face of such adversity, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Bryan’s steadfastness and refusal to let a medical condition steal their family’s joy is something we all hope we would exhibit. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, May 2020: Andy Salamone

(Photos courtesy of Pier Reiter)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for May, 2020: Andy Salamone. Andy, who lost his eyesight at an early age, is an example of a man who has beaten the odds over and over again to exemplify exceptionalism, not only in his career, but in his role as a father. His brother, Pier, bragged up-and-down about Andy in his nomination:

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is my older brother. He is totally blind after losing his sight in both eyes to the cancer Retinoblastoma at the age of 3. Andy never lets anything get in his way – he was on the high school and college (division 1) wrestling teams. He took his 1st government job in Pearl Harbor—far from family and the familiarity of Pennsylvania. After that, he settled in Washington DC and is now working for Defense Intelligence Agency.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“He and his wife also have a 9-year-old boy, Michael. Andy slid into the role of ‘dad’ without missing a beat – changing diapers, giving bottles, cooking meals, etc. As the years went on and Michael grew, Andy never let his vision slow his abilities & activities as a dad. Most recently Andy has embarked on numerous Boy Scout trips with Michael that include skill activities, hiking, and overnight camping trips.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is there for Michael in every way he needs whether it’s help with homework, someone to have a lightsaber battle with, someone to construct the LEGO kits with, or just someone with whom he can be emotionally open when needed. Andy not only demonstrates all these amazing dad qualities to his own son, but to my two young daughters and our other young nephew.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“It is also worth mentioning that he is a phenomenal cook (minus the time he lit a box of cereal & his oven mitt on fire) and can still beat me in a game of HORSE in basketball. Andy has defeated the odds and overcome discrimination as a blind man and never let anything get in his way. Yet, despite his work and extracurricular accomplishments, if you ask him what his favorite and most rewarding job is, he will say being Michael’s dad.”

To honor Andy and his unwavering dedication to killing the dad game, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Thanks for showing us what outstanding fatherhood in the face of adversity looks like, Andy!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, April 2020: Joel Stetler

(Joel Stetler)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for April 2020: Joel Stetler. For the past 3 years, Joel has been living with a rare incurable cancer, teaching 3rd grade, coaching football and baseball, and giving 110% as a father to his 3 kids. Read his nomination submitted by his partner, Amanda:

(Joel Stetler)

“Joel is a father of 3, living with a rare incurable cancer. His disease is active, and has never been in remission. He works as a public school 3rd grade teacher, coaching football and baseball for the school in his spare time. He makes his own 3 kiddos his priority at home, despite the cancer treatments that leave him extremely fatigued.

(Joel Stetler)

Joel was diagnosed with cancer when the youngest of our 3 children was only 3 months old.  His prognosis wasn’t good, with statistics giving him a survival rate of 3-5% beyond 5 years.  His immediate reaction to those statistics and any like it has always been, “I have to make it that far. I have to make it beyond ‘that.’ That number. I have to make it to graduations, and weddings, and everything my kids need me to see.”

(Joel Stetler)

What makes Joel such an amazing dad is that he is PRESENT. He makes the most of every second with his kids, because every second is one he was not guaranteed. Maybe it’s spent jumping on the trampoline with them (their absolute favorite dad activity) despite feeling ill because of cancer meds.  Or it’s spent going on a run with his daughter so that she is in the best shape for cross country she can be, despite the fatigue and exhaustion from chemo.  Over the last four years his kids have grown up seeing their father be brave despite facing something scary.  At times I have told him he should rest or relax more, but his answer has always been, ‘I want the kids to know their dad didn’t waste the time that he had.  I want to make sure they always remember that they were the most important priority for me.’

(Joel Stetler)

This dad is the most amazing example to his kids on how to have a positive outlook on life, even amidst the most dire circumstances. He’s always smiling and never lets his disease steal the happiness he gets from serving his community and living his best life with his family.”

(Joel Stetler)

To honor Joel’s inner and outer strength and show appreciation for all he gives to his family and everyone in his life, we are sending $500 and special edition dad gear. With his bravery and love of life, Joel sets an example not just for his kids but everyone who has the privilege of hearing his story. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, March 2020: Matt Rispoli

(Matt Rispoli)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for March, 2020: Matt Rispoli. Matt serves his community as a police officer, his kids as an attentive, involved father, and recently fought a wolf who attacked his family while camping. Seriously. Matt is a real deal hero. His wife Elisa gushed about Matt in her nomination:

“Well, first off, The Dad actually featured my amazing husband, Matt, a few months ago because he is such an amazing dad (and badass). In August, our family was attacked by a Wolf while we were sleeping in our tent while camping on a family vacation in Banff, Canada. Matt put himself between the wolf and myself and our two young sons, fighting off the wolf despite suffering repeated bites. The attack lasted about 5 full minutes and while I screamed (bloody murder) for help, he continuously fought and pinned the wolf that was trying so desperately to have Matt for his dinner.

In addition to solidifying his position as our forever hero, Matt is the most hands on dad that I’ve ever seen. He takes our boys snowboarding, hikes the High Peaks mountain range in New York, and builds LEGO sets for hours on end.

Matt doesn’t just protect and inspire our family. He’s an amazing police officer that helps his community every day, frequently visiting elementary schools to have lunch with the kids.

He is so patient and loving to us all, and even though he was the one with the physical injuries from our traumatic experience, he’s been our family’s rock as we all healed and continue to heal from what happened to us. He is the GOAT in our opinion and deserves to be Dad of the damn year!”

To honor Matt’s utter badassery and loving commitment to his family and community, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Matt’s courage and ferocity is what we all aspire to. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, February 2020: Luis Arcos

(Luis Arcos)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for February, 2020: Luis Arcos. Luis and his family have been through a lot, and Luis has been a  dedicated provider and unwavering source of love and support. Here is what his wife, Eva, had to say about him:

“Luis and I are parents of Moises and Ernesto. As a family we have been through so much. Luis has been our rock and the best father.

(Luis Arcos)

Luis has always been involved in our sons’ lives. I remember being home those first few weeks with Moises, losing my mind trying to breastfeed him all night, and Luis would get home in the morning after working all night and help me. He was there every day for us, from late night feedings, changing diapers, bedtime stories, and so much more. No matter how tired he was, Luis was there with help.

(Luis Arcos)

Our youngest, Ernesto, was born with Chromosome 18q- Syndrome. No parent plans for their child to have a chromosome anomaly. It was difficult to adjust, but Luis was determined to give Ernesto the best quality of life. Ernesto was constantly in and out of the hospital, spending countless hours at doctor and therapy appointments. Our city doesn’t have a local genetic specialist, so Luis drove many miles out of town to get Ernesto the care he needed. Many nights he’d stay up just to make sure Ernesto was okay.

(Luis Arcos)

In 2018, when Ernesto was 2, his chromosome anomaly ended up taking him away from us. We are still battling depression, but it hasn’t stopped Luis from being the best dad to our son Moises. He is present and truly there for him.

(Luis Arcos)

Any time we’ve struggled financially, Luis would find a way to get our family everything we needed. He even picked up general labor jobs to help with all the extra expenses. Currently, Luis is working one full-time and another part-time job as a healthcare provider, while going to college, and somehow still manages to be there for his family and others.

(Luis Arcos)

I know I’m biased, but in the 7 years I’ve known my husband, he has grown into the hardest working dad I know. I wouldn’t have been able to get through the obstacles we’ve faced as parents if he wasn’t there for us. I’m very proud of the man he is today and the man I know he will be.”

(Luis Arcos)

To recognize Luis’ devotion to his family, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Throughout struggle and heartbreak, Luis has always put fatherhood first, and let his love for his family carry them through. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life!

The Dad Of The Month, January 2020: Andy McCall

(Andy McCall)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for January, 2020: Andy McCall. Andy wears a lot of hats: father, husband, coach, teacher, author, volunteer, advocate. No matter what role he’s in, Andy is giving his all and inspiring those around him. His wife Ellen shared their story with us:

“Andy and I are parents to Penelope and 1 year old twins, Scout and Maizie. We’ve been through many trials and tribulations since we became parents in 2014, when our daughter Penelope was born with a brain malformation and many special needs.

In 2016, Penelope passed away at 23 months old. Andy has always worked hard in his roles as a 2nd grade teacher and high school football coach, even when Penelope was in and out of the hospital. No matter how exhausted or stressed he was, Andy drove many miles at the end of his work day to be with Penelope, and give me a break. On many occasions he stayed all night, driving to work in the morning straight from the hospital. When we received Penelope’s cancer diagnosis in 2016, I flew with her to St. Jude while Andy drove across the state for 8 hours to meet us. Her cancer was too aggressive to treat, and we made the decision to spend her last month with us at home.

(Andy McCall)

I know I am biased, but Andy really tries to set an example for what a dad should be. I’m thankful every day that my children have the most amazing role model in their lives.”

(Andy McCall)

 

To honor Andy’s perseverance and recognize him as a shining light for others, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. There is more hope and love in the world because of Andy. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, December 2019: Greg Gottsch

(Greg Gottsch)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for December, 2019: Greg Gottsch. Greg’s experience as a father didn’t begin the way he anticipated, but every step of the way Greg has stepped up as a partner and parent. His wife, Amber, shared the following:

(Greg Gottsch)

“Our first child was born at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 4oz. I had preeclampsia and would have died the night our son was born, but my husband was so worried he stayed awake to watch over me. As soon as I started seizing, he rushed me to the hospital where I had an emergency C-section. I was unconscious in ICU in critical condition while they explained to my husband that our son, Wyatt, would likely die but he could hold him while he passed. While I remained unconscious, Greg learned to pump my breast milk to feed our son in hopes of increasing his chance of survival. When I woke up, Greg carried me to finally meet Wyatt and he’s been carrying our family ever since.

(Greg Gottsch)

For the 6 months our son was in the NICU, Greg worked during the day, providing for us and ensuring I could be in the hospital with Wyatt. All the while he was working toward his bachelor’s degree, determined to give his family the best he could. It was physically and emotionally the most exhausting year of our lives. The hospital staff warned me that many relationships can’t withstand the stress we were faced with, that they often see men leave. But not Greg. Never once did he complain. He simply said, ‘this is fatherhood and I will do whatever it takes to take care of my son.’

(Greg Gottsch)

Greg stepped up to the plate of caring for a special-needs child, to being the sole provider, and to carrying our family through many more storms. We’ve since had another (full-term and healthy!) child and he has stepped up to the challenge again. Being a father is his greatest joy. In fact, we hope to become foster parents and offer a stable home to kids who need it, and I’m confident we can offer that because Greg is such a great daddy. I don’t know anyone who works harder or loves his kids more.

(Greg Gottsch)

The passion Greg has for fatherhood and for supporting men to embrace the role of dad is contagious. It’s what led him to following The Dad. I can’t think of anyone more incredible or deserving of being The Dad of the Month than Greg. He is the epitome of a great dad!”

(Greg Gottsch)

To recognize Greg’s perseverance and dedication to his family, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. From the very beginning, Greg has proven his outstanding commitment to the well-being of his wife and kids. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life!