stay different. stay real.

Fathers need support to.

fathers dayHi gang, John Espley (Mountain Man) here. I usually write a Father’s day blog about all the wonderful aspects of being a father, including spending time with your children. This year I thought we should take a look at fathers from a different angle. A more serious perspective. Being the community relations guy for Accent Inns and Hotel Zed, I get to work with so many wonderful organizations, many of which are connected to or support fathers in one way or another.

It’s common, certainly in the movie and TV world, to see fathers as those indestructible guardians of the family. A father who travels into a foreign land, beats a whole team of ride to livetrained commandos and saves his family whose been caught behind a border due to criminal activity (yes I’m thinking of you Arnold or Liam). Fathers can sit at the dining room table and answer all homework questions, solve all emotionally charged friendship or relationship issues, all the while tying a perfect fly for the family fishing trip.

Well, sorry Hollywood, but fathers are people too. We don’t have all the answers, we are not impervious to anything the world throws at us. Contrary to popular belief, we even shed a tear from time to time. As I mentioned at the beginning, there are many, many organizations out there that help us fathers get through life’s challenges, or support our families when we’re not able to.

2014 Cycle of Hope teamRecently Accent Inns had the honor of partnering with the Ride to Live organization, which supports research on the way to curing prostate cancer. I’ve seen many fathers lose the battle to prostate cancer and can’t thank these motorcycle riders enough for raising awareness regarding early detection and research. Coming up this summer is the Cycle of Hope for ALS. Although ALS affects both sexes, many of the stories I’ve heard from families relate to someone losing their father to this frustrating disease. Of course moms are wonderful towers of strength in a family, but remember this article is about dads. Many of the ALS stories related to me involve a family who’s watched their “indestructible” father slowly taken down by ALS. Not only is this terrible for the father suffering the disease but the family has some incredible challenges taking care of the man that used to take care of them. The awareness and funds raised by the Cycle of Hope not only help fund research into the disease but also offer support to those struggling families and trust me, as a father watching my family struggle would be even more terrible than a disease.

Another group I admire is the Family Support Institute of BC. This group offers assistance and support to families that have children with disabilities. Imagine how hard it would befamily-support-page as a parent, a father, to support emotionally, physically and even financially your child and your family when a disability comes into play. As a parent, of course you’ll do whatever it takes, but where do you turn for help? The FSIBC holds out a helping hand to those parents who need to know just where to turn for help. They offer you a peer, a friend to share your burden and offer emotional support. They show parents that there is a light and the tunnel just doesn’t end, but continues and offers the chance for a long journey of happy moments.

adoptiveAlthough there are so many organizations out there that offer support to fathers, and our thanks go out to them all, I’m going to finish off with the Adoptive Families Association of BC. What if you want to be a father but biology has thrown you a curve?. What if you feel you have much to offer that could help a child have a better life? Being a father is one of the greatest gifts life can offer and it’s wonderful that the AFABC helps prospective parents go through the process of bringing a child into their family. More over, they offer support in building a family when additional concerns make it a little more work to achieve what we all want. A happy healthy family.

Yes it’s true, all your fathers out there that seemed like they were superhero’s and 50 feet tall when you were 5 are actually human beings with all the challenges that come with that title. So this father’s day give your dad a hug and remember, at times, fathers need support too.

John Espley
Director of Marketing & Communications for Accent Inns