My son, Taryn, was born at Victoria General Hospital on September 13, 2001. Taryn was born 5 weeks premature and had profound hearing loss. He was strong and healthy and luckily for Taryn, his mom had been born deaf as well so both of his parents already knew Sign Language. Unfortunately, Taryn’s mom didn’t have the range of parenting skills needed to nurture and help him grow.
By the time Taryn was two years old I realized that on my own, I could raise Taryn in a more stable and healthy environment. In 2004, I took the opportunity to tell his mom that I was leaving with our son.
I can honestly say that it has not been easy to be a single parent. I was able to get full custody of Taryn, but was unable to find affordable housing in Victoria so we moved to Duncan for a year, then, in 2005, moved back to Victoria. Once settled, I enrolled Taryn in preschool and quickly found a job in out-of-school care.
In 2008 I found 1Up by responding to a Peer Helper ad in the local newspaper and it changed my life. After completing the 10-week training program, I volunteered at the Centre as much as I could. I then participated in the Dads With Dads support group and connected with other single dads who were focused on the best interests of their sons and daughters. I am here as proof of my success. Thanks to 1Up, I am now able to help other single parents navigate many of the same challenges. I have been employed at the Centre for over seven years now. And I’ve become the father that I always wanted my son to have.