Almost everybody has bragging rights to having the best dad in the world. And though 1-year-old Christopher Bridgman can barely brag at his age, his mother Jennifer proudly speaks for him about his father – a testament that has secured Chris Bridgman Sr. the position as a top-10 finalist in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s 2011 Best Dad on Wheels contest.
Readers may recall that Chris Sr. suffered injuries to his L1 and T12 vertebra in a dirt-bike accident Feb. 20, 2010 (Town Crier: “The power of love, a lesson in hope,” May 25, 2010). After several weeks in the hospital, the Los Altos native returned to his Mountain View home in a wheelchair. One week after his return, Jennifer gave birth to the couple’s first child, Christopher, March 27.
Despite the personal challenges, Jennifer’s belief that Chris would be an amazing father has never faded. “True to my hunch, Chris is the kind of father that legends are made of,” Jennifer wrote in submitting Chris’s name as Best Dad on Wheels. “His is patient and playful, affectionate and attentive, loyal and loving. As a co-parent alongside a paraplegic, I have a front-row seat to the human spirit at its finest every day.”
From applicants across the country who live with paralysis and demonstrate dedication, love, encouragement and goodwill on a daily basis, the foundation narrowed its selection to 10 finalists.
“Paralysis, depression and nerve pain are no match for Chris’s desire to be a hands-on family man,” Jennifer wrote. “There is no room for self-pity in Chris’s life – he is too busy raising our son, providing for our family and counting all the blessings in his life.”
Read a full update on the Bridgman family in the June 15 Town Crier.
To view Jennifer’s video submission, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi5doKgI4_k. To view the 10 finalists’ photos and stories and to vote for Bridgman, visit www.christopherreeve.org/site/c.ddJFKRNoFiG/b.7502305/k.5F02/Vote_for_the_2011_Best_Dad_on_Wheels.htm. Voters can cast their selection through June 14, in time for Father’s Day June 19.