2012 Best Dad on Wheels is Steve Laux!
By: Janelle LoBello
Steve Laux, 35, of Minneapolis, MN, says that being dad is "the best job ever!" With almost 4,500 online votes cast, Steve, who is living with a C5, C6 level spinal cord injury from a diving accident at Lake Superior in 1998, is the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's 2012 Best Dad on Wheels.
Kurt Wiger, Steve's long-time friend, an advocate in the disability community and active volunteer, nominated Steve.
Father to his three daughters, McKenzie, 3, and twins Devon and Dakota, 11 months, Steve says, "I've only been at it three years, so I've obviously learned more from them than any other job I've had. It's an outstanding role to look into these eyes."
"I couldn't be happier to have been a part of this contest," admits Steve, who notes the Best Dad on Wheels contest comes at an opportune time as the beginning of summer marks an increase in recreational accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries. "It is truly great that Christopher Reeve's foundation is continuing his remarkable legacy of being an outstanding person and dad, while bringing awareness to another aspect of life with a spinal cord injury."
My legs don't work
Some of Steve's favorite moments with his 11-month-old daughters are spending quality time with them; cuddling, rocking, singing songs, and reading books. "It is absolutely hectic. My wife, Chau, will have one or two and I'll have one!"
"My three-year-old is definitely daddy's little girl," admits Steve recalling some of their favorite moments. "Taking her to the park just over the weekend having her experience fishing for the first time and realize what's going on. Touching the fish, the fish goes in the water or out of the water, or on the plate!"
"I definitely say 'we won this,'" Steve says referring to himself and his wife of almost five-years. "I can't take credit for all the hard work Chau puts in as a stay-at-home-mom."
Along with being a dad and husband, Steve has a career as a Market Development Consultant at Medtronic, Inc., a manufacturer of medical equipment. "I enjoy working for a company whose mission is aligned with my aspirations in life," says Steve, who also is active in his community, sitting on the board of some local nonprofit organizations.
In addition to working full-time and his active community life, Steve volunteers at the Courage Center, a place for rehabilitation, fitness, and recreation for individuals living with disabilities. Specifically, Steve helps to bring awareness to the Courage Center's ABLE program, which is part of the Reeve Foundation's Community Fitness and Wellness Facility.
More than a contest
"I am most proud about being able to bring attention to the fact that there are these awesome dads that deal with the same challenges I deal with on a daily basis and don't let impact them being a father," says Steve. "I'm grateful to be able to share our family in hopes they bring a smile to your face and awareness that our diversity, or disability, can indeed make us stronger."
And the winner receives