Wings for Life

Christmas Appeal

2018 is the year I’m going to be a dad. It’s got me thinking.
By Wolfgang Illek
Partnerships and Event Manager at Wings for Life

Dear readers and supporters,

This is the time of year that most of you will start reflecting on the past twelve months. This year, I will not. Actually, the future is the only thing that counts for me now. The reason for this new outlook on life is that my fiancée and I are expecting our first child in January. A child that was - just to clarify - absolutely planned :-)

Wolfgang Illek Christmas 2017

Now that the predicted birth date is approaching fast, we have already set up a cot, and are busy getting the tiny baby things in order, I find myself preoccupied with countless thoughts and concerns.

I suffered a serious accident thirteen years ago and have been paralysed from the neck down ever since. I can no longer feel my body properly. I cannot move my arms and fingers, let alone my legs. Our little girl will notice my predicament sooner rather than later. My interactions with her will be limited. I won’t be able to pick her up when she’s sad or run after her when she takes her first steps. My future wife will have to shoulder many additional responsibilities alone - dressing her, changing her nappies, and all sorts of duties that may arise spontaneously.

I already know that she will be a great mother and manage the new situation with loving self-assurance. Our respective parents, siblings, and friends will support her. They will all teach our little girl things that I can no longer due to my spinal cord injury. They will show her how to tie shoe laces properly. They will teach her how to ride a bicycle and how to swim. They will run around with her and help her build her first snowman.

My biggest wish is that I could do all that with her and for her. I am full of hope that the day X, on which a cure is announced, will arrive and I am staying fit to be ready when it does.

Wolfgang Illek Christmas 2017

Until then, I will do my utmost to be a good father - despite my limitations. I will read stories to her while she’s sitting on my lap. I will be there for her when something troubles her. And I will help her find her own way through life. I want her to grow up to be a self-confident and happy individual.

I hope you will join me this Christmas in our mission to find a cure for spinal cord injury. By donating to Wings for Life you can make my wish a reality.

I wish you all a merry Christmas surrounded by your loved ones.

Yours truly,
Wolfgang Illek