MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — As of 2019, Seattle & Portland both ranked in the top 5 of the most podcast listeners in the country.
You can find a podcast about pretty much anything, and one Mercer Island mom turned to these podcasts when she found out her child had a rare disability.
“I have a three and a half-year-old son named Ford. He was born with a rare genetic syndrome called CTNNB-1. He was only 1 in 30 when he was diagnosed," said Effe Parks, creator of "Once Upon a Gene Podcast ‘True stories of raising rare kiddos.'"
"In the beginning, it took me a little bit of time to cope. I was working through all those sad, emotional, anger and jealousy feelings -- going through all of that. I asked myself, ‘why was this happening to my family? Why is this happening to my son?’ I found comfort in podcasts actually," Parks said.
Parks would listen to podcasts with other parents who had children with disabilities. When one podcast stopped, she quickly turned to the next, and the next. She had a hunger for more content but there wasn’t a ton to choose from in this category, so she created her own.
“I just think it’s important for us parents to talk about this stuff and I think it’s important to talk to our friends who don’t have kids like ours. I think it’s important for everyone outside of our lucky few to shine a light on this world a little more. Because we’re here and we’re awesome and our kids are awesome. I just want to be a part of this coming out of the shadows and how everybody recognizes how cool it is and how different is cool and how disability is cool. It is diversity and I just want to help move that needle anyway I can. I hope that I am in some way helping to make a difference for the world that my son is going to live in," Parks said.