On this Father’s Day, you’ll find the Borden family in their backyard barbecuing and enjoying a slice of homemade huckleberry cheesecake. A special celebration for Mike Borden- a husband and father who works 12-hour days. A man who holds his wife’s hand while rushing her to the hospital for another seizure episode. A compassionate man who puts his three kids first, no matter what. The same man who keeps the yard and his neighbors in tip-top shape.
“When we need a strong hand of support in our family, Mike is always there. I love him for being who he is and that he does for us. I’ve never met a more hardworking man. He’s my rock and my best friend,” said Ryan Borden, Mike’s wife.
It’s been a tough year for the family. Last spring, an unusual spot on Ryan’s arm turned out to be skin cancer, stage 2 melanoma. Doctors removed the cancerous spot just as Ryan was entering in her third month of pregnancy.
Ryan suffers from seizures, and while pregnant, she was unable to keep her medication down. She lost nearly 20 pounds in the first few months of the pregnancy. The seizures forced doctors to perform an emergency c-section.
“My husband was the first to hold baby Brinn. I didn’t get to see her for two days after she was born because of all my complications,” said Ryan.
Through it all, Ryan’s spirit remains bright, and she finds joy in the small things, like their elephant-shaped topiary in the front yard.
“I call her Molly. I change out her flower eyes, to match the season-spring, summer, fall, and winter,” said Ryan.
Mike used to be an arborist. The elephant was already there when they moved into the home near Franklin Park. So, he continues the tradition and keeps Molly’s ears, trunk, and body perfectly trimmed year-round.
“People love to look and take pictures. They love it,” said Ryan.
A branch of hope, when life is hard. Ryan credits her husband for getting them through the tough times and is thankful for the incredible example he sets for their kids, Blake, Bonnie, and Brinn.
“You give our children and myself someone to admire, respect, and honor. To the world, you are just one person, but to us, you are our whole world. We love you so very much. Happy Father’s Day,” said Ryan.