Drs. David and Michele Parker founded Madison Eye Care Center in October 2001. Their vision was to create a facility that would provide quality eye care in a warm, caring, family environment. That vision continues today not only in the way that they care for and treat patients, but also in the atmosphere that is felt by everyone who walks in the door. They understand that caring for eyes is their profession, but caring for people is their passion.
David and Michele met in Chemistry 101 at Auburn University. They were best friends throughout their undergraduate studies at Auburn. They were both accepted to and attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Optometry (UABSO). Near the end of their third year of optometry school, they were engaged and were married in July 2000. After graduation in May 2001, they made plans to open their own practice.
In October 2001, the doors of Madison Eye Care Center opened in a small leasable space on Hughes Road. Initially, the practice consisted of David and Michele who both worked part-time jobs at other locations to supplement their income. This allowed one of them to be at their practice at all times as their practice began to grow. Michele’s mom, Brenda, was their receptionist and only employee/volunteer. The practice enjoyed continued growth as word of mouth referrals brought more patients to the office. In August 2010, they built a new state-of-the-art facility next to the post office on Hughes Road where their patients continue to be cared for today. Their staff has also continued to grow and includes amazing people who help care for and support them in their endeavor to provide excellent care in a warm environment.
David and Michele’s professional dreams seemed to be coming true. They enjoyed working together and providing a caring atmosphere for patients and staff. On August 24, 2011, Michele received a call that would change their lives forever. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the next 5 years they would fight together through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy all the while continuing to provide care for their own patients. They were supported by their fellow doctors, staff and patients. Near the end of the five-year journey, they were hoping to hear, “You are cancer free”. However, that was not God’s plan for their lives. On July 19, 2016, they found out that Michele’s cancer had metastasized to her liver. They were told that she would have 6 months – 2 years to live. Upon hearing this, they made one of the hardest decisions to date. Michele would step back from patient care and take medical leave to spend time with their children and to fight another battle.
Today, Michele takes oral chemotherapy and continues to defy odds. David continues to see patients and has been supported in countless ways by the other doctors and staff. Our patients have been so understanding during this journey. David’s hard work and dedication to his patients, staff, Michele and their family is remarkable. Although Michele is not physically present in the office seeing patients, her spirit and love remains palpable there. It is a warm, loving and caring environment and every staff member exhibits the Parker’s philosophy. It is evident the moment you walk in the door of their practice – they truly care for people, not just eyes.