Quick note: there are a lot of links in this post. You can click on all of them or click on some of them or don’t click on any of them. But if you’re going to click one, please click on the link at the end.
I’ve never met Oren Miller.
I’ve read his writing. Oren is the man behind A Blogger And A Father and the founder of the Dad Bloggers Facebook group. His blog is a collection of stories he’s found in other blogs, plus musings about his own experiences as a father raising two kids with his wife, Beth.
I’ve heard his voice. He was a guest on the Life of Dad After Show,1 so I’ve heard him speak in his thick Israeli accent that is so strong it makes me wonder how a man whose first language was Hebrew gained such an incredible mastery of English writing. I remember being surprised when I found out that Oren was originally from Tel Aviv because his writing flows so effortlessly that one would swear the words were put down by someone born and bred in the U.S.
I’ve seen his face. The twinkle in his soft eyes sets off his tanned skin and the rugged stubble on his cheeks. His sense of humor and love for his family come through in his smile that sets everyone at ease with its warmth.
I’ve never met Oren Miller, and yet, I feel like he’s one of my oldest friends. It’s an odd thing about bloggers; we write stories about ourselves and our families and send them out into the ether, effectively releasing any control we might have had regarding the types of people who will have access to them. We open ourselves up to the world, sharing our successes, but also our insecurities and failings as parents, spouses and as people. I’ve never met Oren, but I know about his mastermind idea to expose his kids to art and his struggle with explaining celebrity behavior to his son. I know about his passion for helping to improve the ways that fathers are perceived in popular culture and for giving dads a space to collaborate regarding their experiences as parents.
I know that Oren has cancer.
I wrote last week about how there’s nothing more important in parenting than having a community around for support as you talk on the most important job there is. In Oren’s case, the Dad Blogger community has been his support. One of the other bloggers – who has met Oren – set up a fundraising website with the idea that we could all contribute to help Oren and his family go on one last really nice vacation while Oren still can.2 In less than a day, the money raised had almost doubled the initial modest goal of $5000. Within a week the total had reached $25,000 and it’s still climbing. The story of Oren’s diagnosis and the fundraising efforts that followed were featured on the Today Show parenting website, which has helped immensely, but Oren and his family need all the help they can get to pay medical bills and to find some way to get through this ordeal. I don’t consider myself much of a pitchman, but I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to help Oren out. Click here to donate.
Every little bit helps.
1. Yours truly was a guest on a later episode of that podcast.↩
2. I’m not going to go into the details of the diagnosis here. I’m still kind of in disbelief about the whole thing and how terrible cancer can be. Let’s just say it’s really bad and leave it at that.↩