The Debt I Owe to a Man I Will Probably Never Meet

There have been some changes these past few weeks over here at, as I’m sure you have noticed.  I’ve moved everything over to a self-hosted site, I’ve reorganized, the font is different, and hopefully the experience has improved for you.  But I’ve also been doing some behind-the-scenes work to try and kick this endeavor up a level.  I’ve added merchandise, I’m continually tweaking the new site, and I’ve been tweeting a bit more, in hopes of connecting with other like-minded individuals who might enjoy what I do, or who might do what I do already, only better, and could be a good resource for me.

As I stumbled about through the virtual universe, I came upon something amazing that I never expected.  A whole big, vibrant dad-blogging community!  Over 800 of them!  All these Dads, most of the non-Tenor variety, were writing, and parenting, and dealing with the same stuff I was dealing with.  Not just at home, but online!  Questions would be posted about moving a blog from Blogger to WordPress, or self-hosting, or how to get advertisers, and then these questions would be answered!  All the things I had been doing, and it turned out that I wasn’t alone after all!  Sometimes, sitting here at the computer typing late at night, it can seem like a solitary endeavor.  What a joy and a relief to suddenly feel connected!

They accepted me without hesitation, into their facebook group, and their twitter chats, and I could tell right away that theirs was an active group.  Sorry, I mean ours is an active group.  Still have to get used to that.  I felt right at home, and I spent days poring over this wealth of posted knowledge and community that I had gained access to.  It was all started a few years ago by a Dad named Oren Miller, and he was clearly an amazing person.  Everyone on the site loved him.  After all, he had brought us together!  People were posting pictures of themselves with him at Dad conferences, and photos of him at their weddings.  This was not a guy who started a Facebook group and then tended it from time to time.  This was a guy who started a family.  Well, another one.  I mean, he had one already, and then, well, come on, you know what I mean.

All of this excitement that first week of June, as I prepared to relaunch this site, was cut short very quickly when Oren made a terrible announcement on his own blog, A Blogger and a Father.  On June 3rd, he posted this article, informing all of us that he had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  As you can imagine, the shockwaves sent through the group were large and unsettling.  A complete newcomer, I had no idea what to say or do.  This guy, who I had met only two days earlier in a very virtual way through his posts and his community, had been given a year to live.  I would most likely not be meeting him at a future event, or tracking him down to shake his hand.  What a missed opportunity!  If only I had found out about this group a year or two earlier!  And now what…?

Well, I wasn’t kidding when I said that these guys were a real family.  There was plenty of shock and grief over those first few days, but then, instead of simply moving on or clicking over to the next tab, these Dad bloggers did something amazing.  They decided to raise $5000 to send Oren on a vacation with his family.  So they set up a donation site, hoping that they could raise the cash over the next few months, and in less than 12 hours they had blown by that number, and have now raised almost $30,000, which he will receive for not only a vacation, but ongoing medical expenses.  Many people have been given a death sentence by cancer and beaten it, and we are all hoping for a miracle, but either way there are going to be major medical expenses that they will need help with.

I’m making a donation, in support of the man I’ve never met, but who has already made a difference in my life.  If you would like to do the same, the campaign for Oren is at, and you can get to it by clicking here.  I hope you’ll consider it.

Posted in Blogging, Cancer, Tenor Dad.

One Comment

  1. Adam – This is a great post – and I did read Oren’s post informing you all of his cancer. But … having the time of our life, right here, right now … seeing “heaven on earth” in the present moment – that’s the lesson we need to learn. I trust you will keep your readers informed as to how Oren is making out. I’m really grateful for all you do, Adam.

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