As many of you know, Fandads.com is part of a huge community of dadbloggers. We were amongst the first 30 blogs that were asked to be part of the group and we were: A. excited that someone knew who we were, B. excited to see where this would lead. Since its beginning the group has now totaled over 1000 members.
The guy who started this group is Oren Miller who runs A Blogger and a Father. He started this group to get like-minded dads together and try to change the perceptions of fatherhood. This one thought, this one little idea has ballooned into a nationwide movement that brands are now changing the way they look at fathers. From Dove Men+Care #RealStrength campaign to the father-themed ads that ran during the Super Bowl, I attribute this change to Oren.
So why am I talking about this guy to you? Why am I telling you this story? Well, Oren was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer last May and he writes about it so elegantly on his blog. When word of this reached the dadblogging group together we decided to raise $5000 to give him and his family one more great family vacation together.
To this day, we have raised over $35,000 for his family. This will help out with medical expenses, college tuitions for when his kids are of age and just day to day expenses. Can you imagine that? This guy who many of us just know from a Facebook group has made such a huge impact on our lives that we all pitched in to take care of him; We take care of our own.
Last night Oren posted on the Dadblogger page that his time has come. He told us that there will be no more chemo treatments and now he will just have days maybe weeks to live. As you can guess, that post has exploded with nothing but anger about life being not fair, to compassion telling him how much he has influenced our lives. We announced to him how we will be here for whatever he needs and will do our best to take care of his family; We take care of our own.
During the Dad 2.0 Summit, it was announced that the scholarships will now be known as the Oren Miller Scholarships. The money for the scholarships came from the Dadblogger group and it was enough that there were six recipients of the scholarships. I am grateful to say that I was one of the first few to have won that scholarship and I will always be thankful for what it means; We take care of our own.
Oren has taught me what #RealStrength is and I can only hope to be as strong as him in my daily life as he was in his struggle. Although I have never met him, I consider Oren not only a fellow dadblogger, but a friend, a brother and a mentor. Thank you for everything, Oren, and God bless you on your final road home.
"I was serious when I talked about the immortality you've given me with this sponsorship and with your friendship. I was serious about everything. You're my people." Oren Miller