Super Dad: Oren Miller!

June 26, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

Riffing off my SuperLunchNotes, this summer I’m doodling a series of notes featuring some of my favorite dad bloggers… re-imagined as superheroes. Why? Because it’s fun. And because you should be reading these guys. And because I’ve gotten so much support from my community of blogging dad pals, I wanted to toss some good karma their way. I’m pretty super that way.

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Super Dad Oren Miller

The first time this father of two sat down to write, he spilled his coffee and a sippy cup of milk onto his laptop. As he frantically grabbed to salvage his computer, the caffeine and calcium fused into a super-technological compound, surged through his body, and immediately connected him to every other dad blogger — past, present or future!
Powers: Using only his mind, PROFESSOR O can seek out any dad blogger in the galaxy! He then connects them into a secret community where they learn how to use their own mutant blogging skills to squash stereotypes, offer support to one another, and advocate for fathers everywhere! He is also a master level blogger AND father: he can change minds and manipulate emotions through the written word, coordinate hundreds of dads with a few mouse clicks, and oversee a playdate complete with healthy snacks and an important life lesson thrown in for good measure.
Weaknesses: He gets really annoyed by exclamation points (!) and by the ever-changing Facebook group policies. Also hates Nazis.

Oren truly is a superhero to me and to the nearly 800 dad bloggers that belong to the Facebook group he started two years ago. Even before launching this informal group, he would search out new dads who were blogging and feature them on his site, A Blogger and a Father. This is how I first “met” him. I met him in real life a few months later, when he invited me to a meeting between several other parent bloggers and the governor of Maryland. There I was able to personally thank Governor O’Malley for all he did to pass same-sex marriage in our state — an opportunity that still boggles my mind and warms my heart.

I’ve not met anyone else in the blogging community with such a pure desire to connect and support people. His aspirations were never to appear on The Today Show or be the keynote speaker at a conference. His ambition is to find and build community, to start and continue dialog — not just about writing and social media, but about the struggles of life and the indescribable experience of being a father.

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I had already planned to include Oren in this series of Super Dad notes, but this post is serving an additional, and vastly more important function…

At the end of May, Oren was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer had spread to several other organs, and he was given a prognosis of one year. Please take a moment and read his own words about this experience, as mine can’t begin to do it justice.

Shortly after his diagnosis, I started a fundraiser through GiveForward on behalf of our ragtag group of dads, with the hopes of raising $5,000 to send Oren, his wife, and two children on a family vacation. Within 12 hours it surpassed that goal, and now (less than 2 weeks later) stands to reach $30,000. The fundraiser has since pulled in many beyond his dad blogging community, with their generosity now earmarked for medical bills, education funds for the kids, as well as an unforgettable family vacation. To help attain (and surpass) this next benchmark, the extremely helpful and generous folks at GiveForward have offered to contribute $25 for each blogger who writes about Oren — up to $1000 (40 blog posts). By the time I publish this, I believe I’ll be number 40.

If you have ever read and enjoyed my writing
, you have Oren Miller partly to thank. After my first year of blogging, I was considering giving it up, not having felt I’d connected with many people. Being featured on Oren’s site, joining the Facebook group, and having the privilege of calling Oren my friend have inspired me beyond measure. Not just as a writer, but as a father, a husband, and as a person on this planet.

Please consider adding your own contribution to this fund. It won’t bring a cure. It won’t buy more time. But it will extend the community of support for those Oren cares for most, connect you to something bigger than yourself, and make you — even if for a moment — a superhero.

Oren and Brent

Oren and me at my wedding in April

Dad Blogger offspring

Future generations of parent bloggers goof around in Oren’s backyard.


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14 responses to “Super Dad: Oren Miller!”

  1. Dada Mike says:

    He is blessed to have a friend like you. And vice versa, I’m sure.

  2. Carter says:

    Beautiful, Brent. I would like to have been a fly on the wall for that O’Malley meeting. You, Oren and Adrian at one table with the governor of Maryland? Historic!

    • Brent Almond says:

      LOL, I don’t know how historic it was. It was the first time I’d ever met either one of them, and we were outnumbered by several mom bloggers. But it *was* cool/memorable/awesome for sure.

  3. Cigale meshel says:

    Thank you Brent from the bottom of my heart for doing all you have done for Oren, for starting this fundraising and giving so many people the opportunity of telling Oren how he had influenced their lives — it’s so important for us, his family, and to Oren. Your words are kind and generous and they make me smile and feel thankful and blessed that Oren has such amazing friend. And the Professor O caricature is great!

    Cigale (Oren’s sister)

    • Brent Almond says:

      Thanks so much for your comments. Oren really has been such an influential person in my life and in so many others — but I can’t imagine how difficult this has been for you and the rest of his family. I’m glad we can help out in the way we have, while you all hold him closely in your hearts and prayers.

      And I feel lucky to have met you and your Mom and other family members. Under not good circumstances of course, but always wonderful to meet those who helped shape who your friends are. 🙂

      And glad you liked the caricature — that means a lot coming from a fellow designer!

  4. Aliza says:

    Brent, what a beautiful tribute, and GREAT drawing of Oren. 🙂 He is indeed a super-hero to people who don’t even know it. Thank you and GiveForward for doing all you are to help and love this awesome family!

    • Brent Almond says:


      Thank you — I had already planned on doing the superhero version of him before he got sick, so it was a bit of a challenge mixing the silly and the more serious. But yeah, he’s an unsung hero in the truest sense of the word.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  5. […] Buzz Bishop: “It was a ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff moment.’” Brent Almond: “…I’ve not met anyone…with such a pure desire to connect…” […]

  6. […] a fundraiser started for another dad blogger, Oren Miller from A Blogger and a Father.  More here, as well as his own heartbreaking and poignant re-telling of the discovery of his cancer […]

  7. […] my friend Oren Miller was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2014, I’ve written about him only once. Between Oren’s own devastating and inspiring words and those voiced by so many others, […]

  8. […] my friend Oren Miller was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2014, I’ve written about him only once. Between Oren’s own devastating and inspiring words and those voiced by so many others, […]

  9. […] my friend Oren Miller was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2014, I’ve written about him only once. Between Oren’s own devastating and inspiring words and those voiced by so many others, […]

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