Michael M. Oro

Michael M. Oro

Michael was life’s greatest gift.

Mike was a sweet, beautiful boy who loved spending time with family and friends. His mom, Glenna, remembers Mike’s love of the Superman shirt she made him. He wanted to wear it to daycare every day. He had a great sense of humor and loved making people laugh. Mike watched the movie Hook and when his mom asked if he liked the movie, Mike replied, “What was Captain Hook’s name before he lost his hand?” His mom knew then that Mike looked at life uniquely.

Mike loved airplanes and travelling. He vacationed in Spain, Costa Rica, New York, Alaska and other locations. He loved learning about other cultures and trying their regional cuisines. Mike became interested in cooking from the experiences of his travels.

Mike attended Orlando Magic summer camps as a child, which sparked his love of the Orlando Magic and the NBA. In high school, he enrolled in radio/tv classes and gave the morning announcements. He was a skateboarder, guitar player and well known for writing electronic music.

Mike always made his friends feel included. After his passing, his mom heard many stories of Mike helping a friend in need. Mike’s family was awarded his AA degree posthumously by the President of Valencia College in a private ceremony. He planned to attend the University of Central Florida to major in Computer Science. The Michael M. Oro Memorial scholarship was established at UCF and is awarded annually to a student in need.

Mike worked at Chick-Fil-A, where he made many lasting friendships and earned a $1,000 scholarship. His last job was as a barista at Starbucks. His family enjoyed frequenting his workplace for a hand-crafted latte made by Mike.

There are many stories about how Mike helped his friends. “The ironic part was that Mike could not help himself,” his mom stated. As his addiction progressed, he became distant, unreliable, and out of touch for days. His family could not force him to get help because he was over 18 and would not release any medical records to his family. “I can only describe life with someone who suffers from Substance Use Disorder as pure hell,” his mom said.

Glenna’s life is now quiet. She misses her son. She has somehow leaved to cope, but in her house, where there was once a child’s laughter, there is now silence. His mom misses his companionship, hugs, smile and hearing his voice.

Glenna has been vocal about the cause of Mike’s death, hoping it will help others. She loves to talk about Mike and says people are afraid to talk about those who have passed away. She said, “Just know, talking about them keeps their spirit alive.”

Mike’s mother, Glenna Oaldon Oro, provided the information for this narrative.

June 22,1987-July 23, 2015

Age 28-Lived with the disease of addiction 11 years

Share this story from The INTO LIGHT Project

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

More Into Light Stories

Read more biographies from this exhibit.
Devin Hart Bearden

Devin Hart Bearden

Caring, athletic, bright, witty, attractive At 6’2”, Devin was lanky, handsome, and a natural athlete. Equally at home on a skateboard, snowboard, or when surfing, he was a pleasure to watch; so fluid and graceful. He was a good soccer and baseball player and loved hiking in nature or being at the beach, especially on the annual family beach trips to Hatteras in North Carolina. [...]
Read More »
Jessica Mae Ackerman

Jessica Mae Ackerman

Sensitive, kind, loving, creative, animal lover At 4’11” and 100 pounds, Jessica was small in stature but big in personality and presence. Her twin sister, Jennifer, describes her as a unique, eccentric, creative person, “a badass”, who marched to her own drum and did what she wanted.” She had a bold, trend-setting fashion sense and liked to read and express herself through poetry and writing. Jennifer is currently compiling Jessica’s writings into a book. Jessica loved all animals. According to their mom, Jessica and her sister snuck a lot of animals into the house over the years. [...]
Read More »
Benjamin David Campbell

Benjamin David Campbell

Gentle, thoughtful, intelligent, loving Ben was the youngest of four children and the classic “baby of the family,” according to his mother, Karen. He was 6’4”, 220 pounds, handsome, gentle, intelligent, and fun-loving. He adored his older brothers and sister. His closest bond was with his oldest brother, Michael. He was a hero to Ben. He was smart, kind, and a loving role model. When Michael was a senior in high school, he struggled with depression, which led him to self-medicate with drugs and eventually become addicted. He committed suicide at 20 when Ben was 11. Michael’s death profoundly affected the family, all grieving in individual ways. Ben had promised Mike he would never use drugs, but could not keep that promise. [...]
Read More »
William Coddington

William Coddington

Funny, loving, kind, sensitive, and lonely William was a hilarious person. His mom, Carolyn, always knew it, but it was confirmed at his Zoom memorial service, which was attended by over 125 people. Many of them told stories about how William lit up a room and kept them laughing through his jokes and antics. His mother said, “As parents, we don’t always know how our children are known to their friends. She was proud to hear what a caring and loving man he was to so many people.” [...]
Read More »

Bring an Exhibit to Your State

Interested in bringing The INTO LIGHT Project to your State?
Find out how you can make this happen.