Leukemia patient fighting strong
LEBANON, TENN. – July 26, 2010 – When Steve Miller’s son came home from school one afternoon in 1987 with a note from his teacher encouraging students and their parents to get more involved in extra-curricular activities, Steve took the advice to heart. His son, Patrick, became a boy scout and Steve became a proud den father.
As Patrick grew older and eventually joined the U.S. Air Force, Steve’s involvement in the Scouts has never wavered. In addition to remaining involved at the local level, he became a member of the Order of the Arrow, an honor society of Scouts dedicated to performing service work at the Boxwell Camp facility in Wilson County. Steve also approached Cumberland University and proposed they become a Merit Badge University by annually opening their facilities to Scouts needing to complete merit badges; this program is still going strong today. The so-called ‘Godfather of Scouting’ has now been involved with the Boy Scouts for 22 years and is described as a virtual walking history book of scouting and camping in the middle Tennessee area.
Throughout the fall of 2009, Steve – a diabetic – had been feeling weak and noticed sores developing in his mouth. Exhausted from trying to walk up steps around his house, he noticed his legs were red from his knees to his toes. Fearing a complication with his diabetes, his wife, Deborah, rushed him to the hospital.
The results indicated an extremely high white cell count and he was referred to an oncologist. After Steve’s initial leukemia diagnosis, he began treatment and was placed on the waiting list for a bone marrow transplant.
His family has rallied around him: Deborah, his ‘soul mate’ and wife of 32 years has taken leave from her job to transport her husband to his treatments; his son received a transfer from the Air Force to be nearer to his father, and their daughter, Amanda, lives next door to her parents and helps all she can.
Financial burdens on families dealing with cancer can get very heavy. Due to the overwhelming cost of medications, physician visits and transportation, not to mention every day expenses incurred, the Millers – even with such strong family support – were no exception to these financial hardships. Steve has been unable to work since his diagnosis. Deb, his wife, has also been out of work taking care of him & transporting him to and from the physician’s office – sometimes every day.
Steve is anxiously awaiting a call to tell him he has a match for the transplant. The transplant physician and hospital requires that a transplant recipient live within 30 minutes of the hospital after transplantation. Steve will have to relocate to a temporary extended-stay facility in Nashville; Sherry’s Run is assisting the Miller family with these costs – up to sixty days. Steve said, “My thoughts are directed toward and praying for the phone to ring and them tell me they have a match for the transplant. Just knowing that the extended stay is taken care of is just one thing I don’t have to worry about with everything else.”
When asked if he had any advice for others throughout the area battling cancer, he replied, “It’s curable. Keep a positive attitude and don’t give up.”
Sherry’s Run helps make the connection between the wonderful, giving members of our community who want to help others and those who are hurting and need financial help while battling cancer. Without the donations from people right here in this community we could not help those in need. Sherry’s Run supporters are truly making a difference in the lives of people right here in our community – thank you!
The 5K Run/Walk is the largest fundraiser of the year for Sherry’s Run. It is held annually the second Saturday in September (close to Sherry’s birthday). The Sherry’s Run Event Site is at 623 West Main Street, Lebanon, Tennessee. The new certified course, TN10011MS, offers disposable chip timing (with start and finish mats) provided by Best Times (www.besttimescct.com), Memphis, TN. Mark your calendar and make a commitment to become involved this year. Registration forms are available online or by calling. All participants registered by August 31st will be guaranteed a Sherry’s Run Shirt. Prizes to the top overall male and female 5K run finishers and Overall Master (men and women’s winner) first, second, and third place awards for each age group.
The mission of Sherry’s Run is to benefit those affected by cancer, with an emphasis on colon cancer. Sherry’s Run (www.sherrysrun.org) is a 501 (c) (3) organization. It was started in memory of Sharon “Sherry” Patterson Whitaker who died at the age of 44 from colon cancer. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online. Funds received serve also to help those locally who suffer with cancer. For more information on Sherry’s Run, please call 615-975-1081 or 615-400-2032 or visit online.
Leukemia patient fighting strong