Larger than life describes Charles Miller - Charlie to his friends. Tall, with penetrating eyes, a sharp wit, and a booming voice, he commands a room. If you’re looking for Charlie, listen for gales of laughter, watch for people doubled over, laughing until they cry, and listen for that booming voice. Charlie will be at the center of it all, the cause of the glee.
Hovering close by is Chelsea, Charlie’s daughter. Charlie and Chelsea are inseparable. Chelsea will steal your heart. When she was a newborn, Charlie and his wife Leanne, struggled to learn why their baby wouldn’t eat. Specialist after specialist came up empty, and proposed radical procedures along the way. Nothing helped Chelsea. When one doctor proposed that he should perform reconstruction surgery through her esophagus, Charlie and Leanne were bewildered and concerned. They sought a second opinion. The doctor they saw instructed ` them to return immediately to the hospital, and remove Chelsea from the care of the other physician. What the was proposing was preposterous, and would have destroyed her.
Charlie prayed daily for Chelsea to be healed. One day he changed his prayers, and asked to please have someone come into her life that could help her. The next evening, Charlie injured his back. He had been entertaining his children, giving them rides, clambering around the living room floor on all fours. He sought help from a chiropractor, Kevin Bettencourt. As the chiropractor worked on Charlie, he asked him about his life. Charlie shared that he and Leanne had two children, and he had a stepdaughter, and then he talked about Chelsea, the dead ends he faced when trying to find a solution, the difficulty he and Leanne were having as they watched Chelsea fading away at one, still refusing to eat. The Millers were growing more and more desperate, because Chelsea’s body was rejecting the feeding tube that was providing her with nourishment. The chiropractor smiled. He had just returned from a seminar in Australia about children with eating and digestive disorders.
He said he would be honored to evaluate Chelsea. When he met her, he was afraid to work on her. She was so tiny and frail. Kevin meditated and prayed all night to see if he should treat her. The answer came back - that was why he had become a chiropractor - to treat children. He called the Millers the first thing the next morning. After one treatment, Chelsea began sleeping and eating for the first time in her life. Charlie believes Gods hand was at work here.
Based on his first-hand experience, Charles stood up for others in need of chiropractic care. He criss-crossed the state, sharing Chelsea’s story; and he testified before the New Hampshire House of Representatives, urging them to pass a law requiring health insurance coverage for chiropractic care. After hearing his story, they did.
Months and months of illness and two rare genetic disorders, Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome and Noonan Syndrome, had sapped Chelsea of normal development. Now 26 years old, she will never drive a car, or live independently, or lose her childlike innocence - but she is a joy to be near, excited like the very young when she sees a favorite person, passing drawings to her family friends in church, and always, she’s by Charlie’s side. She depends on him, and there is not a better father in the world.
Though Charlie and Leanne struggled with Chelsea’s medical expenses, they never complained. Then the troubles began. Charlie was diagnosed with degenerative immune deficiency, essentially, his body is allergic to itself. In constant pain, he was scheduled for surgery, but a series of mishaps and other family health issues interfered. Medical bills continued to pile up. Then Leanne was diagnosed with oral cancer. She was winning her battle, when another blow struck.
Charlie was diagnosed with final stage small cell lung cancer.
Like Leanne, he seemed to beat it - and was cancer free after chemotherapy. Five weeks later, Charlie went to the emergency room in pain. His doctor’s discovered his cancer had returned with a vengeance. They offered him little hope. Leanne also had another scare. Fortunately, it was just that, and she is still cancer free.
Charlie Miller, usually a source of strength and generosity for everyone else in his life — leading the Christian Order of Masonry as Commander of the Knights Templar, servings as a pillar of his church, successfully championing the cause of those who need chiropractors by sharing his story with the NH Legislature, serving as an auxiliary member of the Kingston Veteran’s club, and helping friends and family — now needs our help. Strong in his faith, he doesn’t worry about his future. But he does worry about Chelsea. Who will look after her? Who will support her? We’re asking for your help. We’re hoping to raise $285,000 to put Charlie’s mind to rest, and to ensure Chelsea is looked after. Please donate today by clicking on the donate GFM button or writing a check made out to KVC-AUX, and designated for Chelsea Miller Irrevocable Trust - mailed to Kingston Veterans Club, 36 Church Street, P.O. Box 521, Kingston, NH 03841. Thank you!
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Help spread the word!
We would like to thank George Kalil, a dear life long family friend for all his help with this campaign and management of it during this trying time. We have asked George to become the beneficiary and the trustee of the Chelsea Miller Irrevocable Trust account at TD Bank North. All donations will be transferred over the Trust and dispersed accordingly.
- Sue Padden Real Estate
- Philip Szalowski
- Wayne Kendrick
- Lisa Hanlon
- Velma Sullivan-Schadone
Organizer and beneficiary
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