My name is Ali Miller, Brad “Hadley” Millers only daughter. For those who don’t know, as I’m sure many of you don’t, my dad has been fighting a long and strenuous battle with squamous cell carcinoma. His battle began at the end of 2015, when the once small lump on his neck became continuously larger and more invasive. A strong believer in the power of holistic medicine, he began a number of alternative anti-cancer treatments over the course of several months with no prevail. After consulting with a number of practitioners who all concluded that the outlook would not be very good, he decided to begin treatment at a well known treatment center in Mexico. He would leave at the crack of dawn, spend the morning sitting in a hospital being poked and prodded, hooked up to multiple wires and tubes, only to make the gruesome drive back early in the afternoon to meet with patients. The treatment seemed to be effective, with minimal side effects from the chemo, radiation, and surgeries, until mid 2016 when the cancer came back with a vengeance.
Knowing that he didn’t have much time to delay, he decided to take the conventional approach with high dose chemo over the course of three months. As I’m sure many of you know, chemotherapy is one of the hardest things to go through, and as a daughter it was one of the hardest things to watch. For a few years now we have a tradition of having breakfast every Sunday, which is the highlight of the week for both of us, but watching him gradually wither away week by week broke my heart. Some days were better than others, but it seemed like there were more downs than ups. Symptoms of extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, confusion, and stomach issues hindered his ability to continue his practice, as seeing just one or two patients at a time used up all of his small reserve of energy and left him feeling frustrated. All of the things that encompass running a business - marketing, lectures, creativity, paperwork - he just didn’t have the energy for, so his business began to dwindle, and consequentially so did his income. He had to use what was left of his savings just to pay the bills, and the last of it was used up this past month.
At the beginning of last year, his oncologist gave him a 1 in 5 chance of life. Almost a year and two clear PET scans later, he’s still with us. Last holiday season my father was not the man he is today. Now he’s stronger, happier, and healthier, and can start leading a normal life again. In his words, “the veil is slowly lifting.” A gradual increase in health and overall well-being is something to be grateful for, but financial support is something that would greatly lessen the burden on him. For that reason I have created a “gofundme” account so friends and family can help him get through this near term deficit, primarily in medical expenses. His positive outlook and care for others are undoubtedly some of his best qualities, and it’s time for me to be strong for him just as he has done for me over the years.
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