In November 2008, ten-year-old Elijah Miller, son of Jake and Danielle Miller of Cedar Rapids, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Sub Type M2. His parents were terrified and shocked as this diagnosis came after a great football season with Linn-Mar Cardinals in the Metro Youth Football Association. Danielle took Elijah to the pediatrician as he had been seemingly more tired than usual. He was then immediately admitted to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital where the entire family received confirmation of the devastating news.
He is now in his final round of chemotherapy and doing GREAT!!! He has been through 7 months of chemotherapy, spinal taps, numerous blood and platelet transfusions, medication and an array of surgeries, tests and treatments. Elijah has spent 6 total months at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and is very excited to be at the end of his stay. Despite the grim diagnosis, his prognosis is good and the family's spirits are high!
AML is a rare, difficult to treat leukemia. It is a disease that is known for striking adults over the age of 50. It only affects roughly 500 kids per year and the Sub Type M2 accounts for less than 5% of those kids. The chemotherapy treatment progressed from high doses to extremely high doses, with many side effects that can often be worse than the symptoms of the cancer itself and can lead to life long struggles. The extended hospital stays were required due to the level of the disease combined with the potency of the treatment. However, due to the aggressiveness of the treatment around 50% of kids are considered cured if there is no relapse within 5 years! Plus in Elijah's family he has two sisters, Gabrielle and Dallis along with a twin brother Noah. Elijah and Noah are identical twins so Noah is a PERFECT match should Elijah require a bone marrow transplant!
Elijah has had a tough road with spending time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in his third round but seems to get stronger in his faith and resiliance every time he goes through treatment. He has made so many new friends and feels very blessed by all of the support he has recieved from friends and family and strangers alike in our community. He has met some of his personal heros and developed a few new ones.
Elijah is in fifth grade at Bowman Woods Elementary School. He has been tutored at the University with the help of Linn-Mar Schools and home schooled by Danielle during treatment. He is an extremely active kid with sports always on the mind. He loves to play football, baseball, soccer and basketball. Elijah has played football for the YMCA and
Metro Youth Football Association. He has played soccer through the YMCA and Heartland Soccer Club. And he has played baseball for 6 years starting at Marion Parks & Rec. and Hiawatha Kids League until being accepted in the USSSA Baseball League. This is his father’s second year coaching for the USSSA Linn-Mar Lion’s Rage. All of the USSSA teams have been cheering Elijah on and his roster spot is being held as his teammates cheer him on to recovery!
We are hosting two fundraisers for Elijah.
There will be a carnival/auction held at Bowman Woods Elementary School on Saturday, May 30th between 3-8PM. There will be a dinner provided by Carlos O Kelly’s and Applebee’s, carnival games, auction, raffle, bracelet and t-shirt sales and a bake-cake walk to name a few. CR Spirits will perform. There will be face painting and a live DJ from Class Act DJ Service. Bring the entire family for a full day of fun and raise money to support this cause. Tickets can be purchased at the event.
The second benefit is a 4-Person Best Shot hosted by St Andrews Golf Club on Saturday July 18th with dinner, auction items and live music by 8-Seconds Band. Tickets are now on sale at both locations of Parks & Schmit Orthodontics.
We want to thank everyone for your love and support from the doctors who care for Elijah to the Kernals, Hawkeye and NFL players who have come to visit. Elijah calls them all friends.
If you are moved to participate please contact 319-202-0602 for more information. With your help we can help them fight and WIN this battle!
Please join Elijah in his journey on-line at http://www.carepages.com/carepages/ElijahDanielMillersroadtorecovery or visit his web site at www.cureelijah.com.