Please help Mike Miller with his upcoming medical expenses!

For: Michael R. Miller
Urbana, IL
Organizer: Todd Lindsey
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 143 donors
15% Complete
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The Story

Please consider helping our friend, Mike Miller, if you can in any way...he's got a long road ahead and needs our help! I'm his manager in our band, The Boat Drunks, but I consider him my friend first and will gladly spearhead this effort. I'll let Mike explain his situation below. Thank you all in advance for anything you can do.

Todd Lindsey

From Mike:

Hello Friends,

I’m going to try to make a very complicated and complex situation as understandable as I know how to in as few words as possible.

Those of you who are close friends of mine are aware that I have a blood disorder called Polycythemia Vera and that I have been receiving low-dose chemotherapy to manage this condition since 2009. For the most part, I have tolerated this treatment well.
Over the last few months I have been noticing that I have been getting more and more easily winded and just generally feeling run down. On April 14th, I was able to make contact with my hematologist back in Charleston, SC and he sent orders for me to undergo testing locally and have the results sent to him. I did this on Monday, the 17th of April and the testing showed that I was in extreme distress and was immediately hospitalized and given a transfusion.

The following day, I had a bone marrow biopsy performed (editor’s note, if anyone ever offers to give you one of those just for fun, I would take a pass…) Today, my local hematologist went over the results with me. I’ll try to condense this down as best as I can:

I have Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS for short. This was brought on by my underlying blood disorder. The medical field of study that deals with this sort of thing, rates the individual cases based on a scoring system called the IPSS-R. It stands for International Prognostic Scoring System (Revised). My particular case falls between the “High Risk” and “Very High Risk,” which as I’m sure you might suspect are the two worst possible scores.

The only curative treatment that offers any chance of long-term survival is an Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplant which, if it happens will be months down the road. Let’s just say that there are lots of hurdles to clear, not the least of which is my being uninsured.

Over the next several months, my doctor plans to monitor my blood counts weekly and to try to keep my numbers at an acceptable level through what is called “supportive care.” It is my intention, during that time, to do my best to honor all performing commitments. In the mean time, I would appreciate your prayers and support.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 22, 2017

Posted on June 22, 2017

Update from Mike below...your donations are already at work, thank you all! Let's keep going...keep giving and sharing this page.


Hey Gang.... With so many people doing so many wonderful things on my behalf, I feel like I should at least give you an update.

I am still undergoing weekly blood tests, transfusions (as needed), and weekly injections intended to stimulate my bone marrow to be more productive. I saw my doctor at Carle yesterday and my condition is stable right now after going two weeks without needing a transfusion. :-)

On the transplant front, every medical facility who has rendered a final decision on my case has turned me down. However, thanks in no small part to my two guardian angels (V & know who you are) My original hematologist from Hollings Cancer Institute in Charleston, SC has submitted my name for two clinical trials being conducted by the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. I also have a (pre-paid) evaluation / consultation coming up at the Mayo Clinic.

Both of these are probably long shots but we're still in there battling. As my doctor said yesterday, "With you being as young as you are, we need to be very aggressive in finding you the right situation for a transplant." I love it when he tells me I'm young..... I don't hear that much. =D

So there you are.... I have been very fortunate in that I have remained healthy enough to continue playing music with my brothers in the Boat Drunks. I intend to continue to do so until I am not. Thank you all so much for your continued love and support.

Posted on June 16, 2017

Posted on June 16, 2017

Hello friends!

Check out the (partial) DKMS poster for the Bone Marrow Registration/Swab Station at The City Center for the July 3 The Boat Drunks-W Jake Tatar-Nadirah Shakoor-Donny Brewer benefit for Michael R Miller...thanks to Amy Jessup and Martha Cooper for the legwork and love on this! And more good news: a $20 VIP area and ticket will be added soon which will include an exclusive cash bar, balcony seating/viewing and food (while it lasts) graciously donated and grilled by Eastern Illinois Parrot Head Club President Sue Archibald Outlaw and her husband Murray. Any tickets already purchased can be refunded and upgraded to VIP if you desire. Y'all have been great about sharing updates and information, so keep it up and I hope to see you on July 3 in Champaign. Our musical lineup is putting their collective thinking caps on for some great songs and surprises...don't miss it.

Mike update: He's hanging in there after his whirlwind trip to Key West and Mesquite, Nevada. Currently he's enjoying a visit from his daughter Marcy and his grandkids. Let's keep our fingers crossed on some good medical news hopefully coming soon...thanks all.


Posted on June 11, 2017

Posted on June 11, 2017

Greetings from Mesquite, Nevada:

Traveling with Mike and the band is always fun, and this trip is no different (plus I love the desert, the heat, mountains, everything). During our first set tonight, a young lady from San Diego approached me and asked if I was their manager...happens all the time. But this time she wanted to tell me how much she has been following Mike's story here and wanted to give me $50 cash to donate to the fund. Her genuineness and desire to help at a gig was very refreshing and touching. Thank you so much ma'am, keep praying daily for Mike like the rest of us certainly do. And, anyone can certainly approach me with THIS kind of request during a gig! 😉

Mike is holding up great so far, after a solo set on a hot desert day...and now a band show. Keeping him hydrated and he even listened to me once today. Once. 😄

Casablanca Resort
Mesquite, NV

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