Please help Mike Miller with his upcoming medical expenses!

For: Michael R. Miller
Urbana, IL
Organizer: Todd Lindsey
Please help Mike Miller with his upcoming medical expenses! (Michael R. Miller)
$28,315
of $100,000 goal
28% Complete
Raised by 205 donors

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 3, 2018

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Posted on June 3, 2018

BIG UPDATE SUNDAY:

As some of you saw on Facebook today, a year ago Mike had to have an emergency blood transfusion due to his condition. He then played a gig in Chicago with the band...not ideal, but somehow he got through it. One year later, after all he’s been through, I’m happy to announce that he’s doing so well and feeling good enough to join The Boat Drunks in Cleveland, OH and Utica, NY on June 22 and 23 for the Cleveland Indians and Utica Summerfest shows! I can’t tell you how amazing this is. For Mike, it’s back to doing what he loves and has missed so much...for me, I’m so glad my friend is doing so well post-transplant and everything looks fantastic so far. And I can tell you even though the band has pulled together and closed ranks without Mike to continue playing great shows, to a man we cannot WAIT to have the man in the middle back. So barring any complications, the wheels are in motion for his return. Check out www.boatdrunks.com to see where we are this summer and come welcome Mike back if we are close by! Yes, that hopefully means he will be at Busch Stadium on June 29. And...if you find yourself in Central Illinois on July 3rd, we are planning a celebration of Mike’s homecoming at The City Center in Champaign for our annual Independence Day Eve show. No fundraising this year, just an amazing celebration and some powerful stories from the past year. Speaking of fundraising, Mike’s recovery and other circumstances have reduced the immediate need for financial help, so Mike has requested that I shut down this account to coincide with the July 3 celebration. Mike wishes he could give all the money back individually that he hasn’t used, but I think we have a better idea: details forthcoming, but Mike wants to donate the remaining funds to a Parrothead charity...stay tuned on that.

Thanks for reading this far if you are still here, sorry. But the summer just got a little warmer for us all...see you on the road, friends.

Todd

Posted on May 17, 2018

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Posted on May 17, 2018

Happy Birthday, Mikey!

I haven't updated since my visit to see Mike last week so I thought today, his other birthday, would be a good time for said update. It was obviously great for me and Martha to see him, but also great to see how incredibly well he's progressing. At times, if you didn't know what he's been through over the last year plus, you'd think he was perfectly normal and nothing had happened, other than a shaved dome! We walked a lot, talked a lot and laughed a whole lot. I was able to go with him to his regular Monday appointment at NIH where I met some of his team and saw his blood numbers continue to improve. At this point, all is going incredibly well and he's on target to get out of there in July. Maybe sooner :). Band brother Dyke showed up after I left and brought his guitar, so Mike and Dyke got to practice some...I know that made Mike happy! So for now, keep the positive mojo flowing his way and financial help is still greatly appreciated and needed. Thank you all for everything you are doing...keep it up and let's look forward to continued good news from Bethesda!

Todd

Posted on May 3, 2018

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Posted on May 3, 2018

It's update time...and the word of the day in Mike-land is: ZERO.

Mike continues to improve incredibly post-transplant. His hemoglobin numbers are rising, his body continues to accept the grafted cells and a current biopsy shows there are ZERO blast cells, ZERO active leukemia cells and ZERO blood abnormalities present. Truly remarkable things happening with our friend in Bethesda. He's still healing, still needs your prayers and donations here are still needed as he continues his journey. Thank you all again for the support you've given in various ways...all of us certainly cherish that but especially Mike. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to spending a couple of days with him next week. I'll report back on that soon but, so far, things are going very well...I look forward to and am hopeful for the day this summer when Mikey is back in Illinois. I have ideas about that... :)

Here's a fantastic recent picture of Mike with our good friend Jo Anderson out in Maryland! Thank you all...

Todd

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