Two Wishes For TJ

For: Terry "TJ" Miller
Organizer: Kirk Henning
of $5,000 goal.
Raised by 45 donors
70% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Two Wishes For Terry “TJ” Miller

Terry “TJ” Miller is a cherished 17-year old student of ours who is a valuable member of our Coast Union High School Drama family. He has been a key member of our technical crew for the past three years and for his upcoming senior year, he has dutifully and deservedly earned his place as our stage manager. TJ was recently diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, Grade IV, a type and grade of brain cancer that is essentially incurable. Despite the unimaginable, TJs personal qualities, including his positive outlook, resilience, and sense of humor are more than remarkable, and those attributes are going to allow him the best quality of life for the longest time possible. Likewise, TJ’s family members, though understandably devastated, are models of loving and tender support.    

TJ previously had a brain tumor removed when he was a 4th-grade student at Cambria Grammar School, and our community rallied to his side. In light of his recent diagnosis, we are asking both the communities of Cambria and Cayucos (where he currently lives) to once again provide the incredible support for which these communities are so well known. TJ’s CUHS Drama family is mobilizing efforts to  help fulfill two of TJ’s wishes, i.e., cross two items off his bucket list. One of TJ’s wishes is to experience the beauty of Hawaii with his family (Laura, Matt, and brother Andrew), and as a lover of theater, another of his wishes is to experience the phenomenon of “The Lion King” when the national tour arrives in Los Angeles in November.

Generous members of our community have already provided the use of their condo in Kauai (The Basiles), and enough United frequent flyer miles to purchase two round-trip tickets (Peggy Christianson). You can also help fulfill TJ’s wishes by contributing any items or services that you think would enhance the Hawaii or Lion King trips, (for example, enough United frequent flyer miles to purchase one or two more round-trip tickets to Hawaii), or of course, by giving monetarily. You can donate throught this site via PayPal, or by going to any branch of Heritage Oaks Bank and telling them you would like to make a deposit to the Terry "TJ" Miller donation account.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Kirk Henning
"In the end, only three things matter; how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."

"It is with a broken heart that I let you know that our sweet TJ passed away yesterday at 1:44pm. He let us know he had no pain and, as always, he was brave. His passing was as peaceful as you could imagine and surrounded by loved ones."

Laura Lathrop

Posted on October 2, 2013 by Kirk Henning
Thanks and more thanks yet again to all who have been lending their love and support to TJ Miller. He certainly has been absorbing all the positive thoughts and energy that are being sent his way as exemplified by his continual loving and grateful spirit, and of course his unflagging and whimsical humor. With the tremendous help of the community, TJ has had an eventful month, to say the least. During the latter part of August, TJ took a trip to the Netherlands and Portugal - by himself! It has always been a dream of his to visit close family friends in those countries, and it was his first solo travel experience. TJ took the opportunity to spread his wings and make his way in the big world - and he returned from his trip absolutely thrilled by the experience. He was especially impressed with the centuries old history of Europe. 

Also thanks to the great support of the community, a week later, TJ and his family spent a week in Kauai where among other things, they relaxed, took a helicopter excursion to the famous Na Pali Coast, went to a luau, and did some sightseeing around the beautiful island. TJ's trip was briefly interrupted by a visit to the hospital in Kauai as instructed by his Stanford doctors because he woke up one morning feeling worse than normal. But after an overnight at the hospital and some treatment, TJ was able to continue the trip. What a trooper!

A week after returning from Kauai, TJ had an unpleasant episode of double pneumonia, so back to Stanford Hospital where, after spending some time in the pediatric ICU, TJ made a remarkable recovery and was back to himself after several days of intense treatment and TLC. If you haven't guessed by now, TJ has a way of bouncing back that continues to amaze everyone.

TJ and family are back home now and TJ is resting before going on a three-day Ensenada cruise starting October 7. Mr. Traveler! TJ was briefly enrolled in a clinical trial that has since been put on hold. However, he is feeling better now because the side effects that TJ was experiencing while in the clinical trial were sapping his energy. He will be starting a new chemo regimen when he returns from his cruise.

TJ has certainly had his ups and downs this past month, but through it all, his indelible spirit continues to inspire us all.

Posted on September 5, 2013 by Kirk Henning
TJs Spaghetti Dinner fund raiser was a resounding success! What a great community we live in! Thanks thanks, and more thanks. More details to follow. In the meantime, the new main page photo is TJ in the Netherlands - a happy young man! TJ and family are getting ready for their trip to Kuaui this coming Saturday (9/7/13). Have fun in paradise TJ!

Posted on September 4, 2013 by Kirk Henning
Hi everyone!

Lots of news on the TJ front! First, tonight we're having our Spaghetti Dinner Drive Thru/Dine In from 4pm to 7pm at the Vets Hall in Cambria - so, that settles your dinner plans for tonight. Come on down to the Vets Hall and have dinner and help TJ and his family. Tickets are $10.

The Cayucos Lions Club generously donated $1,000 to TJ and his family - thank you Cayucos Lions, you are all great!

Did you hear that TJ took a trip to Portugal and the Netherlands? Yes siree, he got back on Sunday. It was a big item on his bucket list with a small time window so that he would be well taken care of by close famly friends, so he hopped and the plane and flew! Way to go TJ! All reports are that he had a great time.

TJ and his family are all set for their trip to Hawaii on Saturday. Thanks to all who donated miles, lodging, excursions, etc.

Thanks everyone for your support, it means so much. Kirk

Posted on August 3, 2013 by Kirk Henning
Hi all,
I wanted to give you a quick update on TJ and alert you to a couple upcoming fundraisers for TJ and his family.
TJ is doing as well as can be expected after starting his chemo treatments a few weeks ago. Up to last week's treatment, he was doing really well; however, last week's treatment was a bit rougher. But that didn't stop him from going to a week long camp (Camp Okizuin Paradise, CA) where he is able to spend time with his friends in a similar predicament. He returns home tomorrow. Thanks to the Zaragoza family, Jack and his brother Andrew were able to see PCPA's production of "Fiddler on the Roof" and Andrew pronounced the production "Phenomenal". Drama club representatives had a meeting in TJ and Andrew's "man cave" to kick off show selection ideas for next year, and as the saying goes, "fun was had by all".
Here is an update on upcoming fundraisers:
Allied Arts is dedicating the second weekend performances 8/9 - 8/11 of "Little Shop of Horrors" to TJ Miller. They will have a Lotto tree in the lobby and anyone over 18 can purchase a Lotto scratcher. The proceeds from the Lotto ticket sales on that weekend only will go directly to TJ. One ticket, $5 or 3 tickets for $10. They can be purchased before the show starts or at intermission. The show is directed by Randy Schwalbe and has current as well as alumni CUHS drama students. 
We will be having a drive-thru/dine-in pasta dinner on September 4th. We have started selling tickets, so if you would like to buy some, get in touch with Lani Zaragoza and we'll get some to you. Mark that date on your calendar!
We're almost there with the flights for TJ and his family to Hawaii, we have all but one return ticket purchased all with donated miles. We are still looking for miles to purchase the last return trip ticket, so if you or anyone else you know has United Mileplus Miles that they can donate - it would be a good good thing.
Things are brewing in terms of "The Lion King", more news to come on that soon.
And as a reminder, donations to TJ can be made at any branch of Heritage Oaks Bank or online line here:
Two other opportunities to help are: a gift registry for the Hawaii Trip Team TJ for the September 13 Golf Tournament with proceeds going to Jack's Helping Hand.
That's it for now, more to come! Please forward this to your friends and family, and thanks for all your support for the Great TJ Miller

Posted on July 19, 2013 by Kirk Henning
It looks like we now have enough donated airline miles to send TJ and his family to Kuauai! Now building funds for them to have a great time while there. Thanks very much to everyone who has donated so far.

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