EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Edmond 10-year-old, Miller Hines enjoys soccer, his scooter, constructing Legos, and playing with his younger brother.
“Miller is a lover of life, I like to say that he’s a world shaker and game changer,” says his mother, Miranda.
Two years ago, Miranda remembers the cascade of bad news that started with swollen lymph nodes.
“He was swollen in his neck area which was concerning but I’d also seen that with him when he’d had strep throat,” she recalls.
But when Miller went to the doctor, the strep test came back negative. That’s when they ran blood tests which revealed alarming results.
Miranda remembers, “I did something you’re not supposed to do, which is google what this means.”
Miller had AML leukemia with an added genetic mutation which made it even more dangerous.
“He had a very aggressive form of leukemia. I knew Miller was really, really sick,” Miranda recalls. “Preparing for his bone marrow transplant and then having the transplant was really brutal.”
In the middle of the pandemic, mother and son leaned on each other for dear life.
“Miller is such a sweet boy. He made me a mom, and we’re buddies, and he would often encourage me by saying ‘Mom, I’m OK,'” Miranda shakes her head as she remembers his efforts to ease her fears.
Holding them both up with medical support and emotional encouragement was their medical team at OU Children’s Hospital, and Jimmy Everest Cancer Center.
Miranda doesn’t hold back the tears as she expresses her gratitude, “We absolutely adore them. There’s no doubt that they saved Miller.”
His treatments included a stem cell transplant, chemotherapy, and gene therapy.
Working in tandem, his treatment plan proved to be successful.
His blood work shows he’s free of cancer 17 months after his transplant.
Despite the pain, and even boredom that comes from months of treatment, Miller has happy memories of playing with therapy dogs at the clinic and joking around with the nurses.
Miranda says, “We miss them, but we are happiest to run into them outside of the clinic!”
Miller wants to get on with the hobbies he had to put on the sidelines.
“He’s getting to be a 10-year-old. He’s playing soccer again. And the best thing that’s ever happened in my whole life is Miller, so for him to be here and be healthy is incredible,” says Miranda.
It’s been almost a three-year roller coaster ride the Hines are happy to step off, grateful for a new chapter of childhood ahead.
If you’d like to help children like Miller fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org.