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Lung Transplant: Miller's Story

Miller has a passion for musical theater and loves to perform, but cystic fibrosis forced him to push through performances.Miller has a passion for musical theater. He loves to sing and perform in musicals such as Grease and Sweeney Todd. But in the past few years his passion became a burden as his cystic fibrosis began to quickly take its toll.

 

"I had to push through songs – often losing my voice, or stopping to cough," said Miller.

 

Then, last October at age 18, Miller's physician in Illinois referred him to UW Hospital and Clinics, where he underwent a bilateral lung transplant - the only option for someone with advanced cystic fibrosis.

 

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease. Children are born with the disease even though they may not show signs of the disease until they are older. People with cystic fibrosis produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus. The organs most affected by this defect are the lungs, pancreas, sweat glands and those within the reproductive system.

 

When his mother heard him sing for the first time post-transplant, at a benefit for epilepsy awareness, she was overwhelmed.

 

"It was amazing to hear him sing without having to cough or stop, and it was so good to see him back on stage," she said.

 

Thanks to a new lease on life, Miller is ready to begin college, and recently moved from his home in Chicago to New York to pursue his dreams as a performer. Since his transplant, Miller strives to approach life in a positive way. Someday you’ll see his name in lights, and until then, keep your ears tuned for a voice that sings with double the passion and gratitude, for a donor who gave him back his voice, and his life.