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|03-31-03: Six-year-old succumbs to rare cancer
|By BETTY LAWRENCE
The Daily Standard
MONTEZUMA - Letters were sent home today with Franklin Elementary
School students, informing parents of the death of classmate Chase Miller, a first-grader
at the school.
Six-year-old Chase has been battling a rare form of Burkett's Lymphoma
and Leukemia since diagnosis of the disease in July 2002.
He died Sunday afternoon at Children's Medical Center in Dayton, where
he had been in the intensive care unit for the past four weeks.
Chase is the son of Jason and Crystal Miller, 8583 Ohio 219, Lot 244,
Celina, and Amber Miller of Fort Wayne, Ind.
He has five younger brothers and sisters, Sadie and Christian, both age
4, Samantha, 2, Cloey, 1, and Destiny, 7 months old.
On Sunday evening, the grieving parents left Dayton and spent the night
in Van Wert at a relative's home, where the other children had been staying.
"I just wanted to get to Van Wert to give the other kids a big
hug," Jason Miller said this morning from the home in Van Wert.
"We are doing okay. We kind of expected it because the doctors had
a meeting with us about three weeks ago and told us he wasn't going to make it. But you
still hope for a miracle. We have done a lot of praying. I'm not real religious, but I did
a lot of praying."
Jason Miller described his first-born son as outgoing, someone who
really liked school, had a lot of friends and loved to be outdoors.
"I took Chase hunting with me since the age of 4. He loved going
to the woods to hunt with me and he was my buddy. A kid I did everything with," he
Jane Combs of Lima, Chase's grandmother, said the family could see the
young child was not getting better.
"At the end, Jason knew he was not going to get better. We told
him God and the angels were coming to get him to take him to heaven, and he shook his head
that he knew. But we still hoped for a miracle," Combs said. "He is not in pain
Chase attended kindergarten at Franklin school, and this year was
enrolled in first grade. However, his illness prevented him from attending much of the
"Letters are being sent home today with the students, telling the
parents of Chase's passing and of the funeral arrangements and to let the parents know
counselors will be available at the school on Tuesday," Franklin Elementary School
Principal Diana Kramer said this morning.
In February, the school conducted a Pennies for Patients fund-raiser
for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in support of Chase.
The school currently is conducting a pizza fund-raiser with all
proceeds to go toward medical or funeral expenses for the family. To make a donation or
purchase pizza, the public is invited to call the school at 419-268-2412. Orders will be
taken through April 7 with the pizza available for pickup April 22.
The school staff also has taken up donations for the family, and
donations are being accepted at all area Mercer Savings Banks in an account set up in
Miller Funeral Home, St. Marys, has charge of funeral arrangements with
a complete obituary to appear in Tuesday's newspaper.
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