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03-31-03: Six-year-old succumbs to rare cancer
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 said.
    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 anymore."
    Chase attended kindergarten at Franklin school, and this year was enrolled in first grade. However, his illness prevented him from attending much of the school year.
    "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 Chase's name.
    Miller Funeral Home, St. Marys, has charge of funeral arrangements with a complete obituary to appear in Tuesday's newspaper.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822