Father who has leukemia pedals with daughter toward a cure for cancer
GREENFIELD – They’re out for a ride on separate bikes, but they’re on a mission built for two.
George Miller and his daughter, Kelly, are preparing to ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge the first weekend in August. It’s a two-day ride across the state to raise money for cancer research being done at Dana Farber in Boston.
Kelly did it in 2015. George rode it three times in the 1990s in memory of his mother who passed from cancer.
“You’re like the king of the road when you’re out there and you can tell what it means to the people alongside the road to have you out there riding, raising money,” said George.
This time, it’s personal.
George Miller was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012. He had a successful stem cell transplant in 2016, but learned last year that the disease is back. He’s getting chemotherapy.
“I have a disease but I’m not sick,” said George, who makes it clear he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him.
So when Kelly told him she was doing the ride again, George said he’d join her on the 192-mile trek.
George hasn’t ridden this far since 1994 and says he’s a little worried about making it the distance, but Kelly says she won’t let him quit.
She admits the hardest part could be seeing her father struggle on the hills.
“I feel for him probably more strongly than he feels for himself sometimes. So when we get to a hill, I’ll feel that hill 10 times over because I’m climbing it for him too.”
However, George laughs that she won’t see him struggle.
“Heck, I’ll hitch a rope to her and she can tow me if she has to.”
The ride is a metaphor for their relationship. Side-by-side through good times and bad.
“He’s my dad. He’s my team. He’s my rock.”
George struggles to remain stoic as he’s asked to describe his bond with Kelly.
“How much I love her for the support she gives me in everything I do.”
The Pan-Mass Challenge is August 3 and 4 and aims to raise $60 million for research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
MORE INFORMATION: George Miller: GoFundMe | Kelly Miller: GoFundMe