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Young pianist helps Sandy woman diagnosed with leukemia

Musician will donate proceeds from his first album to her cause

Published: Saturday, April 13 2013 11:28 p.m. MDT

Colby Miller, Jamie Miller, Haylie Miller and Mark Miller.

Joe Deluca, Deseret News

SANDY — Six weeks ago, Jamie Miller went to see her doctor because she was having migraines. It turned out what she had was actually leukemia.

Now, the mother of two is getting help from a young pianist who understands what Miller is going through. That's because he battled and beat cancer seven years ago when he was 15 years old.

Miller's visit to her doctor resulted in a follow-up trip to an emergency room the next day for a more complete blood workup. Her husband, Mark, was at work when doctors told her she had leukemia.

"I knew leukemia was bad, but I didn't understand anything of like what was happening," she said. "I was a deer in the headlights. They were telling me so many things."

Miller went to her husband's work and just told him, "I have leukemia." Then they both went back to the hospital to start her treatment.

Miller spent the next five weeks at LDS Hospital. She said she did very well with the first round of chemotherapy.

"I felt a little bit nauseous and maybe threw up a little bit, but I wasn't sick," she said.

It was difficult being in a hospital bed, Miller said, because she didn't feel sick.

"You know you have this life outside of the hospital, and it's going on without you and you can't do anything," she said.

Mark Westley's mother is friends with Miller. She suggested that Westley donate his album proceeds for her medical needs. He liked the idea.

Westley finished recording his debut album in January, and all the proceeds will go to the Millers.

Westley said he knows the importance of emotional support when battling cancer. He went through chemotherapy for a year and is now cancer-free.

"I tried to stay as normal and positive as I could, and there were times it was really bad, but I made it through it," he said.

Westley said he hopes his music will inspire, and maybe even help with healing too.

"Any help that you can get from the community, anything you can get from your family, seems like it builds you up," he said.

Westley's CD is available on iTunes or by making a minimum donation of $7 for one CD at a Mountain America Credit Union. The fund is in the name of Mark and Jamie Miller. After a person makes a donation, they can send an email with their address information to cdsforjamie@gmail.com.

CDs will also be available at the yard sale that family and friends are holding from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Reams Food Stores, 10670 S. 700 East. More information can be found at the Facebook page for the yard sale, https://www.facebook.com

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc

Email: jboal@desnews.com

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