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‘Buddy Boy’ providing hope for cancer patients 2 years after his death

It’s been two years since Braden ‘Buddy’ Miller, a beloved New Lothrop 9-year-old, passed away after a hard-fought battle with DIPG.
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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NEW LOTHROP, Mich. (WJRT) - (10/19/2020) – “His legacy is getting stronger; and our fear was maybe one day that he may be forgotten, not in this community, not, not in new Lothrop,” Brad Miller said.

It’s been two years since his son, a beloved New Lothrop 9-year-old, passed away after a hard-fought battle with DIPG.

Braden ‘Buddy’ Miller endured treatment against the inoperable brain tumor for 21 months.

While he’s no longer physically here, Buddy’s family, young friends and favorite football team continue to honor him.

Their support is providing hope for other families dealing with the same illness.

“Some days, as you know, through grief are harder than others and Buddy lived to love and not in fear and that’s one thing I try to take with me every day,” Miller said.

It’s been two years without Buddy physically with them, but Brad and Jeni Miller’s son’s presence is still very alive, whether that’s through coins suddenly showing up or the love their New Lothrop community continues to show them.

“Two years later and they’re still doing whatever they can to help us get through this tragedy and through our grief and to help other families that are going through the same thing,” Miller said.

His 9-year-old’s brave battle against the inoperable brain tumor, DIPG, won’t soon be forgotten.

To celebrate what they consider Buddy’s win against the awful childhood cancer, on the two year anniversary of the day he passed away, Buddy’s classmates planted a tree at their elementary school and the football team filled with players the 9-year-old looked up to, honored their own hero wearing that bright Buddy green.

“Obviously, I’m miss him every day and some people say it gets easier and I understand at times it gets easier, but at times it gets harder, and I just miss him,” he said.

The Millers were initially given just 6 to 9 months with their son, but Buddy lived with DIPG for nearly two years.

They were able to make it to treatment in Mexico and pay their bills thanks to thousands of generous donors from across the country.

That money continues to pour in, now benefitting the Team Buddy Forever Foundation, which provides grants to families in the fight they know all too well.

“It blew my mind that so many people cared, even though they’ve never met us or met Buddy,” Miller said. “And now to be able on the other side of that to give in Buddy’s name, it’s really a blessing for us, as much as it is for anybody else.”

There is no cure for DIPG.

After Buddy passed, his family donated his brain tumor to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s hospital.

One year ago, ABC12 News shared with you doctors there are using the tumor to research the illness and hopefully find a cure.

Pieces of the tumor were also shipped to doctors in Australia and Germany.

You can watch our story on that potentially life-saving effort here.

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