A family from North Carolina who lost their home during Hurricane Florence is hoping to raise money for their 8-year-old son’s treatment after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Perryn Miller and his family were visiting relatives in Utah over the holidays when the young boy began to feel a severe headache that left him vomiting, KUTV reports. While Perryn had experienced a number of headaches in previous weeks, doctors believed they were caused by his new prescription glasses.
Yet, this intense headache led Perryn’s parents — Jacob and Jaimee Miller — to take him to a local hospital, where scans revealed the boy’s discomfort was not caused by something as innocuous as eyeglasses.
“They let us know he had a brain tumor that needed to be operated on immediately,” Jacob Miller told the news station.
After a seven-hour operation, doctors diagnosed Perryn with Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage IV, an aggressive terminal cancer.
“He’s got a long journey ahead of him,” his father continued.
Glioblastoma (or GBM) is the same type of rare brain cancer that Senator John McCain had. The medium survival time for patients is about 11 to 15 months, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. As little as 5 percent of patients live five years or more.
This is not the only tragedy to befall the Millers over the last year.
The family lost their home in Hurricane Florence swept through the Carolinas in September and caused major flooding throughout the region, and it has still not been fully repaired, Perryn’s grandmother wrote on Facebook.
“They have been staying with Jaimee’s mom,” she wrote, “and the contractors are working very hard to get it finished, especially now.”
Perryn will soon be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, a GoFundMe page set up for the family says.
“Although they were able to remove the tumor,” the page reads, “he still has a long road ahead of him to include several months of radiation and chemotherapy either in Utah or at Duke Hospital.”
The page has raised more than $29,000 from 484 donors as of Monday afternoon.
“Perryn is fighting for his life. He is a smart boy with an amazing personality. He is loved by everyone,” a bio on the donation page says.
“He is also a warrior and is putting up the good fight. Even during all of this time in the hospital, he has been more worried about his family than himself.”