"My mom died of colon cancer and my dad died of esophageal cancer so I knew it was only a matter of time," Abby Lee Miller said

By Karen Mizoguchi
May 29, 2018 04:49 PM
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Amid being in a “really bad place” during her cancer battle, Abby Lee Miller had an uplifting moment when she had a surprise from former Dance Moms student JoJo Siwa.

Siwa, 15, shared a vlog on her YouTube page, titled “Visiting Abby in the hospital,” on Monday, when she visited 51-year-old Miller, who is recovering from cancer surgery and chemotherapy.

In the video, Siwa documented the heartwarming conversations and interactions between the pair as the teenager showered her former teacher with gifts, including movie theater popcorn and bags of candy. Along with the snacks, Siwa shocked the former Dance Moms star with a $10,000 check from Dancers Against Cancer.

“It’s horrible,” a tearful Miller said as she talked about her health struggles.

“My mom died of colon cancer and my dad died of esophageal cancer so I knew it was only a matter of time. I didn’t think it would be now at my age,” she said while wiping her tears with her hand. “It has a 95 percent cure rate,.”

In April, one day after undergoing emergency surgery for what was initially thought to be a spinal infection, Miller — newly released from prison — was preliminarily diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.

“She has two more chemo sessions to go, but she’s in a really bad place — mentally and emotionally. She’s really losing it,” a source recently told PEOPLE.

“After the hospital she’ll be going into a rehab facility, so everything is still up in the air,” the source said. “Right now they’re just focusing on her health.”

Miller had been living in a halfway house since completing her 366-day sentence for bankruptcy fraud at the Victorville Federal Correctional Institution in California, which she entered in July 2017. Then, she was transferred at the end of March to the Residential Reentry Center in Long Beach, a facility that provides a structured and supervised environment where she’ll be given employment counseling, job placement and financial management assistance.

Siwa told PEOPLE in April that she visited Miller in the hospital.

“She was not good by any means. I know what she has is awful, but she’s in good spirits so that’s really good. It’s hard, but she is definitely, definitely, definitely the strongest, toughest person that I know, and so I think she’ll be good,” she said, also sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see Miller in that condition.

“Sad. Really, really sad. It’s sad to see someone who’s just kind of down, you know? We’re definitely going to see her all of the time,” Siwa said.

WATCH: Abby Lee Miller’s Surgeon Reveals Star ‘Was Going to Die’ After Developing Serious Spinal Infection

Meanwhile, on Friday, Miller shared some good news when she announced that she was released from the Long Beach halfway house. “TIMES UP!!!! ‘Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.’ Martin Luther King Jr.,” she captioned a black-and-white photo of herself sporting a wide smile as she pointed to a watch on her wrist.

In May 2017, Miller received a sentence of one year and one day in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release for bankruptcy fraud. She was additionally fined $40,000 and ordered to pay the $120,000 judgment, as well as give a DNA sample relating to her felony charge.