Miller sat in a wheelchair as she stopped and smiled for photos on the red carpet

By Jodi Guglielmi
April 10, 2019 10:57 AM
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Abby Lee Miller never misses a good party.

The reality star made a rare public appearance at her former Dance Moms student JoJo Siwa‘s sweet 16 birthday party on Tuesday night, held at the W Hollywood in Los Angeles. Miller sat in a wheelchair as she stopped and smiled for photos on the red carpet.

Miller and Siwa have remained close since their days on Dance Moms together, with the YouTube star supporting Miller through her ongoing cancer battle.

Last year, Siwa visited Miller in the hospital and presented her with a $10,000 check from Dancers Against Cancer. In October, Siwa also attended Miller’s 52nd birthday celebration.

The outing also comes just two months after Miller confirmed she is officially be returning to Lifetime’s Dance Moms. Her new series, titled Dance Mom Resurrection, is set to premiere in June.

Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty

PEOPLE premiered an exclusive trailer for the show, in which the star got candid about her cancer struggle and revealing just how she regained the strength to do what she loves — teach dance.

“In an instant, your life changes completely,” Miller said in the clip, followed by raw footage of her fighting back tears in a hospital bed. “I was ready to go back to work and start my life over and now I can’t even walk.”

“I need to get back to teaching and I need to get back to screaming at children,” she added. “I need to get back to my roots. I’m going to take these kids right back to the turf.”

Abby Lee Miller
| Credit: Abby Lee Miller/Instagram

In April 2018, one day after undergoing emergency surgery for what was initially thought to be a spinal infection, the reality star — who was released from prison in March — was preliminarily diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.

“It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — it’s a type of a cancer,” said Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital who treated the star.

“We’re getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery. Depending on the tumor type, depending on the sensitivity of the tumor — it just depends the type but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation,” Dr. Melamed added.

Miller went into the emergency room after she experienced “excruciating neck pain” and weakness in her arm, and after her condition deteriorated over the next couple days, Dr. Melamed performed emergency surgery for a multi-level laminectomy.

“If we didn’t do something, she was going to die,” Dr. Melamed told PEOPLE. “Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well.”

Since then, Miller has been receiving chemotherapy and rehabilitation, all of which have been documented via social media. Miller left her rehabilitation facility in September.

Dance Moms Resurrection will air in June on Lifetime.