This is the story of someone we can look up to, someone to admire, someone to gain hope from, and someone who is even more unique than the syndrome he was determined to defeat. This is the story of 6 month old Finn Miller, along with his older brother Travis, and two incredible parents, Megan and Travis Miller. Growing up just outside Montgomery County, Megan Miller has deep and lasting ties to the area she calls home. The loving wife and mother has since moved to Coopersburg, PA where she now lives with her husband and two boys. On may 2nd, Megan and her husband Travis welcomed their second miracle into the world, little baby Finn. Prior to Finn’s birth, Megan and Travis were given the news that Finn would be born with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, an extremely rare condition that effects one in every 14,000 babies. The Syndrome is accompanied with a high risk of childhood cancer, which is why frequent cancer screenings are so important to early diagnosis. Despite all of the health concerns associated with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, none of them were enough to defeat baby Finn.
Megan’s pre-natal treatment involved visiting a multitude of specialists at CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis on a constant basis. Megan, Travis, and their families were terrified, but their love for that little boy would stop at nothing to help him. On May 2nd, 2015, Finn Miller was born 6 weeks premature at CHOP in the Special Delivery Unit. He underwent heart surgery when he was just 2 days old, and soon after struggled with his blood sugar levels, contracted MRSA, developed a bowel infection and has received several blood transfusions. Just two months later, Finn was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer in his liver. Doctors told Megan and Travis that Finn would require surgery to remove the tumor which would then be followed by chemotherapy. On July 9th, 2015, little Finn had his surgery which included a liver resection, omphalocele repair, and placement of a port for chemotherapy. The surgery was a success and Finn completed his rounds of chemotherapy with a spirit that defied all explanation.
With medical bills piling up, Travis had to stay at home working longer hours in order to help pay for their sons treatment. But even with a schedule that would drive most of us mad, the devoted father made the arduous trip down to the city every chance he had. Since Finn lived the first four months of his life at CHOP in Philly, Megan took a leave from work as a radiation therapist and moved into a room at the Ronald McDonald House where she stayed for months to help Finn get through the good and the bad days.
After Finn’s birth, it didn’t take long for the married couple to realize that his tiny little heart would inspire so many throughout his never ending fight for life. Throughout it all, Finn was a happy baby, one that is destined to bring more hope and smiles to the people he’ll meet throughout his lifetime.
When Montco Happening first sat down with the young Mom, we were overwhelmed by her positivity. She was upbeat, optimistic, down to earth, hopeful, and so proud of her baby boy Finn. The amount of love for Finn was palpable in Megan’s voice, you could feel it just by talking with her. Whether she was referring to his syndrome, the countless number tests and surgeries performed, extended stays at the hospital, or the hope to one day have Finn come home, the proud mother could not have smiled more when she was describing the challenges they overcame together, as a family.
Megan told us how thankful and lucky her family was to have two amazing boys, a marriage built on friendship, love and teamwork, and parental instincts that show no limits when it comes to the health and happiness of their children. Even as a young married couple, Megan and Travis Miller have a relationship and outlook on life that all of us should strive to achieve. When asked how they have stayed so strong throughout the entire process, their answer was simple, they all got their strength from Finn. The parents knew that if her little boy could fight through the effects and symptoms of this rare syndrome, that together they could make it through anything life has to throw at them.
Finn’s courage and strength amazed not only his parents, but the team of professionals, surgeons, techs and specialists at CHOP as well. His will to fight through months of life threatening complications provided inspiration to everyone who surrounded him. From the moment he was born Finn faced a series of challenges that most of us could never imagine defeating, but the tiny miracle conquered each one as it came along. What’s even more amazing is that throughout his battle with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, baby Finn never lost his will to fight, and in doing so, has inspired so many throughout the process. With the help of this article, his journey will inspire many more. We are happy to report that the now six month old Finn is out of the hospital and at home with his loving parents and big brother!!!
If you are interested in learning more about Finn’s story or would like to make a donation towards the first research that is being done about Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome by Finn’s geneticist, Dr. Jennifer Kalish, please see the links below. All of the donations will go towards supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Finn is their featured hero! The Millers would like to personally thank the wonderful healthcare team who helped care for baby Finn at CHOP, especially his NICU nurses, and they are forever grateful to everyone who helped bring their baby boy home!
FINN’S HERO STORY——> http://www.alexslemonade.org/bws-hero-finn-miller
DR. KALISH’S RESEARCH——> http://www.alexslemonade.org/grantee/jennifer-kalish-md-phd