Cameron Miller, an eighth-grader from Zionsville, is set to participate in the May 12 Walk to Cure Arthritis event in Fishers.
Miller, 15, has been fighting juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease, since age 6 and has since raised nearly $24,000 toward finding a cure for the disease.
Despite his young age, the Boone Prairie School student said he has not let his condition define him. Instead uses his experience to raise awareness and money for arthritis research.
“We saw a flier for a fundraiser in Zionsville about arthritis awhile back, and me and my mom (Cloe Miller) went to it, and then from there I started a lemonade stand at the Marsh grocery store in town on Lemonade Day to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation,” Cameron said. “Shortly after that, I participated in my first Walk to Cure Arthritis event.”
The Walk to Cure Arthritis is an annual event that brings people together from all walks of life to raise awareness for arthritis research.
“The walk event is important for so many reasons, but most of all it is the awareness,” Cloe said. “Most kids with arthritis look fine on the outside, so I think it can be hard sometimes for other kids and families to relate because they relate the disease to only older people. So, it’s a great way to bring awareness to juvenile arthritis.”
The event is organized by the Arthritis Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for arthritis and improving the lives of those who are affected by it.
“Cameron and his parents (Lonnie and Cloe Miller) have been involved with the Walk to Cure Arthritis since 2018,” Arthritis Foundation Executive Director Sandra Messner said. “He’s had such a big impact here in Indiana, and we always look forward to seeing him and his big team of supporters every year.”
Miller’s team for the event, Walk this way for Cameron, is made up of Miller’s family and friends who join him each year to support him in his fight for a cure for juvenile arthritis.
“Participating in the walk has allowed Cameron to meet other kids like him,” Cloe said. “Every year, we have new T-shirts made for his team to wear during the walk.”
Miller said one of his T-shirts is basketball themed to incorporate his love for the game.
“Even with arthritis, I still play basketball for the Indiana Basketball Academy playing the guard position,” he said.
Miller’s fundraising efforts have not gone unnoticed. He was recognized by the Arthritis Foundation in 2019 as a Walk to Cure Arthritis Youth honoree after raising nearly $9,000.
“It felt special to get that honor, and it encouraged me to keep wanting to raise money for the cause,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of people through the walk event, and I’ve made a lot of friends.”
Miller holds the top fundraiser position for this year at $1,825, and his team is in second place for top team fundraising with $2,025.
Miller appreciates the opportunity to share his own story about the disease at the walk to encourage others.
“I don’t really talk about my juvenile arthritis all the time,” he said. “I actually don’t like the spotlight, but every year when the Walk to Cure Arthritis happens, I like sharing my story to help otherss.”
Miller said he hopes to raise even more funds this year and is encouraging others to get involved in the event.
“I want there to be a cure one day,” he said.
Cloe said her son is off all medications and they hope to one day he will be in complete remission.
The Walk to Cure Arthritis event is set to take place at Conner Prairie in Fishers May 12 at 6 p.m.
Anyone can participate in the walk, and every donation goes directly to the Arthritis Foundation for research.
The fundraising goal for the Walk to Cure Arthritis event is set at $75,000 and $40,492 has been raised so far.
ABOUT THE ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION
The Arthritis Foundation is advancing research, advocacy and disease management support. The foundation also helps navigate the many challenges arthritis brings.
To support Cameron Miller, visit his page at events.arthritis.org under his team name ,Walk this way for Cameron.
For more, email [email protected]