Driven to help others: Zionsville teenager raises thousands of dollars for Arthritis Foundation through car show


A Zionsville teenager is making a difference for kids diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

Cameron Miller, a 16-year-old Zionsville Community High School rising sophomore, has raised more than $15,000 this year to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. He was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at age 6, affecting his jaw, knees and ankles.

Cameron participated in his eighth Walk to Cure Arthritis event in Indianapolis April 26. But this year, he raised even more funds by presenting a car show in Westfield’s Motor District April 13.

cameron car show winners
Cameron Miller picked the top three winners at the car show in April. (Photo courtesy of Lonnie Miller)

“We’ve been talking about it for a few years, and we just got around to it this year because I love cars,” Cameron said. “We hosted it at the Motor District in Westfield. For the car show, we had stuff set up inside the garage and then we had all the cars set up outside. At the end, I had to go around and pick my top three cars.”

Cameron’s father Lonnie Miller said the car show helped raise $4,000 to add to Cameron’s donations for 2024. In addition to the car show funds, Cameron raised $11,318 for this year’s walk, surpassing his goal of $10,000.

Since he began fundraising in elementary school, Cameron has raised more than $38,000 for the Arthritis Foundation.

Lonnie Miller said Cameron’s diagnosis was difficult for the family. He said the Arthritis Foundation has been a tremendous help when it comes to understanding Cameron’s disease and finding resources for Cameron’s needs.

The family said it took several doctors to figure out what was ailing Cameron 10 years ago, but once they had a diagnosis, he was put on Humira — an injectable biologic immunosuppressive drug.

“When he was first diagnosed, we thought, ‘Oh, I guess he’ll take some aspirin,’” Miller said. “That’s not how it works. I didn’t realize the severity of it. There are different levels to it. We went to a function in Indianapolis, a conference, and all these people came in from the foundation. They do things like this — they bring in people who might not be able to afford to come to the conference otherwise to learn from doctors and go to seminars. We were shocked at how many kids are in wheelchairs and on crutches.”

Miller said he and his wife, Cloe Miller, made connections with Riley Hospital for Children and the Arthritis Foundation. The money that Cameron raises goes not just to research, but to helping others make those kinds of connections as well.

“You find out later after attending all these events, the last 15 years have been a breakthrough,” Miller said. “Fortunately, these (medications) can really help kids and adults. It’s really helped him. His jaw has been good. The damage is done, the doctors told us, but he doesn’t have any pain and it’s stopped it in its tracks. His doctors are really pleased.”

Miller also said although the disease meant that Cameron would have some limitations, he hasn’t let it slow him down.

“He had his fair share of difficulties, but we were always able to keep him active, he played basketball and things like that,” Miller said. “Sometimes, he had swelling that would make it difficult but he was able to manage it pretty well.”

Cameron progressed so well with treatment that he’s no longer on prescription medication.

“I’ve been in remission for over a year,” he said.

Cameron also said he enjoys having a voice when it comes to spreading the word about juvenile arthritis and raising money for research and, hopefully, a cure.

“It’s really cool to be able to represent the Arthritis Foundation. I thought (the car show) was going to be a lot more work than it was, but (the Motor District) made it really easy,” Cameron said. “I’m not big on public speaking but I do have to (sometimes) and I’m OK with that. I try to give people hope, especially the younger kids who have been recently diagnosed and they’re scared. I know what it’s like to go into the hospital for the first time. I just want to give them hope.”

cameron with cars
Cameron Miller said he wanted to host a car show as a fundraiser because he enjoys classic cars. (Photo courtesy of Lonnie Miller)


Juvenile arthritis refers to rheumatic diseases in children aged 16 and younger, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Rheumatic diseases are not the same in children as they are in adults — these diseases have many distinctions and are treated differently.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, previously known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is the most common form of rheumatic disease in children. Additional forms of rheumatic disease include juvenile myositis, juvenile lupus, juvenile scleroderma, vasculitis and fibromyalgia

While the exact causes of juvenile arthritis are unknown, researchers believe that certain genes may cause juvenile arthritis when activated by a virus, bacteria or other external factors. There is no evidence that foods, toxins, allergies or lack of vitamins cause the disease.

Although there is no cure, remission can be achieved with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment.

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