Christmas came early for Reading Express Assistant Coach Kenny Miller this year. On Tuesday, Miller received the good news that he is now cancer free. Miller, who coaches the Express' special teams and offensive line, was diagnosed with cancer during the 2010 season. While Miller has enjoyed numerous wins on the football field, the triumph over cancer is no doubt his sweetest victory of all.
Miller took a timeout from yesterday's Express coaches meeting to reflect on this life experience.
"It's pretty much a second chance on life," said Miller. "I always kept a positive outlook on the whole situation. I tried to attack it with humor and keep everyone smiling. I just didn't want everyone around me to stress out. It's just a second shot for me."
The Express broke the news of Miller's cancer-free status on a Facebook post on Tuesday. An outpouring of support and positive messages to Miller soon followed. Miller describes the response as simply "amazing." He immediately expressed a deep appreciation for all the support he has received during his fight with cancer.
"When the announcement first came out that I was diagnosed, people came up to me to be supportive, and people just hugged me," said Miller. "I heard from cancer survivors, who were giving me phone numbers and saying, 'Call me, talk to me. I'm a survivor.' Now I see the stuff on Facebook, and it's just amazing. It brings a tear to my eye when I think about it. There are people out there that are looking at me, and they connect with me. That's what's important. I owe a lot of people a lot of paybacks for prayer, and for sending me letters and cards. I have a box full of cards at home, and some are from people I don't even know. People I don't even know are sending me cards. It's just awesome."
Miller is quick to point out that his wife Tracy and family have been his biggest supporters through all of this.
"First, my wife was the most important person in my life," Miller said. "She was there for me, and she got it done. She was my backbone."
Through it all, Miller never stopped working for your hometown Reading Express. Whether he was on the sidelines at games, coaching at practice, and making recruiting calls, Miller kept a focus on his work and our team.
"I always kept looking to the 2011 season," said Miller. "My mind is definitely ready for football. My linemen better be ready to play. I want another ring now. This one will be for all the people that sat with me through the meetings, in waiting rooms, in chemotherapy. This next ring is is going to be phenomenal. I want a championship ring for them."
Reading Express Indoor Professional Football began play in 2006 in the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pa. In five seasons, the team has amassed an overall record of 64-20 with four playoff appearances, two conference titles and the 2009 AIFA National Championship. In 2011, Reading will begin play as a new member of the Indoor Football League.