Rockdale QB beats cancer, hopes to return to the field - KXXV Central Texas News Now

ROCKDALE

Rockdale QB beats cancer, hopes to return to the field

Gunner Miller is just like any high school student. He likes to be outdoors, he has friends, and he loves to play football. His sophomore year at Rockdale High School was going to be extra special. Miller was expected to be the starting quarterback for his dad's football team.

"He coached me a little last year as a freshman but it wasn't the real deal Friday night," Gunner said.

But last April, life took an unexpected turn. During track season, Gunner began to complain about a pain in his left leg. Gunner’s parents didn’t think much of it, other than a bad case of shin splints.

"Just the more we ran, it got a little bit worse and worse,” Gunner said.

"He said 'Mom, I am really worried about the pain in my leg,’” Angel Miller, Gunner’s mother, recalls. “So we went to the track meet and he didn't perform quite as well as he had been throughout the year the following day we took him to the doctor and the x-rays revealed that he had cancer."

Gunner was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare cancer in the leg usually found in teenage males.

"As a parent that is the worst news you could ever receive," Jeff Miller, Gunner’s father and football coach, said.

But for Gunner, the cancer brought another challenge for the ultimate competitor.

"I knew it was going to be a while before I get to play sports again," Gunner said.

While Gunner began his 16 rounds of chemotherapy, he missed out on football practices and school. But for Gunner he had a more important battle to fight.

"I guess I never realized was how strong he is. How mentally and physically strong,” Jeff said. “We have always known he is a great competitor. That is all of the things he has ever done and it doesn't matter in what facet of his life."

That competitive drive helped Gunner beat cancer this summer. Doctors removed the tumor in August and Gunner undergoes remission treatment often.

"The end is in sight now. It is not going to be fun but the reward is pretty awesome," Jeff said.

While Gunner fought his own battle, the Miller’s made it their mission to fight for the cause as well. In the summer, Angel Miller and her friend Kelly Pickle created a foundation called “Teaming Up for the Cure.” A foundation created help support pediatric cancer research.

Their first goal with the foundation was to bring awareness to the cause. They began making gold shirts to sell and on September 25th during Rockdale’s home game against Caldwell, they plan to “gold-out” the stadium. 

But the Tigers aren’t the only ones participating, more than 30 schools across the state from Austin to Wichita Falls have agreed to host their own “gold-out” as well and support the foundation and the cause.

As for Gunner, he knows a few hurdles remain but the end is near. So one day he will be off the sidelines and back on the field where he belongs.

"Knowing that once I am done with this,” Gunner said. “I will have a chance to be out there again and playing on those Friday’s like I have wanted to for so long."

To help support the cause and more information on Gunner’s battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma click here.

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