Our journey with pediatric brain cancer began on May 12,
2004, when our daughter Kyla was just six years old.
for three years she courageously battled a disease that
was virtually invisible to her. Aside from
occasional headaches and fatigue, Kyla thrived during
these three years.
She went to school, played as she
was able, participated in Brownies, laughed a lot, and
loved even more. She had a real zest for life.
Her smile was infectious, and she greeted everyone -
even strangers - with a curly five or a squeezy hug.
Finally, in the Spring of 2007 Kyla's body functions
started to deteriorate. The cancer spread from the
thalamus to the brain stem, and went from a benign
diagnosis to a fatal one. She passed away just two
days shy of her tenth birthday, in our home, on August
This is a journey that many other families have gone
through for high grade brain stem glioma - a form of
cancer that has nearly zero per cent survivability.
The causes are known; however, there is nothing known
today that can stop it from growing, stop it from
killing. For most of our journey Kyla was a normal
child, and we were in denial that her illness was
serious. Until the last seven weeks of her life,
there was nothing wrong with her.
How could such an awful thing happen to such a
beautiful little girl - or to any child? And why
can't we find the solution to this devastating disease?
On a national level, funding for scientific and
clinical research for brain cancer is considerably lower
than other types, such as colon, prostate, breast,
leukemia and lymphoma cancers. The funding that is
available is consolidated to a handful of research
institutes. This makes it difficult for our
children to participate in medical studies because of
cost, location and other considerations. Simply
put, we need more funding, and we need to bring the
research capabilities to our own local communities.
That is why we started Kyla Miller Foundation.
Many of the patients in our local region being treated
for high brain tumors should be able to receive the
medical care they need right here at home. To aid
in this effort, KMF is partnered with Penn State Milton
S. Hershey Medical Center to make that goal a reality.
With your help, we will create a dedicated,
coordinated pediatric neuro-oncology research program at
Penn State so that our children don't have to travel
hours away from home to get the medical attention they
need to try to beat pediatric brain cancer.
Join us, and help us make our dream come true - one
child at a time.
Stephanie A. Miller
Randy L. Miller