In the News


Neighbor helps girl survive the storm

By Tom Stafford
Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SPRINGFIELD — The Sunday, Sept. 14, storm that knocked the breath out of the area also threatened to knock the life out of 3-year-old Leah Miller.

She depends on a B-Pap machine to do the overnight breathing that her muscles weakened by Spinal Muscular Atrophy cannot.

To the relief of Leah's parents, Nikki and Scott Miller, neighbor Steve Moon dusted off a generator that got them through to Monday morning.

"Before we had Leah, the power going out wasn't a big deal," said Nikki Miller. "Now, your heart just sinks to your stomach."

At 9 months, Leah was diagnosed with Type I SMA, the most serious form of the inherited neuromuscular disease that makes it difficult to crawl, roll over, swallow, breathe and digest.

"Her mind is perfect," said Leah's mother. "Her body just doesn't assist."

They were told Leah probably would live about two years; her fourth birthday is Sept.. 29. The Millers almost lost her twice. The day after Thanksgiving 2005, "I had left the room for two minutes, and I came back in the room and she was blue," said Nikki Miller of xxxx xxxx Ave.

The following April, Leah stopped breathing again. She survived a two-day coma.

The Millers rely on four machines that monitor her blood oxygen level, clean out her windpipe and lungs and allow her to sleep.

The Springfield Rotary Club helped the Millers buy an inverter that allows them to charge the machinery with their van's battery.

The weekend's storm has the Millers considering asking for a generator of their own.

"It's not a want," Nikki Miller said. "It's a need."


Fundraiser planned for girl

An Italian dinner fundraiser will be held for Leah, a 7-year-old battling spinal muscle atrophy I (SMAI), from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19 at Amvets Post 37, 6001 Lower Valley Pike, Springfield.

The cost is $10 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under.

The family-friendly event will include music, food and a raffle.

The van used to transport Leah needs to be modified to lift and fit her new wheelchair. The remaining cost is $6,200.

To donate online visit,, choose Meet our Kids, Therapy for Kids and then select Leah Miller.


Leah Jean Miller
was born September 29, 2004. She has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1. Leah was born a “normal” child. She laughed, cried, played and enjoyed every minute, but at 5 months old she was not progressing like normal children. She started Physical therapy because Drs. thought she was a lazy baby, but as a precaution she was sent to see a Neurologist. She was tested for many things. In July of 2005 she was diagnosed with SMA- Prognosis 2 years. We were devastated, but we vowed to give Leah the most normal life possible. Leah got sick in November, and spent 3 months in the Hospital- getting treatments, G-tube surgery and learning her new way of life. She went home till April. On April 22nd 2006 Leah coded at home. She stopped breathing for 10 minutes. She was in a coma, given no hope, Drs. said a choice had to be made, and 5 minutes later she woke up. Leah lost many things from this “episode” some of which she has never regained, but she has regained her passion for life, and the ability to touch the hearts of everyone she meets.

There is Hope.

We continue to be amazed by the medical advancements in Gene Therapy that are being made at Ohio State University. We Pray that one day soon there will be a cure.


We live one day at a time making each day the best it can possibly be. On September 29, 2010 Leah Celebrated her 6th Birthday. Many SMA kids never make it this far. It is our hope that we can spread the word, and raise enough money to one day END this disease. By donating YOU can make a difference.

A little more about Leah:

Leah is as fancy as they come. She is very much of a girly- girl. She loves books, music, cooking shopping, and CHAPSTICK. Leah’s body limits her to what she can do on her own, but she has plenty of people that are willing to help her reach all her goals. SMA is a life threatening disease, but it does not take the fun out of her life. She continues to thrive mentally. Our family may be a little different. Leah has to have cough assist treatments twice a day, wears a bi-pap mask to bed, rides in a wheelchair, but there is nothing different about the hope we have for her to live a long and happy life. All we need is a cure!


To donate, please locate the "Donate Here" tab, on the far right at the top of the page, to have funds directed towards this groundbreaking research in SMA.
Please mark on your donation via computer or check memo...

IN HONOR of Leah Jean

so we can track the donations!

In Closing...

Thank you for you time and support for Leah and all of these AMAZING kids! With Faith anything is possible & with your help and support one day we will find a cure! For additional information on the OSU ground breaking research on SMA, please visit the Miracle for Madison website, by clicking HERE.


Lots of Luv,
Scott, Nikki & Leah Jean Miller