Local Look: Growing Support Continued by Andrea Miller
Andrea Miller was the CancerCare Manitoba's August raffle winner, taking home a cheque for $12,671.25. The story of Andrea goes far beyond a raffle prize; it involves a family history of cancer, a late husband, and a fundraising effort that continues to grow. We were lucky enough to have her answer a few questions about it all.
The Miller's run a pedigreed seed farm located in Fortier, Manitoba, which has been in the family since 1890. As farms are passed through generations, so are genes.
The Miller family has a history of colon cancer, having claimed the lives of generations before and passing it onto Andrea's husband, Darcy.
“When you walk in the room and there’s two doctors sitting there wanting to talk to you, that’s when it really hit,” said Darcy.
While going through this difficult time, Andrea supported her husband along with their four children. By seeing the effects of cancer research firsthand, Darcy became motivated to help fund it.
“I’m a firm believer in research,” said Miller, “Anything we can do to try and keep the research going…that’s what I [want] to do.”
In 2015, he sprouted the idea for a charity campaign in which he grew 90 acres of crops on his land, and donated all proceeds to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. The fundraising campaign was named 'Growing Support'.
Community involvement was lead by Legend Seeds and Portage Agri Sales, donating the soybeans, chemicals, and fertilizer. The Millers contributed the land and the seeding, spraying, harvesting, as well as field work.
Darcy set a goal of fundraising $150,000 by 2018. As he sadly passed on October 5th, 2016, two-years after his colorectal cancer diagnosis, he was unable to see the campaign continue to grow.
Andrea and the team at Miller Agritec lead the harvest this year, continuing her husband's legacy and working towards the same mission.
To date, Growing Support has raised more than $165,000.00 for CancerCare Manitoba's research.
The Miller family has continued to support CancerCare in many ways; with their eldest son, Graham (along with his friend Dylan), asking for donations to CancerCare in lieu of birthday presents. Younger siblings have also contributed; with son Ian holding a freezie sale at school (freezies donated by Portage Supermarket & Portage Coop), and son Carter baking muffins and cookies to sell at a local Farmer's Market.
When it came to the Miller family choosing a Cancer foundation to fundraise for, CancerCare was the first to help Darcy when he was diagnosed. The foundation is very research driven, and with Darcy being a pedigreed seed grower, this aspect was very important to him. "He wanted to see the money he raised go towards research and finding a cure", said Andrea.
The Miller family had grown accustom to handing the checks to CancerCare, making the exchange of raffle winnings a new experience. As said by CancerCare, "this time, we GAVE the cheque!".
When asked about her online raffle experience, Andrea expressed that she likes to support the hospitals when they hold their lotteries and fundraisers.
"I did not expect to win. I was shocked"
A chunk of the prize money is going towards a well deserved Christmas vacation for the Miller family. Money was also donated to Siloam Mission in addition to anonymous donations made to families struggling.
So why should you buy into the 'More Tomorrows Together' online 50/50 raffle?
You can support families like the Millers and ...
"You just never know if you will be a winner"
We are pleased to see a raffle prize going to such a deserving family.
Thank you to Andrea, the Miller Family, and the team at Miller Agritec for their continued support of CancerCare Manitoba.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS:
· Online at cancercareraffle.ca with a credit card
· By phone at 204-787-4177 weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Ticket sale deadline is midnightTuesday October 31. Don’t miss out, get your tickets today!