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Darren Miller and his wife, Amy, pose for a photo at the hospital before Miller’s last round of chemotherapy treatment. On Jan. 15, Miller received his last PET scan in which the previously diagnosed Stage IVa lung adenocarcinoma was listed as a “non-reoccurring disease” with “no metastasis.”
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Miller poses with a syringe used to administer Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) for cancer treatment.
GRANITE CITY — July 26 of last year was a life-changing day for Darren Miller.
He spent that day in the emergency room at Gateway Regional Medical Center, diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Upon undergoing open heart surgery July 31 at Christian Hospital, he was diagnosed with stage IVa lung adenocarcinoma.
“Before the diagnosis, my hands and feet would crack very badly, and the dermatologist couldn’t determine why,” Miller says. “The diagnosis made sense.
“I was told that I would live about a year if I underwent chemotherapy and only six months if I didn’t. I was a medical refugee.
“My wife, Amy, and I decided that was unacceptable.”
The news got the couple … well, fired up.
On Jan. 15, after a combined treatment of chemotherapy and cannabis oil, Miller received surprising results in his last PET scan.
“The scan referred to the cancer as a ‘non-reoccurring disease’ with ‘no metastasis,’” he says. “It’s insane.”
The option of cannabis oil was first brought to Miller’s attention during a family discussion in the hospital.
“My younger brother performed at an event for Mark Pedersen, co-founder of the eCS Therapy Center,” Miller explains. “Mark personally knows Rick Simpson, a man diagnosed with skin cancer who used cannabis oil for treatment.”
The eCS Therapy Center (the name is a reference to the endocannabinoid system) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to medical cannabis education and consultation. Simpson is the subject of the 2008 documentary “Run from the Cure” and the author of “Phoenix Tears: The Rick Simpson Story.”
With his chest still bleeding from the surgery, Miller and his wife jumped into the car and headed to California.
“I applied for residency to remain legal during treatment,” he says.
Pedersen immediately suggested high-indica THC Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to Miller for his treatment. Shortly after the journey to California, Miller became a legal medical marijuana patient in Illinois and was able to move back home.
And the work began. Miller began consuming a small daily amount of oil, gradually expanding to one gram of oil per day with his increased tolerance.
“As of right now, I eat one-fourth gram a day for maintenance,” he says. “I’ve eaten the oil the way I was supposed to and it actually worked.
“I was told by my physician that he was still required to offer me ‘after-chemo,’ but I rejected it. I began bleeding out of my mouth after a week of the first chemo treatment; after a day of using the oil, the blisters were gone.”
Miller further explains the impressive newfound state of his overall health. Today, the treatment has given him a complete “head change.” A term commonly used by marijuana smokers to describe the change in consciousness, in Miller’s case it describes a new lease on life, a new way to look at the world, and a determination to make sure every person facing his diagnosis is given the treatment options to which they are entitled.
“I credit the oil with helping me gain 12 pounds and preventing hair loss during treatment. I was also previously diagnosed with stage 3 multiple sclerosis, and the oil helps treat the pain.
“I feel the healthiest I’ve felt in years.”
Through the course of his journey, Miller has learned how to extract the oil himself and has served as a mentor to those in need of treatment.
“The main issue is that the medicine is so expensive,” he says. “It takes roughly $6,000 worth of dispensary marijuana to produce 60 grams of oil.”
Given the rare and impressive nature of his story, many remain skeptical of his results — something Miller understands. What he does not understand or condone is to remain skeptical or unbelieving without taking the time to educate oneself.
“Naysayers accuse me of giving false hope and being ‘full of it,’ but I’ve got the records to show it,” he defiantly asserts. “One of my doctors said that if I stay ‘cancer-free’ for five years, he’ll say it’s gone.”
But as powerful as Miller claims the oil to be, at least in his case, even that is not enough. He credits his wife’s immense support in his decision to seek alternative cancer treatment.
“Amy quit her job for her dying husband, and she was the first to say that my cancer diagnosis was ‘unacceptable,’” he says. “If not for her, we wouldn’t have gone to search out cannabis oil, and I might not be here today.”
To visit and support the gofundme page created by Amy Miller to cover remaining medical expenses, visit https://www.gofundme.com/dn48avn4.