UFC fighters Dan and Jim Miller may be the ones in the family that get most of the attention due to their prowess in the Octagon, but there is another Miller that has proven himself more than worthy of the title “the toughest Miller of them all.”
Danny Jr., Dan’s son, was so dubbed by his uncle, and on Thursday he proved why, fighting his way through a kidney transplant operation made necessary by a condition called polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
“In March of 2010, he lost all kidney function. Today, September 6, 2012, Danny is now peeing again! Words can't describe the emotion that we are feeling right now,” wrote his ecstatic mother, Kristen Miller, on Facebook on Thursday.
“He's still in the OR (operating room) but will be headed to his PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) room shortly. His new kidney function will be monitored extremely closely.
“Kathy is recovering in her room. We love you so much Kathy and can never thank you enough. Xoxo Daniel James..we love you so much!”
Aunt Kathy is the living donor that made the operation possible, giving the ultimate gift to Danny Jr.
“Surgery went well today, never thought I'd be so happy to see some pee!” tweeted Danny's dad.
Dan and Jim Miller are two of the more likeable fighters in the UFC, and are rather close knit. So it wasn’t just mom letting the world no Danny pulled through with the fighting spirit of his dad and uncle.
“The word is that everything has gone well with my nephew's transplant. Both Danny and my Aunt came out strong. TY everyone for the support,” uncle Jim tweeted, before adding, “Pee! My 2 1/2 yr old nephew has kidney function for the first time in over 2 years. 1 hurdle cleared, many more ahead.”
The mixed martial arts community has rallied around the Millers. A memorabilia auction helped to raise funds to counter skyrocketing medical costs. But even with the successful operation, there will still be numerous struggles, including exorbitant costs for medication, particularly over the next year.
Dan Miller joined up with FundaFighter.com in an effort to raise money to help with the ongoing costs of follow-up treatment and medication as Danny Jr. continues his journey beyond PKD. If you want to help out, go to Dan Miller’s FundaFighter page to make a donation.