November 04, 2011
Long-term readers of the Eh Game are familiar with the story of Kyle Miller. Diagnosed with cancer in 2003, the nationally-ranked lacrosse player successfully fought off the disease, and came all the way back to be one of Team Canada's goalies in their historic 2006 upset of the USA at the World Championships. Earlier this summer he was inducted into the Orangeville Sports Hall of Fame.
In a sad twist of fate, the other goalie from that team, Chris Sanderson, has also been diagnosed with cancer. Earlier this year we wrote about Kyle's work to help Chris raise money for treatment.
Not every story has a happy ending, though, and eight years after he beat it the first time, Kyle's been diagnosed with cancer again. This time it's Stage 4 Osteogenic Spindle Cell Sarcoma, presenting as a tumor in his lung. He's been through one round of chemotherapy already, and faces three more. And Kyle's biggest concern is, well, he's going to lose his hair.
You see, the last time he went through this, Kyle's brother Brandon (a goalie with the National Lacrosse League's Philadelphia Wings) teased him about how he'd look silly bald. So Kyle vowed he wouldn't lose his hair. Of course, he did, because that's what chemotherapy does to you.
(The anecdote's one of many hilarious moments in an inspirational presentation Kyle gives to schools nationwide. The speaking series, about how he beat cancer, is on hold for now, while he beats it again. We imagine the speech will be twice as long, and four times as good, when he starts back up.)
In the meantime, Kyle's grown, and realizes he's going to lose his hair this time. It's why he got a haircut this week (pictured above), and why he's embarked on a very important project: to find a decent hat.
I have been in search for the perfect winter hat for some time now. My quest has taken me from sporting goods to designer and specialty stores to Wal-Mart and even a trip to across the river to Target. We've searched high and low and I've tried on several, was even close to purchasing a few, but can't seem to find one that works.
So Kyle's looking for help. He's talking about designing one, like he did for Brandon's goalie mask.But we're not convinced the perfect "winter hat for the hip and fashionable 30 year-old in the big city who happens to be fighting cancer again" isn't out there somewhere.
So we're asking for your help. Spread the word, on e-mail, Twitter, facebook, carrier pigeon, smoke signal. If you know where Kyle can find an awesome hat, tell us. Use the hashtag #FindKyleaHat. leave a note or a pic in the comments. Hit me on Twitter. Mail us a hat to give him (our address is Suite 801, 207 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J1A7).
Do whatever it takes.
During this summer's event for Chris Sanderson, Kyle raised almost $20,000. For the last couple of years, he's received accolades from teachers, kids, and athletes for his inspirational story. We're hearing rumours about an assembly in Kyle's honour Friday morning that drew a standing ovation 1000-strong - and he wasn't even there. And he's about the most relaxed, laid-back kid anybody can have the pleasure of knowing.
The least we can do is find the guy a decent hat.
Spread it loud, and often.