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Unsung Heroes: Ken Miller

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Oct 06 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 08 2012 05:02:16 AM CDT

Unsung Heroes

The fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis can be difficult to explain unless you've been through it. This month's Unsung Hero is Ken Miller a cancer survivor who listens and supports cancer patients.

Ken Miller says he's grateful to be alive.

"Every day we wake up, I put my feet on the floor and say a prayer and say thanks," Miller said.

Ken said tests every three months show he has been cancer-free for two years.

"I spent over $30,000, on smokeless tobacco," Miller said.

He said chewing tobacco caused his stage 4 throat cancer. The day after he was diagnosed he spoke with his wife.

"For myself I'm going to beat this individually, and then we're going to start our own campaign," Miller said.

Ken now tells kids about the dangers of tobacco from experience.

"If I could save just one kid from going through what I went through it's definitely worth it," he said.

The former offensive line Reading Express coach who is now with the Lehigh Valley Steel Hawks inspires groups and individuals.

"There's a lot of pressure. There's more pressure than worrying about whether you're protecting a quarterback," Miller said.

He said that's what he felt after meeting Ron Uczynski, a man who goes to his aunt's church.

"I was a police officer for 32 years and facing cancer was like facing something I never faced in my life," Uczynski said.

Ron, a Berks County Deputy sheriff also had throat cancer and sat down with Ken at the Wyomissing Restaurant.

"The first time we met, we met in a little diner. He was trying to eat soup and he was like "this is the only thing I can eat," Miller said.

He said he could see Ron's frustration.

"It's going to get better. I said in a year we'll be sitting down having a steak," Miller said.

Ron nominated Ken as an Unsung Hero because of how his support got him through the darkest moments.

"I didn't know. I thought it was the end. I really did. Very emotional," Uczynski said.

"I used to tell him keep a picture of your family in your hand and look down. Every time you wonder why look down, that's why you want to survive," Miller added.

Ken's words worked. Ron is also cancer-free.

"Ron's a great one. The world's definitely better with Ron being in it," Miller said.

These two men have a second chance. And Miller said we can all live that way.

"Take advantage of every day find something good about it. Hear a bird and be like that's awesome," he said.