Jillian’s Dream is thrilled to announce our partnership with Prelude to a Cure, the non-profit arm of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Center of Excellence. With the direction and vision from the founders Dr.’s Lary Robinson and Scott Antonia we are working together to increase our visibility, advocacy efforts and fundraising goals.

In Tampa, rappel down a building to combat lung cancer

By Robbyn Mitchell – Times Staff Writer

“It was such a shock,” laughed the 59-year-old mother of three from Tampa. “She told me to let go of one hand and then the other. I was just hanging there by my harness.”

She was almost halfway down before the beauty and gravity of what she was doing dawned on her.

“On one side, I could see the ocean at Fort Lauderdale Beach; on the other side I could see the city. It was gorgeous,” Miller said.

Ninety people may have that same experience on Dec. 13, when Miller’s organization, Jillian’s Dream, hosts a rappel down the Island Center at Tampa’s Rocky Point to raise money for lung cancer research in honor of Miller’s daughter, Jillian, a registered nurse who succumbed to the disease in May 2013. Rappelers need to raise or donate $1,500 to go to Uniting Against Lung Cancer in order to qualify.

“We did the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. I walked and she was on medical staff,” Miller said. “She told me she didn’t want a walk. She wanted something creative. She said, ‘Go big or go home.’ ”

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Legacy of Courage and Care

From: Article: Legacy of Courage – University of Miami’s Heartbeat Magazine

When Jillian Blyth Miller, B.S.N. ’07, M.S.N. ’13, was a little girl, ER was her favorite television series. “Pretty much anything with surgery and patient care fascinated her,” recalls Jillian’s father, Arthur Miller, B.S. ’78, M.B.A. ’80. The Millers never imagined that the little girl in front of the TV would one day be an integral member of a critical care team herself.

After graduating from the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies, Jillian was offered a nursing position in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital. She soon moved into the leadership role of charge nurse, later becoming the first nurse in her unit selected to train and work with neurological surgical
dialysis machines for neurological patients.Wanting to further her education, she began pursuing a master’s degree in the Acute Car Nurse Practitioner Program at the SONHS. It was during this time that she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic adenocarcinoma.


“She was a ’Cane through and through. She was also serious about her career and oriented to personal, professional, and academic excellence.”

Jillian spent the next year waging a courageous battle against this deadly form of lung cancer, but she never stopped caring for others or thinking like a nurse. When she volunteered to participate in a Phase 1B clinical trial, Jillian shared with her family that she hoped the experimental treatment would not only help her but also make a difference for others in the future. Never a smoker, Jillian fought to debunk the myth that all who are afflicted with lung cancers are smokers. She also participated in her hospital’s Young Adults with Cancer group, sharing up-close-and-personal experiences about her illness and using her expertise as a health care professional to “make it better” for other young people.

Jillian passed away before she could attend her second UM commencement ceremony, but in December 2013, Art and Ros Miller accepted the Master of Science in Nursing degree awarded posthumously to their daughter. Also in attendance were her brothers, Jared and Daniel, and sister-in-law Amy. Being on campus together was not a new experience for the Millers, avid ’Canes fans who hold season tickets and travel from their Tampa home to Miami for the games.

“Jillian would have been full of UM pride today,” Ros Miller said. “When she was a child, no family vacation to Florida was complete without a trip to the U, her father’s alma mater. She was a ’Cane through and through. She was also serious about her career and oriented to personal, professional, and academic excellence. We are proud of her and honored to accept Jillian’s M.S.N. degree on her behalf.”

As a tribute to Jillian’s accomplishments and to celebrate a life that was unique and meaningful, the Miller family made a major Momentum2 campaign gift in her honor to support the planned SONHS Simulation Hospital. “Jillian’s life exemplified the mission of the School of Nursing and Health Studies,” Art Miller said. “The Simulation Hospital will educate health care professionals who will make patient-centered care their number-one priority, just as she did.”