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Brian Miller, who organized a fundraiser to support ovarian cancer research at BWH, signs the check at a special ceremony.
Earlier this summer, the community of South Boston came together for the first "Wifflethon," a wiffle ball game and whiffle haircutting event to raise money for ovarian cancer research at BWH.
The creator behind the Wifflethon was 11-year-old Brian Miller, who organized the event with the help of friends and family in about a week's time, in honor of his mother, Lori Miller, a BWH patient who recently finished treatment for ovarian cancer. With baseball being his favorite sport, Brian combined the idea of whiffles, or very short haircuts, and a wiffle ball game with much success. At the June 12 event, attendees also had the option of getting their hair braided if they were not interested in a haircut.
Brian's goal was to raise $1,000 at the event, thinking a small group of his hockey teammates and classmates would attend. Little did he know that the event would be much bigger and raise more than $16,000.
The Miller family and Colleen Feltmate (far right) hold a check for funds supporting ovarian cancer research at BWH.
Lori describes the whole experience as incredible. When asked about the vast support she and her son received, she said: "I am not completely surprised; we live in a wonderful community."
People continue to contact Lori in hopes of donating to the cause.
Last month, on the same day as Lori's last treatment, the Miller family presented BWH with an oversized check of the funds they raised. Brian signed his name on the check at a ceremony celebrating his efforts.
One of Lori's BWH physicians, Colleen Feltmate, MD, of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also joined in on the fun.
"Brian is an industrious young man who put the event together wanting to do what he could to contribute to his mom's illness and help others who are on a similar journey," said Feltmate.
Brian Miller receives a certificate noting his efforts. Pictured with his mother, Lori, and BWH's Colleen Feltmate (far right).
Having finished treatment, Lori is feeling better and better every day. She has been able to spend time in Nantucket and on the Cape with her family this summer.
According to the Millers, plans for next year's Wifflethon are already underway. Lori and Brian hope it will become an annual event.
"Brian's father and I are quite proud," said Lori. "Brian is an ambitious young man, and we are very grateful."