LCFA is saddened by the loss of Dave Miller, who passed away on Tuesday, January 11, 2019, at the age of 50. Dave will always be known for his positive attitude and his great sense of humor. We were fortunate that he shared his story of humor and perseverance during his cancer journey.

Dave’s Story: Weight lifter, Train Master

In 2015, Dave Miller, a Pennsylvania Train Master — essentially the police chief for the railroad — assumed his fatigue and weight loss were due to the stresses of work.

When Dave’s fatigue persisted and it became difficult to breathe, he made an appointment with his primary care doctor. Following a misdiagnosis of colon cancer, Dave had a chest scan that revealed “something in his lower right lung.” His unexpected diagnosis was Stage 4 lung cancer, already spread to his liver, kidney, bones, spleen, and brain.

Dave began traditional chemotherapy. When the results were only moderately effective, his medical team recommended that he have is tissue tested for its genetic makeup. Biomarker testing showed Dave’s lung cancer to be ALK+, allowing him to receive personalized treatment.

Dave’s inspirational story takes him from the chemotherapy chair to the weight-lifting bench. His advice? “It is what it is. Live your life. Have fun.”