Metro officer collects donations to help child with cancer
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The work of police doesn't just revolve around catching criminals. One Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer in particular went beyond her duties to serve and protect by bringing some good to a family going through a very difficult time.
What sets Nicholas Miller apart from most other 8-year-olds is that he's in the fight of his life.
"It's all I think about," said his mom, Candice. "Every day when I get home from work, I'm just so thankful that I get to have him for another day. He's my life. I don't know what I'd do without him."
It's been a little more than a year since Nicholas was diagnosed with a very advanced stage of Neuroblastoma cancer.
"Doctors say it's one of the rarest, and hardest to beat," Candice says. "It has one of the highest relapse rates, and 7 out of 10 children don't make it. By the time they found it in Nicholas, he already had 9 tumors. It also got in his bone marrow, and spread through 75 percent of his body."
Nicholas has gone through extensive chemotherapy and radiation. He'll soon be starting experimental treatments.
"We travel all over to see special doctors," Candice says. "When we first found out, it felt like the whole world was crashing down around me. It's like the only thing you care about, could be taken away from you at any given moment."
Candice and her husband work full-time while balancing Nicholas' treatment. Even with health insurance, the medical bills are overwhelming.
"That's why we were so flabbergasted when Amelia stepped up to help us," Candice says.
LVMPD officer Amelia Stephens, didn't know Nicholas or his family, but she heard their story. As a mother herself, she felt compelled to help. She started a donation drive at Metro's Enterprise Area Command, and ended up raising more than $2,000 for them. In the process, she also became a close family friend.
"I admire their strength," Officer Stephens says. "Nicholas and his mom are so brave. I didn't take this job to strictly take people to jail, and write tickets. I took it because I want to make a difference in the community. It's not just about the money. I won't rest easy until Nicholas has beaten this disease. I want to see him graduate high school, get married, and have kids."
Officer Stephens and other Las Vegas police officers also helped provide Thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas shopping spree for Nicholas last year.
This year, Nicholas will be in the hospital for the holidays. He and his mom tell Action News they are so thankful for the support and friendship from members of the police department.