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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) —
Not many families would say that losing their home to a hurricane is a blessing.
For 8-year-old Perryn Miller, that’s exactly what Hurricane Florence was.
After Florence destroyed his family’s Wilmington home in September 2018, they set out to spend Christmas with Perryn’s grandparents in Utah.
Prior to the storm, the boy had been experiencing headaches, which gradually grew in severity.
His doctors in North Carolina said that the headaches were a result of new glasses and the pain should soon be relieved, but the pain didn’t go away. Instead, it grew in intensity.
In Utah, doctors made a sinister discovery.
“He has a glioblastoma multiforme, and it’s stage four.” Perryn’s mom, Jaimee Miller said.
Had it not been for the hurricane, losing their home, and spending Christmas in Utah, the brain cancer may not have been caught.
“Those pieces of the puzzle sort of fit together for us to identify his tumor earlier than we would of,” Jaimee said.
For now, Perryn is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy in Utah. In March, the soon to be 9-year-old will have his care transferred to Duke.
For Perryn, there’s more to his story than his advance cancer diagnosis. He’s inspired by his dad, a former Marine, and loves law enforcement.
In fact, Perryn had the honor of being deputized by a Utah Police Department for a day at the end of 2018.
Now the boy is on a mission to collect challenge coins and badges from departments across the globe.
He already has a collection started.
“I like to see the different stuff they have,” Perryn said in a Facetime interview.
The family has created a GoFundMe page to help pay down the medical bills that are starting to pile up.
On Feb. 23, there will be a barbecue fundraiser at the Hampstead Annex Building from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The building is located at 15060 US Highway 17.
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