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Tanner D. Miller

Tanner D. Miller Tanner Dee Miller, 27, passed away peacefully at his home on the early morning of November 8, 2019 surrounded by his family and friends after beating cancer for the past four years.

Tanner was born August 12, 1992 in Dodge City Kansas, the son of Dr. Gary R. Miller and Judy Beedles Miller. He attended Dodge City Public Schools and graduated from Dodge City High School in 2011. He later moved to Manhattan and attended Kansas State University, majoring in Business and Finance.

Tanner said the worst day of his life was on September 22, 2015 when he was diagnosed with Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC), a rare form of kidney cancer. On October 31st the MD Anderson Team removed one kidney and Tanner started on the cycle of many test drugs, and clinical trials along with various chemo treatments. Tanner spent numerous days at MD Anderson with his amazing cancer team. While many would have allowed this diagnosis to define them, Tanner did the complete opposite. He embraced life, built meaningful friendships, and, most importantly decided to live life on his terms. His time spent with the MD Anderson team will go on to benefit further research and treatment for those with RMC.

Tanner had the gift of being a natural entrepreneur. In middle school, he started his own lawn mowing business. He also had an eye for taking old items and restoring them and has blessed many with creations he designed.

Building friendships and valuing people was one of Tanner’s strengths. Tanner took the time to ask meaningful questions and could quickly convert strangers into friends and friends into family. Tanner’s greatest gift was his energy and ability to turn the dullest situation into a party. When you were around Tanner, you never quite knew what would happen but you always new it would end with laughter and great memories. Tanner’s witty personality and spontaneous energy will be remembered for life.

He is survived by his parents, Dr. Gary R. Miller and Judy Beedles Miller; sister, Halee Miller; niece, Sydnee Wilson; Aunt Janet and Uncle Dave Weaver, Uncle Dennis and Aunt Annie Miller, and Uncle Jay Berry; cousins Megan Nagel, Rusten Weaver, Michael Miller, Michelle Roberts, Jason and Justin Berry, Erin Sneller and Amber Summers.

Tanner was preceded in death by his grandparents, Floyd and Pauline Beedles, Conrad and Eva Miller, and Aunt Jeanette Berry.

Services will be Friday, November 15, 2:00p.m. at the University Christian Church, 2800 Claflin Road, Manhattan, KS 66503.

Following the service a continued Celebration of Life will be held at the Blue Hills Room, 2315 Tuttle Creek Blvd., in Blue Hills Shopping Center by RC McGraws, for a time to renew old friendships and share stories about Tanner.

Memorial contributions in memory of Tanner are suggested to RMC Research at MDAnderson (MDA). Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Tanner Miller
By KCCure on March 26, 2019

Tanner Miller shares his story about how an RMC clinical trial at MDAnderson Comprehensive Cancer Center is shrinking his tumors and giving him hope for the future.
My dream was falling into place, rounding out my senior year of college at Kansas State University with a couple of classes to complete… future job in financial advising/commodities and then September 22, 2015, arrived. “The worst day of my life.” The common stomachache turned to flank pain diagnosed as Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC), a rare form of kidney cancer attacking mainly young people in their twenties with Sickle Cell Trait.

We had never heard of this type of kidney cancer, resulting in my mother turning to the internet and finding an article by Cora Connor mentioning MD Anderson (MDA), and Dr. Tannir, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine. She was on the phone immediately with MDA, to schedule my first appointment of many in October and the initial trip lasting three weeks.

Every year on Halloween I reflect on my right renal nephrectomy (kidney removal) and the beginning of my various clinical trials and numerous chemotherapy regiments to come and believe me there has been a bunch. Some clinical trials were effective for months, and others not so much, with metastasis showing up throughout my body. Dr. Tannir described it as fighting a “war” and that everyone requires a different plan of attack. Cancer likes to camouflage themselves and adapt, so must we. Over the next 3 ½ years I traveled to Houston from my home in Kansas at least once a month but usually every 2 to 3 weeks and multiple spans of every week for more than six weeks at a time…to say the least, it can be grueling, but it’s worth the sacrifice.

With my MD Anderson team in the lead, the clinical trial I am on now has my future back on track after almost four years of treatments and many regular trips to Houston. I have been on a new trial since September 2018, and the scans have shown a reduction in all areas. Receiving the good news from Shehanie Brana RN, hearing Zita Lim PA yell in excitement, viewing a supportive text from Dr. Pavlos Msaouel MD, Ph.D., and receiving a personal phone call from Dr. Tannir MD, reflects the dedication and commitment this team has to win the “war.” This isn’t just a job to them; they treat me as they were treating their own children. I can say I have made friends with my MD Anderson team and want them to continue leading the fight for my cancer and all other afflicted with this horrible disease.

I am thankful for each day and will continue fighting the RMC “war.” Giving up is not an option; I keep a positive, upbeat attitude and feel blessed to have friends and family and especially my wonderful parents fighting this with me, rejoicing with my progress! I believe staying positive and fighting every day is essential. Do I have bad days? You bet, but who doesn’t, cancer or not. Cancer is comprised of small stepping-stones that move by move lead to the end goal of total remission. Take every victory no matter how small and run with it, it could get through some not so good news. I realize others are fighting “wars” and in worse shape than me so I am thankful every day where I am. I pray for researchers to continue the quest for RMC remission and an eventual cure.
Working together for awareness of RMC, even though it is rare, is essential. Many are not diagnosed with this disease until it has already metastasized. You know your body better than anyone else. If something does not feel right, get it checked out. Early detection is essential.

Renal Medullary Carcinoma is a rare form of kidney cancer. Learn about clinical trial opportunities, like the trial that Tanner is participating here!

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