We are sad to report that the foundation has lost a great friend, and supporter; and with his passing the world lost “one of the good ones, a truly amazing person. “
Bryan Kelly Miller (Kelly), after receiving a kidney from his sister in 2010, helped Bruce and Meredith navigate their own living kidney transplant just two years later.
Kelly battled health issues ever since he was just five years old when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. At 23, he suffered his first heart attack and had open heart surgery. With all the “bad luck” that he dealt with regarding his health, Kelly never lost his love for life. He appreciated every minute of every day and never slowed down or felt sorry for himself.
Kelly was the type of person that never met a stranger. He greeted everyone with a smile that was larger than life. He would take the time to listen and would do anything for anybody. As Bruce says, “he lived right. He was a good man, a good Christian, a good husband, and a good friend. I never heard him say a bad word about anybody or even cuss.”
Kelly loved the outdoors and all that his home of Northeast Tennessee had to offer. He was a better than average golfer and played golf in the Transplant Games. He enjoyed the solitude of nature, as he fished the various lakes and rivers and streams of the area. He taught Meredith how to shoot skeet/clays.
We had the pleasure of dining with Kelly just a month before his unexpected death. He was full of life, recalling all sort of stories about his long friendship with Bruce and Meredith, with Bruce adding the color commentary. It was more than entertaining. Kelly also shared that he was again in need of a kidney transplant, however this time he faced an uphill battle as a couple of transplant centers denied listing him. He was back on dialysis, a treatment that he accepted he could be on for the rest of his life. As he spoke that night, Kelly never shared a negative thought or word about his current state of life, but rather displayed a “never give up attitude” and glowing smile. No one at the table that night ever envisioned that that day was so close.
Thank you, Bryan Kelly Miler, for your friendship and sharing your life with us. You my friend will never be forgotten.