When she was nine years old, Gabriella Miller was diagnosed with a walnut-sized inoperable brain tumor. Gabriella’s family literally began smashing walnuts with a frying plan as a symbolic gesture to support her battle against her tumor.
Through public speaking engagements and fundraising efforts, Gabriella quickly became a national childhood cancer advocate. Soon, people around the country began smashing walnuts in support of Gabriella and her efforts.
In November 2012, Gabriella raised $275,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and $15,000 for a childhood brain tumor foundation. She spoke at a variety of local and national awareness events and helped author a special writing in a children’s book about cancer, Beamer Learns About Cancer by Cindy Chambers, which was released September 2013 and now available on Amazon.com. Gabriella fulfilled many of her dreams including taking a trip to Paris and earning a college degree from Shenandoah Universtiy.
Gabiella passed away peacefully at home in October 2013 surrounded by loved ones. Her memorial was a beautiful testament to her short but poignant life.
Her legacy however continues to inspire. After watching a powerful video created by The Truth 365 organization Representative Eric Cantor rallied to have Gabriella's name added to a bill asking for more government funding to be directed towards pediatric disease research. The bipartisan bill gained support rapidly and was signed into law on April 3rd, 2014. The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act prioritizes taxpayer funding for scientific research of pediatric diseases and disorders such as cancer, autism and Fragile X.
It was Gabriella's wish that we find a cure brain cancer. Here at the Smashing Walnuts Foundation we will continue our battle to raise awareness of and funds for finding a cure for childhood brain cancer.
“You may have a bad day today, but there’s always a bright shining star to look forward to tomorrow.” Gabriella