Meet Ros Miller! She is the Co-Founder and President of Jillian’s dream which is a non-profit organization raising funds for lung cancer research. It was created in memory of Jillian Miller, who lost her valiant battle against Stage IV lung cancer at the young age of 29.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: Born in Chicago but raised in New York, in a small town called Port Chester. I went to school in Upstate New York and got married and moved to Miami. My husband joined the navy. We served for 23 years then when he retired he took a position down here in Tampa and we relocated again in 2002. We’ve been here ever since.
Jillian’s Dream was named after my daughter who was 28 and diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She passed away 10 months later in 2013. 2014 I started Jillian’s dream as a way to advocate, educate, raise funds and awareness for lung cancer. Change people’s perceptions of what they thought. In 2017 I was lucky enough to join the board of Prelude to a Cure which is an independent 501c3, but we work with doctors, colleges and cancer centers to raise funds and promote research to all research grant programs.
Me(We) advocate, we send the message out on social media like Facebook, through blogs, attending summits in lung cancer nationally and just trying to find out what’s going on, what people are doing, what do people need not only our survivors but their care givers as well. There’s lots being done right now with other entities to create care giver handbooks so that they know basic terminology. We try to reach a wide array of people and we are fortunate that Moffitt they have Lung Entruatic tumor Education and they hold regular meetings.
In 2012 Prelude to a Cure began under the auspice of Dr. Larry Robinson and Scoby Antonio who saw a great disparity in lung cancer funding. Lung cancer remained the deadliest and the least federally funded of all major cancers. They started an organization that will help raise fund for innovative research. That transpired from Prelude to a Cure to a two man basic operation and support staff to a full working volunteer board. The woman on the board also has a connection to lung cancer as one of their closest friends who have diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away shortly. They joined forces as a way to do something for the memory of her. They realize that they are fairly good at raising funds for this. They turn over the money to Moffitt created the Barbara Bower innovated research grant program at Moffitt. Whenever we raise funds, we are able to support a seed grant for innovated investigation at Moffitt for lung cancer research. That is our fundraising arm.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in North Tampa, and what do you love there?
Q: How long have you lived or worked in North Tampa?
A: Since 2002.
Q: Who’s had the biggest positive impact in your life?
A: First I admire my family we’ve been through a lot and we’ve managed to stick together and be together. I put value in that. My kids gives me a lot of strength, reality check which sometimes it’s not easy for them to do and for me to hear. Jillian, until the end had the greatest impact in terms of teaching me humility, grace, determination and compassion. What it was to be a friend and listen. It was a life compressed in 10 months with her.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: I would like to cross the Arctic Circle. I would like to get up and see polar bears, whales, see the northern lights, Fjords and icebergs.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: I love Gone with The Wind, it’s a classic and I cry at the beginning of the music every time. White Christmas is my second one.
Q: What would be your best piece of advice about life?
A: You have to be authentic, true to yourself, speak honestly, show empathy and compassion toward people and situations. You have to laugh a lot and cry a lot. You don’t know what going in somebody’s shoes until you walk a mine in their shoes.
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: I like Chicago, Hootie and Blowfish and Rod Stewart is a favorite.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about North Tampa?
A: It’s growing and changing. It’s a very exciting time to be here to see how northeast and south expanding. It is a city but not exactly because it’s a small town. It has sports, history, culture, arts and medical facilities. It has got great pockets of neighborhoods with foods and restaurants that’s ethnic and original and not part of the big chains. There’s a big vision to where we can go.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: My family knows everything. Sometimes they knows too much. I think most of my friends will be surprised that I was a substitute in Heidelberg, Germany for 3 years in the Department of Defense School. I realized that teaching is not my forte but I probably I was the only navy spouse on an army base to be the vice-president of the Women’s club and Organization and became president for a short time.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Family, Comfort and Love.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: I think if I want to go funny I would go with Abbott and Costello. I do like Julie Andrews.
Q: Do you think it is important to have that face to face contact and get to know your neighbors?
A: It is, I think social media has a great role to play. It helps to send our message out to a large group of people in a very short period of time but we have to use it wisely. The younger generations don’t realize the minute you put something out there , it’s there. It doesn’t go away. I’m very careful of what I say. I try not to be offensive, not to take sides, but I do. I think it’s hard not to when you have a passion in you. Social media gives us a voice without having to speak but it doesn’t take the place of face to face. It doesn’t takes the place of picking up the phone and calling or let’s meet for lunch. You can’t do that when you are sitting in front of the screen but it does have a purpose and I see a lot of good coming from it. I’m able to reach a lot more people. Find a lot of people I know that has with the same interest and passion as me. It’s a great way to connect and start a friendship. It’s a great starting point especially for some people who find it hard to do the cold calling or meet somebody that they’ve never met before. Social media breaks the ice.