Missy Miller


Age:  14

Diagnosis: Atrial Septum Defect and Type 1 Diabetes

Hometown: Turner, OR

Favorite Athlete: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings

Nike Shoe: Nike Free 5.0 ($105.00 adult, $90.00 youth)

Nike Apparel: Nike Leg-A-See Running Tights ($45.00), Nike Windrunner Jacket ($45.00)

Nike Footwear Designer: Nathan Vanhook

Nike Footwear Developer: Anne Linde

Nike Apparel Designer: Tate Newburgh

Nike Apparel Developer: Adrienne Kraft

Missy's shoeMissy's jacketMissy's tights


Missy's Story

Missy Miller is one of ten siblings. When she was five years old, her big sister Laurie died from a brainstem tumor. That sister happened to be one of the first Freestyle designers. The Miller family faced a new and unexpected health crisis the summer of 2013 when Missy experienced strong heart palpitations while away at camp. The palpitations went away, but kept coming back, so her parents took her to the doctor in September. A blood test revealed that she had type I diabetes.  The doctor also sent her for an echocardiogram at the hospital in Salem, but the results were unclear. So they went to Doernbecher where Laurie had been treated and where they had great confidence in the doctors and staff.  Doernbecher did another echocardiogram and then an MRI to confirm what they saw. She had an atrial septum defect, otherwise known as having a hole in the heart.

Suddenly she was dealing with much more than a typical 8th grader. Not only was she juggling school, sports, friends, and family, she was also adjusting to a strict new diet, and having to find time to squeeze in open heart surgery. She chose to do it over Christmas break so it wouldn't interfere with her life. Because living is the whole point.

Missy's life is full. Her favorite colors are pink, purple, gray and ... sparkles. How much do we love that she made "sparkles" a color? Missy sparkles, in more ways than one.  Like a diamond in the rough, waiting to be discovered, she dreams of a career on the stage.  She has played volleyball and basketball, and loves to dance.  Diabetes and a hole in her heart couldn't slow her down. Her family and friends sustain her. And her Nike Frees will carry her anywhere she wants to go. With uncanny poise and grace, she does what has to be done.