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Loss of Fairview woman inspires fundraiser for Mighty Max

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As friends and family mourn the loss of Fairview woman Leslie Miller, they are encouraging people to donate to a good cause on her behalf. As many have offered the family to help in funeral expenses, a GoFundMe has been launched asking people to instead donate to two-year-old Mighty Max Sych, a child in Fairview battling Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Amanda Hanna, who launched the page, says due to the nature of how Miller passed, funeral expenses are taken care of, so there are better ways to use the money.

“With [Leslie’s] costs being covered through WCB, people have been reaching out and, as a family, we decided we’re uncomfortable taking money that we don’t need but if people feel like [donating], this is a way better cause.”

“[It’s] something that she wanted to be part of and I know that in her passing she would be ecstatic to make any sort of difference,” she adds.

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Hanna says the incident that caused Miller’s death is still under investigation by Occupational Health and Safety, and the RCMP. Her understanding of the event is a collision occurred between a truck, in which Miller was a passenger, and a dozer. Both Miller and the driver, Hanna says, were killed instantly.

Hanna adds, growing up in Fairview, she and Miller know the Sych family and had been discussing potential options for helping them get Max the treatment he needs.

“We both had shared it, we talked and we wished there was more we could do. We can’t imagine how stressful that is for a family. I have two small kids and it really hit home for both of us.”

As of January 8th, the Leslie Miller Memorial fundraiser was approaching $8,000 raised for Mighty Max and had over 1,000 shares.

Hanna says she is blown away by the amount of support pouring in for Miller, as well as for Max, but adds she is not entirely surprised.

“She was so connected and vibrant. She had a huge family and friends in Fairview and Grande Prairie, and then she had a huge collection of friends in Edmonton and then in Calgary.”

“She’s a pretty amazing person… she was just a very full of life person and made tons of friends, and was just constantly doing something, going places, seeing people, seeing things… everyone loved her and enjoyed having her around.”

Hanna intends to keep the fundraiser open until a celebration of life is held for Miller. A date has not yet been determined due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Donations are being accepted through the Leslie Miller Memorial GoFundMe page.

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