High 5: Woman raises funds for friend's child

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SALT LAKE CITY — An unsung hero who rallied a community around a special girl wins this week's High 5.

Kacy Wilson nominated Amy Miller for the honor.

"She's really worked hard to help her friend and her daughter that are going through some hard times," Kacy said. "She really stepped up and went above and beyond."

For the past five months, Amy Miller has been on a mission. In August she received terrifying news from her best friend, Mindy Hinds. Mindy's 9-year-old daughter, Grace, suddenly fell ill and was rushed to Primary Children's Medical Center. Once there, Grace started having unrelenting seizures. Doctors had to put her in a medically induced coma.

Amy recalled, "I didn't know what to do the first week and so I decided that just sitting there and waiting for a phone call from the hospital is driving me bonkers. So I decided to start a fundraiser for her."

Grace spent 11 weeks in a coma as doctors tried to figure out what was wrong.

As medical bills mounted for the Hinds family, Amy pounded the pavement spreading the word about Grace. She set up the "Race for Grace" Facebook page and instantly had hundreds of fans.

There is no denying that Amy didn't do it alone, but it was her vision and persistence that kept 'Race For Grace' alive and thriving!

–Kacy Wilson

Amy's daughter Camryn Miller said, "I did a lemonade stand. I don't know how much I raised but it was a lot."

It was a lot — $550 for her best friend.

"It made me feel good. It made me feel really good," Camryn said.

The event included raffles, carnivals, concerts, and a 5K race.

"Everybody just jumped on board," Amy said. "It was just crazy. It took on a life of its own."

Amy's energy inspired others to give. Her mother, Lisa Lee, said, "I think divine intervention intervened and it was just great."

So far her efforts have helped raise more than $36,000 for Grace.

Lisa said, "I am really, really proud of her. She's just stuck by her friends."

Grace's grandmother, Lee Longaker, said, "On behalf of our family, we just wanted to say thank you to Amy and to everyone who joined in. She's been an angel to our family and I know she's put her heart and soul into this and it just helps so much."

Grace is still at Primary Children's and is struggling with seizures again. While doctors don't know for sure, they believe Grace has an auto-immune disease in which her antibodies attacked her brain instead of a virus she contracted.

Our friends at Les Schwab are committed to spotlighting individuals in our community who are doing the right thing. As a token of their appreciation, they presented Amy with some goodies, including a $100 gift certificate for their services.

If you know someone like Amy who deserves a High 5, tell us about them here.


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