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Woman's sacrifice is hailed
Pregnancy came before cancer fight
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Forsyth County News
Those close to her say Susan Miller made the ultimate sacrifice for her son.

Diagnosed with cancer just weeks after learning she was pregnant with her fourth child, Miller chose to keep the baby while fighting for her own life.

Andrew D. Miller II, who was born March 17, is expected to come home from the hospital in a few weeks.

Susan Simpson Miller, 37, died May 2 as a result of the disease.

Andrew D. Miller Sr. said his wife's actions came from her core of beliefs.

“That’s evident in her family life, her involvement in the political realm and the starting of Victory Christian Academy,” he said. “She was never one to complain, she was just one to take action.”

Susan Miller was secretary of the Forsyth County Republican Party and founder and director of the academy.

She also was an active member of Cumming New Life Church and president of Forsyth County Right to Life, part of a state organization focused on providing legal protection for life from conception to natural death.

Her husband said Miller found out she was pregnant in September. When she was 10 weeks along, doctors told the couple they had two options.

“Option A, abort the baby and proceed with treatments, or option B, keep the baby and we’re on our own essentially,” he said. “We were expecting a few more options in between those two, but they didn’t give us any.”

Eventually, however, the Millers sought help from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. There they found a doctor who agreed to treat the mother and her unborn child.

They formulated a plan: Give the pregnancy five to six months to allow the baby to develop enough to be delivered, then begin rigorous treatment.

“It essentially held everything at bay and seemed to make some progress during the pregnancy,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy road at all, but it was worth it.”

The post-pregnancy treatment seemed to be working until a couple weeks ago, when things took a turn for the worst.

Andrew Miller said he will spend Mother’s Day with their three daughters, Hannah Joy, 9, Madeline Helen, 7, and Katelyn Ashley, 5, quietly celebrating their mother's life.

Ethan Underwood, president of the Forsyth County Republican Party, said Susan Miller was passionate about her beliefs.

“You couldn’t have thought to have died a more heroic death on the battlefield than what she did, which was giving her life for her child,” he said. “She forewent chemotherapy treatment that might have saved her so that she could bring her son into the world.”

Steve Bowman, development director for Georgia Right to Life, said the Millers co-chaired the Forsyth County chapter.

Bowman, who lives in Cumming, said Susan Miller showed that “she really did believe what she said.”

“She decided that there was no way that she would sacrifice the life of her child so that she would have a better chance to make it through the cancer,” he said. “That was a heart-wrenching situation, obviously, but there wasn’t a question in her mind that she was going to fight for her child’s life, as well as for her own.”

Rather than try to change the public school system, Andrew Miller said his wife started Victory Christian Academy.

“We wanted several factors, but we wanted obviously a more Christian environment for our girls,” he said, adding that physical education also was important.

“It was kind of a spirit, mind and body approach,” he said.

He said his wife's brother-in-law noted at her funeral Thursday how many people called her their best friend.

“She carried herself with a grace that, you might disagree with her on issues, but you liked her,” he said. “At the end of the day, you weren’t talking bad about her.”

E-mail Julie Arrington at