The UH women’s basketball team and head Coach Ronald Hughey have welcomed a special member to the Cougar family -- by "adopting" 11-year-old Corinne Miller, a courageous cancer survivor.
“Her story is really inspiring,” Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Tai Dillard said. “She’s a special young girl, tough young girl and resilient young girl. We’re really excited to have her join our women’s basketball program here at the University of Houston.”
Corinne was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia just three days before turning 2 years old.
From ages 2 to 5, Corrine had 1,347 chemotherapy treatments, 26 spinal taps, more than 12 hospital stays and 117 doctor visits.
However, after a nearly two-year recovery program, Corinne rang the bell at MD Anderson for her very last chemotherapy clinic in 2010 as a pediatric cancer survivor.
“She’s doing fantastic,” Corinne’s mother Jennifer said. “She plays volleyball and she swims, and she’s on the honor roll. She’s unbelievably healthy and strong, and we could not be more blessed. Just to be here and be able to share her story with you is amazing, and we thank you very, very much.”
Corrine joined Hughey and members of the women’s basketball team and staff for a press conference, where the team presented her with an "adoption certificate" and Houston Cougar basketball gear.
“We look for very unique attributes when we are recruiting our athletes, and Corinne has already invested in the Houston women’s basketball program, just by having the mental toughness, endurance and physical attributes to understand that every day is going to be a grind.” Hughey said. “She goes out every day and competes with herself and tries to help other cancer survivors and those that are still battling cancer. So with the things that she has as a recruit, and I saw her shot down stairs, we would love to continue to have her be a part of our basketball team and our family.”
Houston partnered with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to make the adoption official. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on improving the quality of life for children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers, while raising awareness about these diseases.