Young man with cancer lives out dream of driving a race car

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PARK CITY, Kan. (KAKE) -

A young man with cancer got to live out his dream Saturday night in Park City when he got to drive a race car and race his dad.

James Miller has Burkitt lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin 's lymphoma that deals with impaired immunity. However, that wasn't going to stop him from doing what has been in his family for decades. Dirt track racing.

"I've grown up with it," Miller said. "My dad, cousins, uncles, all race so I wanted to."

He got that opportunity after a group from Iowa called Kids With Cancer racing brought a car down for him to race with. The company travels to childhood cancer events all over the nation, and this time, it was for Miller. His family was there including several friends, ready to watch him race against his dad.

"I'm very excited, to get to drive a race car," he said. "I've always wanted to."

His mother, Megan Miller, said since racing was also in her family growing up, it's almost like their all one big family watching her son live out his dream.

"It's amazing," Megan Miller said as she stood among family and friends. "My family raced, and then his dad and his family all raced and seeing everybody come together, it's just one big family."

Some of them had shirts on that said "James Miller's road to victory." Miller said her son thought of that while he was in the hospital to signify that he was going to win his race against his dad. Moreover, she said it goes beyond just the racing aspect when speaking about his cancer.

"He came up with the whole road to victory because he know's he's going to beat it," she said.

Saturday night, the race was the main thing on Miller's mind. He would take the track right after what's known as a four wide salute by all the racers. During this, all the cars line up four wide across the track and drive past the crowd and wave as the crowd cheers, signifying a salute to Miller's fight with cancer and his race against his dad.

Not long after, the cars took off and Miller stayed in the front the whole way. In the car, Miller had someone in the passengers seat that had control of the accelerator while he controlled the steering and the brakes. After about eight laps, the checkered flag brought Miller to victory lane, where he was given a trophy and was announced the winner in front of the crowd. After a big family celebration of cheering and taking pictures, his dad stood near speechless at the experience of getting to race his son.

"Not even words can be spoken to it," Brandon Miller said. "It was unreal, for what he's going through right now to still have the strength to even do what he just did. I'm amazed, but really it don't surprise me because he's a fighter. Everything he's done he fights and he's going to fight this, take care of it, and then get back out here."

Miller said he eventually plans to give his car to his sons to carry on the family tradition of racing on the dirt tracks. Also, after the race, the Miller family was presented with $2,530 cash from the fans at 81 Speedway.

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