Emery Miller is 20 years old and was born with severe Congenital Heart Defects. Emery doesn’t look at his heart condition as a restriction - he is constantly overcoming obstacles in order to succeed. By the age of 7, he had 4 open heart surgeries that were life-saving. Due to his heart issues, Emery could not sustain the necessary weight to live, so he was on a feeding tube until almost the age of 7. Emery attended occupational therapy sessions for his oral and feeding issues until he entered kindergarten. His future seemed limited and not very bright. However, he always had the attitude that he was unstoppable and could do anything he set his mind to. He believed in himself, and had an army of supporters that believed in him as well. At a young age, Emery developed a true passion for sports and giving back. Doctors often told his parents he would know when enough was enough, and they didn’t expect him to play any sports past the beginner level. He had coaches that saw his drive and determination to succeed on and off the field. He knew that he had to work harder than any other player to receive even minimal results. It was easy for him to get frustrated with some of the limitations, but Emery never let them get him down, and rather used them as a burning desire to show everyone he could do what most thought was impossible. Emery was determined to not let his health issues define or limit him, but instead use them to be an advocate and role model to kids facing similar issues. He increasingly became involved in the organizations that were impactful to his recovery, including: Phoenix Children’s Hospital, American Heart Association, and United Way. He started by giving his birthday presents to kids in the hospital at the age of 3. Soon thereafter, he began raising funds for the American Heart Association, raising over $285,000 over 14 years. Later, he became a keynote speaker for those three organizations, sharing his journey and influencing individuals to make a positive impact every chance he got. When Emery was 8 and 10, he was given the opportunity to lobby in Washington D.C. and to meet with Obama’s Top Aids. For the last 8 years, he has collected teddy bears during the holiday season and has delivered them to children in hospitals across the nation. To date, he has collected about 44,500 bears and delivered them to 55 hospitals across 14 states. His mission is to offer hope and encouragement to families and children who have been in a similar situation. Additionally, he has continued to dedicate time to his love of sports, on top of his community and academic responsibilities. Currently, Emery is playing college baseball at George Fox University. He has achieved what no doctor thought was possible, continuing to defy all odds. Team Emery is now an official nonprofit dedicated to offering hope and encouragement to those in need, with a further emphasis on “paying it forward".
At Team Emery, we are working to create hope and encouragement for those who need it the most. But we can only do that with your generous donations. Please consider joining Team Emery and making a difference today.
American Heart Association Superstar Achievement Award (2008), Arizona Coyotes Leader of the Pack (2010), Phoenix Regional Athlete of the Year Finalist (2013), Keller Williams Inspirational Hero (2016), Phoenix Suns Community Assist (2016), Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, Arizona High School Volunteer of the Year (2017), American Heart Association Community Impact (2017), Arizona Sports Character Counts (2017), President's Volunteer Service Award (2017) , George Fox University Fighting Heart Award (2018), American Heart Association Top Walker 11 out of 12 years (Over $285,000 raised)