Cancer counselling charity We Hear You is celebrating the life of its founder and director until 2008, Jill Miller, who died on Monday 28th October.
In 1993, Jill was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her experience of the lack of emotional support available to people going through cancer, particularly those who couldn’t afford to pay, left her determined to make a difference. The following year, she installed a second phone line in her home to offer support to women suffering from breast cancer and launched Positive Action on Cancer (PAC). The charity, which went on to offer free professional counselling for anyone affected by cancer, became We Hear You (WHY) in 2016. In 2018 WHY provided more than 4,300 counselling sessions for children, young people and adults affected by cancer or any life threatening condition.
WHY’s Director Melissa Hillier said:
“Jill was a lady of considerable inner strength. Her kindness and consideration for others was huge and she touched and enriched so many lives, sharing her experience and vast knowledge, whilst always saying that this was bigger than her, and WHY is only one small part in her continuing gift to the community. Her ability to live with cancer, work with it, learn from it and continue to grow as an individual in a situation that many would find unbearable, was both humbling and truly inspiring.
Her personal support to me when my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer was so very helpful, we learnt a lot from her experiences, and I feel very blessed to have known her.
Jill’s legacy runs through everything we do at WHY. Her values of helping people and ensuring our service is free to anyone affected by cancer is very much at the heart of our offer”
WHY’s Chair of Trustees and former PAC staff member Anne Montague said:
“I met Jill many years ago when I first came to volunteer as a counsellor and I was bowled over by her sheer conviction that a service like this was what cancer patients and their families needed. It’s largely thanks to Jill’s vision, tenacity and absolute dogged determination that we are here today and that many thousands of patients, carers and family members have had the chance to be supported through the experience of cancer and beyond. We were so pleased Jill was able to join us for our conference on 19th October and celebrate our 25th anniversary and all that the charity has achieved. She was very proud too, but typically full of praise for others. When we sat together recently, reminiscing about the early days, she said to me ‘whatever you do Anne, don’t say it was all down to me. I could never have done it without the support. There have been and still are some truly dedicated people working for the charity, too many to be mentioned. The counsellors, the fundraisers, the staff and the volunteers. They are the glue that sticks charities together, and I thank each and every one of them for keeping my dream alive.”
We Hear You would like to send their love and best wishes to Jill’s husband John, daughters Kym and Charlotte and all Jill’s family and friends.
Jill Miller: 1944 - 2019
If you’re affected directly or indirectly by cancer or a life threatening condition and would like to access We Hear You’s free professional counselling service, please call 01373 455255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.