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Grandparents Played A Grand Role In Renata's Life
Renata (Rennie for short) Miller is a sophomore at West Central High School where she is involved in volleyball, dance and softball.
She had a special 16th birthday on Monday, January 19. She had wanted, since October, to have a party to celebrate the life of her two grandparents, of whom she was very close to.
Her grandfather Norman (Lucky) Miller, died in 1999, of diabetes after having his leg amputated, and her grandmother, who Renata is named after, died in 2000 of lung cancer.
Both grandparents passed away within 9 months and 2 days of each other. Her grandfather was 69 and her grandmother 68.
Her grandparents lived on the Keithsburg blacktop and she was able to see them at least 3 to 4 times a week to spend some precious grandparent-granddaughter time.
Renata wanted to celebrate their life, but instead of having the usual teenage 16th birthday bash, her desire was to give back monetarily, to fight the two diseases that took her grandparents' lives.
Doreen, Reneta's mom, asked the Gladstone Township officials if it would be possible to have Renata's party at the Gladstone Community Building and they agreed to waive the rental charge if Doreen would donate the fee to the Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Foundation equally.
On Sunday, about 35 friends and family gathered at the Gladstone Community Building to celebrate with Renata. Renata's goal was $100 for each cause and she surpassed her goal with donations of $215.
Her cousin Ashley Miller and Ashley's friend. R.J. Staub, helped decorate the community building, and Lisa Miller, an aunt, made the mints for the party.
Renata will be accepting donations for a couple of more weeks. Checks may be written to Doreen Miller, the American Cancer Society or the Diabetes Foundation and mailed to Doreen Miller, P.O. Box 115, Gladstone, IL 61437.
She and her mother plan to personally deliver the checks to the American Cancer Society and to the American Diabetes Association.
Doreen, Renata's mom is a single parent who lives in Gladstone and is employed by the Iowa Army Ammunitions Plant in Middletown, Iowa.
Renata has so many loving memories of her grandparents. Even when she was just six years old, she would enjoy pushing her grandmother in her wheel chair.
There is something very special about the love between grandparents and grandchildren. It is an investment that can pay off forever.