Community shows up to fundraiser to support one of its own

BJ Miller_0570

There was an outpouring of support for B.J. Miller from Provencal and the surrounding communities Aug. 19-20. The Provencal Benefit Committee, Fire District 4 and the Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club 17th, Natchitoches Chapter (BKMC) co-hosted fundraising events to help FD4 Chief Bryan Miller and his family with medical expenses.

Bryan’s 17-year-old son, B.J., was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He underwent open-heart surgery to implant a Left Ventricular Assist Device. The LVAD is a mechanical heart pump that assists damaged and weakened muscles by pumping blood, thus allowing the heart to heal.

B.J., known to family and friends as “Beej,” faces up to a year of LVAD use, which runs on an external battery pack and is plugged in at night to recharge. If the LVAD doesn’t work, a heart transplant is a real possibility.

The Provencal community decided to band together to help to help their neighbors in their time of need.

The event included “Beej’s Bingo,” silent auctions, a chicken and sausage lunch plate, a Cornhole Tournament, a Heart Walk, a Wild Game Cookoff, a Poker Run and a Motorcycle Officer Skill Course for riders to test skills.