Doug Miller doesn't remember if it was moments, minutes or hours after he learned that he had an advanced stage of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008 when he determined how he would attack it.
The Catonsville resident adopted the attitude he had as a swimmer at theUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the one he saw among Baltimore Ravens players when he worked on them as the team chiropractor.
"Survival was the only option," Miller said from his chiropractic office on Wilkens Avenue. "I only thought about survival. I became relentless to survive."
After a year of chemotherapy and improving an already healthy lifestyle, the father of three, went into remission in 2009.
If he is cancer-free for the next two years, doctors will consider him cured.
Instead of letting the relentless attitude subside as he has nearly beaten his bout with blood cancer, the Arbutus native has refocused it to help others with his Relentless for a Cure campaign.
His 10-week fundraising frenzy, which began April 4 and ends June 16, aims to collect $100,000 and enable Miller to become the Maryland Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Miller serves on the board for the Maryland chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
"I can give back to the people who helped me out," Miller said of his thinking in running for the award. "The people who ran for this award before me raised a lot of money used for research that saved my life."
In the United States, more than 1 million people live with, or are in remission from, leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma, according to the website of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and every 10 minutes someone dies from it, the website stated.
Among children and teenagers under 20 years old, leukemia is the most common cancer and leading cause of death, according to the website of the Centers for Disease Control.
Of the fundraisers that Miller, 46, held in the first seven weeks of the campaign, most involved sports.
The first fundraiser, for example, was tied to the NCAA basketball tournament. Last week, his most recent event was an evening with Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and wide receiver Torrey Smith at Rolling Road Golf Club. Tickets for the May 24 outing cost between $60 and $90, Miller said.
"Let's face it. They're certainly very marketable," Miller said of the Baltimore Ravens, who gave him a six-month leave of absence as he recovered.
"To bring exposure to the charity, to bring exposure to blood cancer, what else can you do except look at the resources available to you?" Miller asked.
Miller declined to state how close he was to his ultimate goal because it could tip off the seven other nominees for Man of the Year.
Miller raised $16,000 in less than a week between his May 19 Preakness party that drew 125 people to his home and the May 24 event with Cameron and Smith.
Last year, the 71 nationwide campaigns for Man of the Year and Woman of the Year raised $14.6 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to use on education, advocacy, research and patient services, said Blair Fogle, the organization's national director.