Most of the world knows Abby Lee Miller as the harsh and formidable dance instructor on hit show Dance Moms. Miller’s demanding dance classes and the popularity of the show helped gain many young dancers major recognition and fame. Some even went on to work with major artists and performers. Miller loved to make sure everyone around her knew that she was the woman in charge. However, all of that changed in 2017 when she was sent to Victorville Federal Correctional Institution in California for bankruptcy fraud. She was finally released in March of 2018, only to discover that she had lymphoma, according to Women’s Health.
The specific type of lymphoma Miller had is called Burkitt lymphoma and it is considered to be very rare. Miller now says she thinks that her health issues could have originated from her doctor’s orders to take her off her diabetes medication cold turkey while she was in prison. In a recent interview, she explained that her doctor in prison convinced her that she no longer had diabetes. It wasn’t until she was released that a different doctor informed her just how sick she really was. The physician was shocked that Miller was still standing and physically able to walk into the exam room.
Abby Lee Miller Plans to Walk Again by September After Being Wheelchair-Bound for Over a Year https://t.co/BlflhTliEw— People (@people) June 3, 2019
“I didn’t realize at the time, I sent everybody at an email, telling them ‘I’m no longer diabetic.’ The doctor took me off all my medication. Then I get out, and hear, “Once a diabetic, always a diabetic.’ It’s just how you treat it. I have so many doctors that have point blank said, ‘You should’ve been weaned off of that medication over a year.’ So to go off if it cold turkey, that’s what caused all of this. I had the doctor say to me, ‘I can’t believe you’re walking in here, you should be in a coma right now, the way your lab results look.'”
Had Miller been weaned off her medications over time, greater health issues might not have arisen. Luckily, Miller is now cancer free and out of prison. The grueling treatments and surgeries did take a toll on her body, however. She’s not yet regained her ability to walk or dance but has been able to get back to filming Dance Moms while getting around with a motorized scooter. She’s also full of hope that she’ll one day be able to get back to doing the thing she loves to do most, dancing.