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Steelers players brighten some spirits

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

An excited Heather Miller of Bedford got a chance Wednesday to meet her favorite football player, Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton, as part of her Make-a-Wish Foundation request.

Miller, 10, was diagnosed in October with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer of the bone and soft tissue. She applied to Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children 2-18 with life-threatening conditions.

"She could have picked a lot of things for Make-a-Wish. But the Steelers have been her No. 1 thing for as long as I can remember,'' said Wendy Miller, Heather's mother.

While Steelers safety Troy Polamalu previously has visited Heather Miller during her stay at Children's Hospital, yesterday's opportunity was her first to meet Hampton, quarterback Ben Roethlisbeger, kicker Jeff Reed and defensive end Aaron Smith.

"Anything I can do to help is definitely a plus," Hampton said.

At the end of yesterday's practice at the Steelers' South Side facility, Heather Miller was introduced to the entire team in the middle of the field.

"For me to see her out there throwing the football with some of these guys really touches my heart,'' Wendy Miller said. "That's one of the things they told us she wouldn't be able to do. I think she's going on adrenaline. She never asks, 'Why me?' She just wants to get better."

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