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B.C. pilot thanks strangers for kindness after losing wife

Finlay Miller hopes people remember his wife for her strength.

A grieving husband who recently lost his wife is being supported by his community while raising a newborn. 

Finlay Miller and his boy Felix are staying with family in Victoria.  

On Nov. 10, Courtney Miller died after suffering a cardiac arrest. The 34-year-old Miller had lived with health conditions since she was 20 years old. 

“So strong, and super loving and an empathetic person,” says Finlay. “She always talked about other people before herself."

Finlay tells Glacier Media Miller had five brain surgeries and six eye surgeries to re-attach her retina because of a tumour in her eyes. Despite all this, she was incredibly strong. 

“She went through all of this, and we still had an awesome life,” he says.

The pair did it all: from travelling the world to backpacking and camping. 

"We've been to Europe and Japan,” he explains. "We push each other."

Through her condition with Von Hippel-Lindau disease, a rare genetic disorder where tumours grow in the body, she worked. 

“She qualified for disability. She could have just done nothing, but she was outgoing and a hard worker,” he says. 

Finlay explains how many people, including her friends, had no idea she was even sick. He hopes people remember Miller for her strength. 

The couple moved to Cumberland only two and a half years ago from Calgary, making the move to Vancouver Island to be closer to family. 
Felix, meanwhile, has been a light during this difficult time. 

"Felix is doing awesome,” says Finlay. "He's been a rock star for sure and he's super cheery, low-maintenance baby.”

Felix was born at 34 weeks and was the couple's first child. 

"It's amazing having him to get up to in the mornings.” 

Finlay, who works as a pilot at Air Canada, is off work for the time being. 

A fellow pilot created a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help Finlay, raising more than $76,000 so far. Finlay tells Glacier Media he's so appreciative of all the support and care people have sent his way. Not only are people within the airline industry reaching out, but complete strangers offering a helping hand.

“People who live in the Comox Valley, they're offering child care and to plow our driveway and stuff in the winter,” he says.

”It's just crazy… like we're like a family.”