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  • Leave Your Thoughts About Miles

    Please leave a comment or your thoughts in the box below.
    We invite you to read this letter from Miles’ dad.

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    1. Susan says:

      What a wonderful tribute to a great kid! I truly believe that laughing everyday gets you through anything that life/universe throws at you and what a gift this is that you have been able to give the world. I am touched by your ability to think of others as you go through your most difficult time.

    2. Anita says:

      Thank you, God, for Miles, may we all have half the strength this young man had and may he rest in peace. Thank you for sharing his story.

    3. LuAnn Joyce says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of you child, Miles. May the LORD be with you and your family, and all those who loved Miles.
      May each one of you hold dear a piece of his life, and carry on as he would have.
      Much love,
      LuAnn

    4. Amobi Okoye says:

      I didn’t get the chance to meet miles but from what I was told and read on the website he seemed to be full of life regardless of his condition. May his soul rest in peace and my prayers go out to his family and friends.

    5. Kathy Overstreet says:

      Wow….thanks for sharing your son’s experience with all of us. I have chosen to participate in Relay For Life events here in my home town of Nampa, Id for the past three years. I do it for your son’s experience, my cousin, my friend(s), my family and for all of those unsuspecting…we need to find a cure for this unforgiving disease.

    6. Stana Bogojevic RN says:

      Hi,
      i had a pleasure to meet Miles during stem cell treatment at Childrens hospital. I will never forget his NO CHOLRAPERP tattoos.
      Special young man who was able to make on impact an many arround him.

    7. Theresa Intravartolo says:

      Dear Adrian and Family,
      Thinking of you and your Journey, past, present and future.
      I cannot find the words to say. So, I’ll be sure to give Elaina an Extra Special Hug and think of Miles with love. Big Hug for you too. I hope to see you on the 19th.
      Big Hug
      Theresa Intravartolo
      PS. My favorite color is Orange too.

    8. nancy lagesse says:

      Miles you were an inspiration! You will be missed!

    9. Ellyn and Patrick Nugent says:

      We are so sad to hear of the passing of Miles. What a great young man he was. We have enjoyed living a few doors away from Rick Adrienne, Miles and Leland and watching him grow up. I cannot imagine the loss in your lives and hearts. We are thinking of all of you and Miles’ dad too. He was a wonderful boy and a brave and talented young man. Kind and friendly and smart, everything you would want in a son and brother. We will never forget him. He will be an inspiration to us.

    10. Jason says:

      Miles, no one could have fought this thing better. Your story has inspired so many of us and I have no doubt it will continue to do so. I am honored to have met you. Rest in peace.

    11. Lindsey Schmidt says:

      Wow! I don’t remember how I came across your story, but I just read a bit about Miles and watched the video of your Grand Canyon visit. I am a 29 year old woman from Central MN and in 2003 I moves to Los Angeles to pursue my life long dream of becoming a successful actor. HOWEVER, God had completely different plans for me moving out there because just 2 months after moving in to my apartment in HOLLYWOOD(I like to give a little eye roll there) I was in Cedars Sinai Medical Center finding out I had an ‘inoperable’ brain tumor. So after about 18 ‘procedures’ in 1 1/2 years, I ended up exhausting the possibilities of neurosurgeons and having the number 1 brain surgeon in the US… Who REMOVED my ‘inoperable’ brain tumor. I moved back to MN, went through 7 months of therapy relearning how to walk, talk, remember something literally one second to the next… The reason I am telling you my story is because I KNOW that your son is in Heaven with God right now and you WILL get to see him again! In the past 2 or so years, God has helped me ‘come to terms’ with all Ive gone through and I can honestly say that I am SO THANKFUL for what I went through. I will keep your family in my prayers for healing and renewed faith in our loving and faithful God. Just KNOW that God can only do good in our lives here on earth and He will help you see the good in this when the time is right. GOD BLESS YOU! -Lindsey Schmidt

    12. Laurie says:

      To Miles and his family,

      I am so sorry that you lost your battle with cancer. Your lives have been turned upside down by this dreadful disease. I hope that your foundations soars through the roof so that we can all Smile for Miles! I lost 2 family members last year in mid-Dec. I know the pain you have yet to endure and learn to accept. I am sending this (HUG) to you please feel free to use it over and over again. Miles is freed from pain but his spirit and story will be long remembered. Again, I am so sorry for your grief.

    13. Paige says:

      I have never heard about miles or any of this story before 3 am this morning. However, I am so thankful that I have. I was reading a tweet and came across an article from abc news about how wonderful Miles was (still is) and found my way to your beautiful writing about him. Even though I have never heard about Miles until now, his story moves me-it moves me incredibly…not only because of how beautiful of a person he obviously is, but because of the pure and genuine love you have of him and can put into words after he passed away. After reading this I have become even more motivated to try harder to be a generous, considerate, genuine, loving, and caring person. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words… my prayers are with you and miles and all of your loved ones after this very difficult time period. peace and grace be with you

    14. Binney Woods says:

      Len,
      I am saddened to hear about your loss. I’m praying for you and your family.

    15. Victoria Whiteley says:

      What a wonderful inspiring young man. You must be so proud of him and the lives he touched sharing his story with the world.

    16. amy Ahn says:

      Dear Len
      You were blessed to be the father of Miles. May my condolences go a long way to you in the States. I have felt the same loss of yours since I lost my beloved daugher to lukemia last spring — Seoul, Korea

    17. Eddy Swall says:

      Len,
      So sorry for your loss of such a great young man, I lost my mom 2.5 years ago to throat cancer, what comforts me is to know she is no longer in pain and resting and laughing with her friends and family who have passed before us. I know Miles and my mom are having a laugh in his garden.
      This is a poem that I found for her funeral card. Peace be with you!!
      God looked upon his garden
      And found an empty place.
      He then looked down upon this earth
      and saw your tired face.

      He put his arms around you
      And lifted you to rest.
      God’s garden must be beautiful
      He always takes the best.

      He knew that you were suffering
      He knew you were in pain.
      He knew you would never
      Get well on earth again.

      He saw the road was getting rough
      And the hills were hard to climb
      So he closed your weary eyelids
      And whispered “Peace be thine.”

      It broke our hearts to lose you
      But you didn’t go alone
      For part of us went with you
      The day God called you home.

      You left us beautiful memories,
      Your love is still our guide.
      And though we cannot see you,
      You are always at our side.

      Our family chain is broken,
      And nothing seems the same,
      But as God calls us one by one
      The chain will link again.

    18. tazie says:

      We all have our journey we take in life, and Miles took a great one. He had wisdom beyond his years, and his soul has touched many, many people. His spirit and love will live on forever. Bless you and your family, and know you will see him again one day.

    19. Aracelis Marie Sanchez says:

      We only hung out a few times in highschool but the little time we did was great. You were such an incredible and inspirational person…Rest In Peace Miles P. Austrevich.

    20. David Kovel says:

      Len,
      My sincerest condolences – I know the time you spent with each other were epic. Thoughts and prayers to all the Austrevich’s.

    21. Laura Sparks says:

      Thank you for sharing your son with all of us. I just heard of your story this morning on my local news in Chicago.
      Jokes 4 Miles is his legacy and will he will live on through the multitude of souls his life touched. Laughter heals. Know that learning of your son’s life and work helped me today.
      May you feel God’s grace as you adjust to life without your beloved son.
      The news clip mentioned an event coming up in January which will honor your son. I didn’t catch the details. If you have a moment to post the info, I will be sure to pass it along.

      God speed.

      Laura

    22. Jaime Banks says:

      Dear Len,
      My heart is heavy with sadness for your loss. Although I didnt have the opportunity to meet Miles in person, it was obvious to me how special he was. I hope you know what an incredible dad you have been to your son. You have traveled this difficult path with strength and grace, and your love for Miles inspired me and, I’m sure, many others. May you continue to share Miles’ amazing spirit with the world, and may you be comforted always by the beautiful relationship you shared with him.

    23. Jim Spencer says:

      Dear Len,
      I remember meeting Miles briefly years ago. The love you shared was obvious.
      I heard it in your voice when you spoke of him. I am so sorry …

    24. Felicia Burkovskiy says:

      I only met Miles once, but I am very fortunate to know the Austrevich family and to have met Miles. His Aunt Margaret is my mom’s nieghbor, and I have attended quite a few of the family parties. The Austrevich family, and especially Miles, are fun-loving, positive, kind, welcoming people. I was amazed at how strong and positive Miles remained during his battle with cancer, and I thought the Jokes for Miles site was an incredible and inspiring idea. My husband and I (and our 2 cats) recorded one joke for Miles, and I hope it made him laugh. I hope he is laughing his ass off in heaven at all the jokes and joy and fun in the world right now!

      Len - what a beautiful letter you wrote as a tribute to your brave, smart, incredible son. You are a very special family, and we will be keeping you all in our thoughts.

    25. Emma L. says:

      I was fortunate enough to meet Miles in 2008 when we happened to be on the same trip to France together. I knew absolutely nothing about photography and was nervous about communicating with my host family, but I knew almost immediately that I would have a friend in Miles. He was so willing to help out with any problem or concern I had, and always had a smile on his face. I guess it’s not surprising to people who knew him a bit better than I did, but I think I will mostly remember Miles for his music taste. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone so enthusiastic about music and sharing it with the people around him. Above all else, he was a great guy. I wish that I had stayed in better contact with him, and hadn’t used a “busy” schedule to excuse my not reaching out to him. I’ll always regret that, but mostly because I envy the way he touched the lives of the people around him. He will be sorely missed by everyone, including those who spent just a little (not enough) time with him.

    26. Pati Hughes says:

      I just read your heartfelt letter about your son. I hope for peace for you as you deal with the loss of your son. May God bless you. I love your thoughts, sharing of the grand canyon video, and your honesty. Your comment, that at least your little monkey wasn’t in pain, touched my soul. May you feel the love always that you and your son shared. Pati

    27. Daniela Mueller-Soppart says:

      I think most human beings these days are pathetic, we are wired to look for happiness in all kind of impossible places (the harder the better), morales are diluted, the goals we have are blurry, we run up a mountain and jump in order to have a short lived thrill, we are shallow. A lot stems from a lack of moral guidance and simply being spoiled by good fortune. We are not used to diseases taking a life prematurely or death itself. We live and struggle forever in the 21st century. Yet many of us have so much to be thankful for, right in front of us and we don’t pay enough attention, sometimes until it is too late. Miles struggle and the strength he demonstrated are a reminder to appreciate what we have while we have it.
      Miles you were an amazing young man, a true inspiration.

      Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
      Khalil Gibran

      Daniela Mueller-Soppart

    28. Donna Dobson says:

      I never had the opportunity to meet this young man but have heard of his courageousness from my daughter Hannah. I read the letter from his father and was touched beyond description of words. I did hug both of my daughters and will continue to be inspired by the love expressed through his life.

    29. Tim Cavanagh says:

      Dear Len,
      I just read your beautiful letter. About your beautiful son. I wish I had known Miles-he sounds like such a great kid! Smart AND compassionate! We’re never done learning about this life and what it all means. Miles sounds like he was a profound teacher. You were truly blessed having each other. Miles’ life was too short, but well-lived. Peace to you and your family.

    30. Michelle King says:

      Len and family-
      I really don’t know what to say. I wish there had been more that I could have done. The experience of being able to be a part of Jokes 4 Miles is one that I will never forget. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met Mile’s and the wonderful family that supported this brave young man. I will do my best to honor Mile’s by trying to make a difference, whether it is big or small, in others lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    31. Zulma Montoya says:

      I got to know you, through your aunt-Margaret-who always spoke of you very lovingly and with great admiration. May you give your family the strength to get through this difficult time and help bring a smile when they think of you. God bless.

    32. Carol Iwaoka says:

      Miles is still with us, working his magic, bringing together all those he touched, and those he will continue to touch without our knowing. Miles - from one who knew you during the “Little Lincoln” years — thank you for being a part of our lives and continuing to enrich us through your spirit. With thoughts and prayers to Len, Adrienne, Rich for sharing such a dear soul to be a part of our lives ad infinitum …

    33. Kathie Paolini says:

      I will never forget the time I ran into Miles at the school. An 8th grade boy walking up to the school and all his friends, holding his little brothers hand. As a parent and sister of two brothers myself, I was rather impressed.That’s the kind of guy Miles was.

    34. Patricia Etchison says:

      I am Susan Booth’s Mum and Fenton’s Mum in law. I knew Miles because I have a type of brain cancer too. In fact we were probably diagnosed at about the same time. The difference being I am 78 and at least have lived my life. It is a crying shame that someone so brilliant that would have done so much for the world. I know he will be putting the angeles through hell and back and looking down and smiling. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Much love Patricia Etchison

    35. MJ Smith says:

      Len, I just want you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of the family. Seeing you and Miles together was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I have never seen a father and son understand each other so well, and care for each other with so much compassion. It hasn’t even sunk in for me yet that Miles is gone. There’s just so much to his personality that it seems impossible for him to not be here. He was without doubt the smartest and kindest person I have ever met. I remember the first time you introduced me to him at CHLA when we were filming. Even though I was just a camera operator (shooting someone I had just met in an intimate setting) he made me feel welcome instead of awkward. He had conversations with me as if I was just a visitor and not someone working on a film, he immediately treated me like a friend…which alone is a pretty uncommon thing, but coupled with the fact that he was in a BMT room, on iv’s and completely exhausted, yet still was so warm hearted an welcoming to a stranger who was filming him in that state, that was just superhuman. The more I think about it the more it blows my mind to see how he handled his situation. I’m sure he will always be one of the most important inspirations to people for as long as anyone who knew him lives. He has made such a huge impact on me that it’s only just now beginning to become clear, and I know I’ll be thinking about him for the rest of my life. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you constantly. I hope the immeasurable impact that Miles has had on so many lives can serve as a source of comfort in all of this.

    36. anthony grieco says:

      My condolences. Sorry to hear. God bless the family of this courageous little boy.

    37. Chris Lane says:

      It was simply inspiring to meet Miles and to see someone live with dignity in the face of cancer. The “jokes for miles” website and its ideals are a perfect tribute to his life. I didn’t know MIles that well, but all the efforts of his friends, family and especially his Dad to start the “jokes for miles” website brought him into my consciousness. And I can honestly say I am heartbroken. I wish all the best for his loved ones and offer, as the slightest consolation, my sincerest assertion that Miles affected my family and myself in a great way. I hug my own son that much tighter now. I cherish every moment that much more now. I didn’t think it was possible to love my own children any more profoundly than I already do… but I do. Miles… you live on. Thanks for that.

    38. Will Veitch says:

      Rest In Peace Miles. You’re an inspiration, reminding me always to be good, selfless, loving, fearless, and strong. I wish you didn’t have to go. I feel very special that I got to see you over thanksgiving break. All my love to your family and friends.

      Love,
      Will

    39. Theodora Vosnos says:

      May His Memory Be Eternal

    40. Michele Baker says:

      He always made me see how petty my problems were. He always had a smile on his face through his toughest days, and he showed us all what the true meaning of strength was.
      Much love to his family who raised and very much loved a wonderful man.

    41. Charles Milbert says:

      Miles,
      you are a tremendous person from whom I have learned a great deal from. Your courage, kindness, and continual smile are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for all you have tuaght us and the happiness you shared with us. We will all miss you.
      My deepest condolences to all family and friends of Miles.

    42. Colleen Thomas says:

      Len, My deepest condolences on the loss of Miles. He was a brave soul. May he rest in peace!

      Much love to you during this trying time.

      Colleen Thomas (McNulty)

    43. Mike Crowley says:

      I remember when I first received the notification to go and help volunteer for Jokes 4 Miles. While browsing through my emails I noticed a posting to help out a young man who was terminally not with donations, but rather humor. It was such a novel thought that it made me reply to the posting promptly. By the next week I met Len, Miles’ father. He was a kind lovable gentle giant. Me and a group of other individuals met up in the laugh factory in Chicago IL. We all sat by the stage where many hilarious comic legends as well as up and comers have performed. All during this time period we were learning of the different ways we could help out a young man who was suffering from cancer.

      I proceeded to edit, film, photoshop, make phone calls and do whatever else I could to try and get as many jokes to Miles as I could. I met some amazing people along the process including Miles. As Len has written, he has never heard anyone say a negative thing about Miles. I have to say that I can absolutely see that. Miles had to be one of the brightest young individuals I have ever seen. He was very soft spoken, reflective, high spirited, gentle and overwhelmingly positive considering the situation he has been given. We would often talk about various stories involving famous individuals that Len told me about involving him. One of which is the cane that Miles received that was once the cane of the late Richard Pryor. Another involving Kanye West doing something nice believe it or not. The most notable thing I recall doing with Miles was not the 24 hour joke a thon we did outside of the laugh factory but rather a small interview we filmed on the balcony of a Whole Foods in Chicago. I remember how comfortable and on cue he was for the interview. He never complained at all and ever went out of his way to help get the sound and lighting just right despite his physical condition. That’s dedication. Whenever I see people complain about something irrelevant during an interview I feel like reminding them how corporative Miles was. I want to tell them how they should take after him.

      To be perfectly honest it is not very often that I have volunteered for something for free. What can I say? I like money. A lot! Yet this was something that had me wanting to come back for free. Even having me go out of my way to clear up my schedule just to help throw in a little more time.

      To Miles’ family, all I can do is give my condolences. What can I or for anyone for that matter say? To Miles, when you get to heaven tell God that he better have a good joke for you.

    44. We don’t think we ever introduced ourselves but saw you guys in clinic from time to time. Our son, Beckett, is fighting a brain tumor and we finished a year of chemo in June 2012.

      We fondly remember Miles as a young man with the fedora, always smiling and glowing around the clinic halls.

      You are all so blessed! Our thoughts are with you during this heard time. Our hearts are saddened with Miles’ passing as he is the first person we’ve met/seen in clinic who has passed on, way too soon!

    45. Pamela Blevons says:

      I was first introduced to Jokes4Miles, by my son, Kyle. He was living in L.A. at the time, but his Chicago roots inspired him to write a rap tribute to Miles in lieu of a joke. Kyle & I were honored to meet Miles & Len in person at the Diversey Bowl event. The positive attitude, humor, strength & courage that beamed fom Miles & seeing ILL Ambition preform his hip hop words of praise & encouragement to this young man, who moved us all… is a moment I will always treasure. Your son & mine, Len… hugged on stage, although they had never met in person & only throught the JOKES4MILES website. Miles has touched so many hearts & lives in this world & he will never be forgotten. His smile & strength will be greatly missed. Let his legacy live on with the gift of laughter to help others.
      Peace & Prayers,
      Pamela Blevons

    46. Darci Becker says:

      Sending thoughts and prayers to Miles’ family. Sounds like he was one of a kind.

      Darci

    47. Pam Tepper says:

      Miles, I might have taught you that 4+2=6, but following you as an adult has taught me more about keeping hope than you probably knew. Your strength to keep the laughter on the front burner is an inspiration! And I for one use it often as a coping mechanism for Ben’s Autism. As your kindergarten teacher, I was the lucky one to have learned from you.
      Rest in Peace, Miles.

    48. Joe Gandurski says:

      My deepest condolences to you and to your family, Len. Like everyone who knew him, I am a better person for knowing Miles. What an amazing young man.

    49. Davor & Connie Engel says:

      We have been lucky enough to live next door to Miles and his family for 8 years. We chatted with Miles in passing here and there - never _knew_ him well, but we would always talk about the kindness that radiated from him. There was an ease, grace and a brilliance about him that was very evident for anyone that took even a moment to talk to him. We are not surprised by the depth of Miles character described by the letter his dad wrote. We have two little boys - 7 & 8 years old. We’ve always said we hope they grow up with the character and kindness Miles personified and exuded. He was a good man and he will be genuinely missed.

    50. Eileen Solin says:

      Miles was a student of our son Jeff. Over the past several years Jeff shared Miles’ journey with us. We are so very sorry and sad that such an intelligent courageous young man had his life shortened way too early. Jeff told us what a remarkable kid he was with an amazing spirit, sense of humor and zest for life. Please know we are thinking about all of you and hope you find strength from your family and friends. We will keep you close to our hearts. Fondly, Eileen and Stuart Solin

    51. Cree says:

      My heart broke to read of Miles’ passing. I became a “fan” of Miles and his dad while listening to Johnny B. I always felt this was a “win-win” situation, but life plays by different rules. Miles touched more people - in such a magnificent way, in such a short time here - than anyone else could every dream to do. Sending you peace and deepest sympathy.

    52. Angie Q says:

      Absolutely eloquent! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will hug my boy and think of Miles. Aloha oe and peace be with you.

    53. saranne says:

      Dear Len,
      You guys gave birth to an incredible human being. I know, because I tried to match Miles up with my daugter from the day we met years ago - way before they should have ever been dating! I knew Miles was a keeper, even as a boy! (The only quick reference to cancer that day we all met - many years ago - was that I was a survivor, not Miles. Miles was just a brilliant boy.)
      As an adult, you just hung out with Miles and he blew you away. When we finally got to introduce our kids years later in Miles’ hospital room, it was amazing. We knew they would click. Two talented, “old” souls who loved music and comedy. Two impressive, college-aged freshman who should have been dating, as you and I had plotted years before.
      I will never forget that visit at The Children’s Hospital Iso Room. You and Miles let us into your medical journey and we were honored to be there. It is the most special time I have ever heard her share her music. She carries that evening with Miles with her. Their connection through music happened. She understood, even through Miles’ endless medical treatments and weakened state, that she was in the presence of a royal soul.
      Thank you for sharing Miles with us. We are devastated for your loss, the world’s loss. G-d must have needed an extraordinary Angel. He called upon MIles.
      Love, hugs and deepest condolences from Saranne, Laur and all at ComedyCures.org

    54. Judy Brown says:

      My deepest sympathy to the whole Austrevich family. My prayers are with all of you.
      Judy

    55. Stefanie Dreizen says:

      I was one of the fortunate teachers of Miles many years ago at Lincoln Elementary. I can remember his incredible sense of humor (sometimes at my expense),his dedication and love of learning. Most of all, I remember him to be a beautiful writer. As I have read his blog that sadly I had not followed until yesterday, I was reminded of that talent. Miles enriched my classroom as he enriched all of those who were privileged to know him.

    56. Alexandra Fryer says:

      Miles,
      You were, hands down, one of the most impressionable individuals I ever had the pleasure of meeting. How lucky I was to be friends with Neil, the boy that showed you around U-High, when you considered attending Lab. Your kindness and intelligence was never lost among me or my friends. Despite not knowing you for too long, we all thought so highly of you. Your warmth and your presence will not be forgotten. We miss you already, so, so much,

    57. Tiffini Green says:

      I didn’t know Miles personally but I had friends who did! All my friends could ever talk about was hanging out with him, and how much of a great person he was! May he rest in peace and your NCP family will miss you!!!

    58. Brian Elles says:

      Miles and His Family,

      This is an absolute tragedy as it is hard to type this through my wet, blurry eyes.

      Introduced to Miles in April of 2012, I knew his story meant something more than the average bear. He was as Len says, a warrior, who I immediately had a passion to support, serve and get to know.

      Miles was no boy, he was a man.

      He IS proof that your problems are nothing compared to others in this gigantic world. Miles IS proof that positive thinking, laser focused determination and courage to fight continuous uphill battles are strategies that are needed to succeed. Miles demonstrated these behaviors in his day to day life all while wearing a huge smile stretched across his face. Miles IS a true inspiration to many.

      Not only did I have the honor to meet with Miles many times, I met the kids, teens, twenty, thirty, forty and fifty year olds that were inspired by Miles courage to fight.

      Spending time with the staff and campers at COSI camp in Wisconsin I truly saw the impact Miles left on others as this is a true testament of his character and spirit.
      Miles had a message to share. I am honored to help share his message.

      His message IS that positivity can overcome anything. Period.

      The folks at COSI camp provided the proof that Miles message was true and accurate. His inspiration was held high on a pedestal by the campers, old and young. They looked up to his strength and fed off his positivity as Miles IS a great man.

      Miles story will continue to touch many and his legacy shall live on.

      May God Bless Miles and his family; it IS privilege to know this fine man.

      J4M’ly Yours,

      Brian Elles

    59. Ada Tong says:

      I may not have been able to get to know you well back at Northside, but I always knew you had a cheerful spirit through and through. Thank you for sharing your strength and journey with us. You will be missed and remembered.

    60. Sue Davis says:

      Miles was such an inspiration to me! What a brave young man, who’s heart was bigger than anyone could imagine. Miles touched my heart and his memory will always bring a smile to my face!!

    61. TOM DREESEN says:

      I thank God I was able to meet this amazing young man. He was only here a short time but taught us so much. Rest now dear sweet Miles your job here is done.

    62. Greg Glienna says:

      I loved Miles. He was such a great guy. I won’t be able to make the wake but I hope to come in for the memorial on January 19th. I know that his story will continue to inspire people for many years, thanks to his incredible spirit and the work of his father.

    63. Jim Andre says:

      Len, I am so sorry to hear about your son. On the other hand, I am so excited to hear all about how wonderful he was and how much you and the rest of the world love him! I barely remember meeting him but the memories are all good. Thank you for starting Jokes 4 Miles. I know it will impact many great people! God love you and your family. You have my prayers!

    64. Nicki Marzullo says:

      Our hearts are heavy for you in the loss of your Miles. He truly was an angel in real life. My daughter, Christina Kalaytowicz, and Miles became friends from the COSI camps. I had the pleasure of speaking with Miles on a few occasions, he was mature beyond his years, well spoken and just a pleasure to chat with. What a great young man!! May you take some comfort in knowing how many lives he touched and friends he made with other kids. The impact he had on others was more than most adults leave in their own adult lifetime.

      What an awesome thing he did in teaching other kids fighting cancer the gift of laughter, all the while being a warrior himself. We will never forget him. Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to you his parents, his brother, and extended family. May God’s love for Miles cradle your hearts during your time of healing. We will keep you and Miles in our thoughts.

      Nicki & Christina

    65. Alexander Hughes says:

      God Bless you all.

    66. Paul says:

      Miles was such a great spirit, I could see, just in the limited time I spent with him and from all the kind words from all the other people he has touched. He is a true inspiration and he will be missed, but never forgotten.

      Paul Farahvar

    67. Bruce Smirnoff says:

      Len, my deepest sympathy to you and your family.

    68. Eliot Fagman says:

      You were the bravest friend I have ever had. When I bumped into you at Childrens in Chicago a while back when you had just received the results from your CT scan you still took the time to catch up and see how I was doing. Even though your mom was so sad you still had a smile on your face and took it like just another bump on a long journey. I am so glad to have been a part of it and I know you know how many people you touched and what you did. I wish I could have thanked you for giving me hope even when you were a lot sicker then I was but I am sure you know. You will never be and could never be forgotten trombone buddy.

    69. Rachel says:

      much love to you!

    70. Mary Jo Graden says:

      I did not know Miles, but my daughter knew him from Northside. Also the cancer center where I work here in Chicago sent in jokes for miles. You have my deepest admiration for how you all (including Miles)have lived through this process.

      Mary Jo

    71. Kevin Pierce says:

      Len and Family:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Miles will always be a brave and noble warrior. I’m really blessed to have gotten the chance to know about him and his journey. Len, you are a great father and my heart goes out to you. May God keep you strong.

      Kevin Pierce

    72. eileen jasin wertin says:

      sometimes I believe children are given to us to show us the way, the true joy of living, with all its heartaches included…..
      sleep well beautful Miles!!
      Eileen

    73. Rick Peeples says:

      So sorry to hear about Miles. My thoughts are with you. Hope and prayers, too.

    74. Bonnie Parker says:

      I am deeply sorry to hear about Miles’ passing. While I didn’t get to meet him in person, I have had the pleasure of working with Len (Miles dad) and doing some apparel for Jokes4Miles. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. My thanks are with Miles, for showing me that in the darkest moments, there is a strength you can find…sometimes from within, or from family, from friends, from strangers across the world… or from a little thing, like a joke. My thanks are also with Len, who has shown me that the love of a father can do amazing things. I wish more people were like both Len and Miles… the world would be a better place (definitely filled with more laughter)!

    75. Eric Tendian says:

      A Tribute to a Fellow Monkey, Miles Austrevich

      Heroes are everywhere. They are the teachers, doctors & nurses, first responders, soldiers, and many more. Today however, I want to recognize a less well-known hero and friend, Miles Austrevich. His resiliency and positive attitude toward his grave situation is an example to us all. Miles graduated from Northside College Prep, the school I now attend, in 2011. He had enrolled in Yale University, but was unable to attend due to his illness. After a valiant four-year battle, he passed on the afternoon of December 23rd, 2012.

      I first met Miles over this summer, while working on the Jokes4Miles project. Jokes4Miles is a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing children facing cancer and other serious diseases with jokes and well-wishes. As they say, “Humor is the best medicine.” I joined Jokes4Miles as a volunteer in May 2012, starting with meeting Len, Miles’ dad, at a joke-a-thon hosted at my school. We discussed ways to utilize social media in helping to spread Jokes4Miles, listening to input from Mr. Solin, a Computer Science teacher at my school. I soon became excited about the project, and wanted to employ my technology skill towards helping Miles.

      Since that first meeting in late May, I have been doing what I can towards furthering the mission of Jokes4Miles. I have met many great people - Miles’ dedicated father Len, his superb right-hand man Jeremy Caplan, as well as the long list of volunteers that have sacrificed their time and effort towards this cause. Meanwhile, Miles continued to push forward, maintaining discipline but always willing to laugh at a corny joke. I still do not understand the amount of willpower needed to carry this out.

      My encounter with cancer is far closer than many think. I can understand the sadness that comes from losing a loved one to it. For, though I wish this was not true, I have lost my own mom to breast cancer. After a brave two-year fight, she passed in July 2006. Left are myself, my dad, and my younger sister - our bond made stronger by this long struggle towards a cure. I understand what the family is facing, and I ask: Let us not mourn the loss, but instead celebrate all that Miles has done for his family, his friends, the many kids Jokes4Miles is helping, and all that have came into contact with him or his efforts. Both my mom and Miles were valiant warriors, selfless in nature, and their lives should be celebrated rather than mourned.

      Gazing into the future, I see great potential for Jokes4Miles - though it is dedicated to Miles, it’s mission is to help other families in need. As Miles said, “We should do this for the other kids.” With this in mind, I look forward to continue this mission, using the power of humor and the reach of the Internet to keep those ill kids’ spirits high. I live by the Golden Rule, and want all kids to receive the same humorous support that Miles did, in their times of need.

      Thank you Miles for living your life to the fullest in spite of all your were up against. You are a superb role-model and I will greatly miss your presence.

      You shall live on, great king.
      — Code Monkey Eric

    76. Gi Garay says:

      Len

      You were so fortunate to have such an incredible son. Our hearts weep for you and your family.

      Miles brought out the best in you. You were as an incredible father to him. He was blessed to have a Dad like you.

      Gi & Diana Garay

    77. Diana Leifer says:

      Way too soon.

    78. Andrew Hague says:

      Miles was the only one who liked my Kanye West status that quoted a lyric after he dropped My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. That was dope. I remember the next day walking up the staircase to the second floor atrium and bumping into him as he headed down for lunch. We had this brief exchange of mutual facial expressions of pure excitement and joy and the only thing that we said was: “DUDE! Kanye’s album…………”

      I remember sitting on the benches in the atrium after school and talking about rap, post rock, and Macintosh. I remember how disappointed I was after he told me how great Phoenix was at Lolla after I chose to go to Empire instead. Or the time we were chilling outside of someone’s house and he added how he’d rather “hit some hard liq” than some beer. And he always had the coolest fucking shoes.

      I guess we’ll never understand why certain things happen in life, but I know that Miles touched more people in ways I don’t think anyone could have imagined, and that’s something bigger than most could ever dream of accomplishing.

    79. Rocky LaPorte says:

      I’m sorry Len

    80. Brian and Louise Hunt says:

      Dear Len and family

      We became friends with Miles’ uncle Vince in Florida and through him were following the inspirational life of Miles.We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your son…..We are sorry we did not have the chance to meet your wonderful son…We are very happy to know that Miles was able to get out for a vacation….We watched the video of the Grand Canyon trip, We are so pleased you were able to have that special time together….
      What a beautiful tribute you wrote about Miles…It helps us to know Miles a little better……
      Rest in Peace Miles……
      God Bless you all,
      Your Friends in California,
      Brian and Louise Hunt

    81. T. Sean says:

      Miles,
      I knew you since you were born. You grew into an amazing person. You were always ahead of your years. You made those around you better people. You were smart and wickedly funny. You did great. You will be missed. You will be remembered. I’m thankful for the time you were here. Long live the monkey king.
      T. Sean

    82. P Andrews Smith says:

      Len and family-

      My prayers and sincere condolences. Today I have a heavy heart, but smile at the same time knowing I had a chance to meet and share memories with Miles.

      I had planned on giving him my Funny Firm Staff shirt….which you can have.

      If everyone had a little bit of Miles in them, our world would be an easier place to live.

      Godspeed!

      Phil Andrews Smtih

    83. Rose & Justine Panieri says:

      Miles, I did not know you, but I went to high school with your Aunt Margaret. I knew of your struggle, and I prayed and silently cheered you on to win your fight. In a way, you did win. You left this world a far better place than it was before you were born. God speed, Miles. May we someday get to meet you and laugh about this silly life on earth.

    84. We are so sorry about Miles. We met Miles at Andrew Zints Graduation Party. So impressed at
      how he was smiling and talking to every one before going to ca for more treatment. I know you will miss him so much. We lost our 22 yr old grandson Sept. 2011, of lung cancer. We know the hurt that comes with losing a loved one so young. Deanna & Dick Moore

    85. Tom Giger says:

      Len,

      I am sorry for your loss. That was a great tribute to Miles.

      I wish you strength & courage from here.

      Tom & Barb Giger

    86. Alia McMurray says:

      Hi, my name is Alia McMurray and I’m a junior at Northside Prep. I’m sure you already know this, but Miles was the nicest most friendly guy I have ever met. I didn’t know him that well, but he would always wave at me in the halls. He was always surrounded by friends. When he had his wheelchair, everyone wanted to be the one who got to push him to class. He was loved by all of us.

    87. John Belcaster says:

      In our AP Microeconomics and S.E.E.D. courses, we spent lots of time examining the world as it is….Miles viewed the world through a better lens…He saw the world as it should be….Miles remains one of life’s great beauties.

      John Belcaster

    88. Brady Harris says:

      Len,
      That’s a beautiful tribute to your amazing son who I had the good fortune of meeting. Every word you write about him is true. The world is surely a darker place without his presence in it. As gutted as I am to learn of his passing, I too, take some relief that he is no longer suffering. Having lost my oldest brother when he was Miles age, all these years later I’ve learned to look at his brief time on this Earth as generous gift for which I’m eternally grateful. My heart goes out to you & to Miles.
      -Brady

    89. Jane Kristak & Todd Williams says:

      Dear Len,

      Our deepest sympathy to you and yours. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this devastating time. Miles will always be an inspiration to all who knew him. His strength,courage and positive outlook over the past 4 years will be with us always. Please take care and let us know if there is anything we can do.

    90. Ellie Brick says:

      I went to high school with Miles and had the biggest crush on him freshmen year. He really was such a beautiful person. I shared this with my family and it made our Christmas more meaningful and special than any other year. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and may God bless you as we continue to let your thoughts and sentiments change our lives.

    91. Michael Green says:

      Len,

      The sadness Sheri and I feel for your loss is indescribable. Our deepest condolences are with you and your family throughout this terrible time.

      That said, your extraordinary son seemed to have some tricks up his sleeve that had a profound impact on the world that will last forever, and hopefully improve the conditions in which we inhabit it. For instance, miles inspired my faith in humanity by telling me that cancer had provided for him 2 very unexpected realizations; firstly that nearly everyone he knew had either firsthand experience with cancer, and if not, had known someone personally that was, and lastly (and this one blew my mind), that people were genuinely interested in being helpful and stepping up to deliver some act of kindness and compassion. When miles told me this while his life was literally being held hostage by his illness, I was completely awestruck by his ability to see the positivity in his situation (all the while being aware of the sentence he had been handed). A 19 YEAR OLD BOY stopping this 50 year old cynic in his tracks! I won’t forget that lesson as long as I live…..

      Beyond what miles was able to provide for my family and me, you Len have inspired me as a dad. I watched firsthand with admiration your unwavering commitment to miles through his awful experience that could only result in an unconditional love for your boy that only a parent might understand. Instead of being paralyzed by the logical question (why us?), you rose to the task and took your father son relationship to a place few will ever know.

      I will miss watching that, I will miss miles and I will never forget. Thanks to both of you…..

      Always,

      Michael

    92. Justin Dukes says:

      Len,

      My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of Miles. I can say I was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Miles. It was also my pleasure to have been a part of Jokes4Miles knowing that I had the chance to provide my support for someone who exemplified bravery and endurance. Len, I know Miles is looking down on you right now hoping that you will be filled with the same laughter and joy that you brought to him. My prayers are with you and your family and I hope that you will receive a peace that surpasses all understanding.

      Your friend,
      Justin Dukes

    93. John Hahm says:

      Dear Mr. Austrevich, and all of Miles’ Family,

      I know firsthand, whereof you speak. I tutored Miles in American Literature during his sophomore year, and never met a student with more to conquer, just to be able to grasp the abundance of art and philosophy that was there in THE GREAT GATSBY, and other works. But conquer he did, and I’ve rarely met anyone with as profound and joyful insights to American Litertature as he!
      The next year, Miles was in my AP English Language class. I watched him bravely fighting that which would have kept him away from all of us, all there was to cover that year in class. I watched him win that hard, hard fight, and come through smiling and witty, and full of encouragement for US! And he mastered all that I put his class through. Miles was indeed a mighty conqueror, and he conquered it all so that he could be with us, giving and receiving the deep affection and respect we all felt for each other, in that special learning community he created in my class. In every one of his classes too, I know.
      I know whereof you speak. And I join with you in grieving Miles’ passing. And celebrating the life, the wit, the high intelligence, and the strong example he shared with all of us.
      John Hahm

    94. Paul G says:

      A beautiful tribute. I didn’t know Miles, but after reading his Father’s letter… I do now.
      RIP Miles.

    95. Rob Skelton says:

      Miles was a close childhood friend of my wife’s son. My wife was a close childhood friend of Miles’ mother. Childhood memories are precious and both my wife and son were fortunate to share those precious memories together. We are all very saddened to have all lost a unique young man.

      Rob

    96. Natasa Zoubouridis says:

      Len,

      I can’t thank you enough for bringing Miles into this world and letting me be apart of his life. He was truly an amazing and thoughtful soul. I looked and still look up to him for his greatness and generosity. He taught me more about myself in one afternoon than I could piece together in a year. He is an inspiration that has touched a lot of lives and will touch millions more with his legacy.

      With all my love,
      Natasa

    97. Jerry and Kenny Vondra says:

      Lenny our deepest sympathy to you and
      your family. Miles had all the gifts except for the length of time.

      Jerry and Kenny Vondra

    98. Bridget says:

      I was always so in awe of Miles’s magnetic, positive personality. I’m so thankful for the time I got to spend with him-from art classes to backyard blanket forts-and he will be truly missed.

    99. Jane says:

      I didn’t know Miles or you but through a friend on Facebook I was able to read your beautiful tribute to your son. Through your words I feel that Miles was truly one of Gods angels on earth. You were blessed to have had such an amazing son. His love will remain with you through the rest of your journey on earth.

    100. Luke Drase says:

      Miles,

      I am really lucky to have chose the seat next to you on the bus to Snake Road. You were the first person I talked to at Northside and you were such an incredibly caring person. You were such an inspiration to so many and you will be missed. My thoughts go out to your family. Rest in peace.

    101. Cathy Ladman says:

      Oh, Len, I’m so sorry for your loss and so happy for this amazing journey you were able to take with your extraordinary son. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. Life is such an unpredictable trip. Thank you, Miles. Bon voyage.

    102. Bill Matusek says:

      Mr Austrevich
      So sorry for your loss ,you and your son are a true inspiration and will be held in the hearts of many.

    103. Emily Kleeman says:

      Hi Mr. Austrevich,
      I knew your son only briefly when he applied to Lab school and shadowed a friend of mine, but even in that one day I was able to consider him a friend. I learned about his cancer last year, shortly after my mother was diagnosed with stage IV uterine cancer. As I followed my mom’s journey, I also followed Miles’ through facebook and this site. My mom passed away on April 18, just days before her 55th birthday. I know, firsthand, that nothing I say right now, especially at a time that should be joyful, can make things right, but something Miles and my mom shared was their unique ability to look their disease straight on, with the best sense of humor possible, and I hope you will be able to find strength in that. Celebrate the next few days by engaging in traditions that Miles loved. I know you’re probably swamped with people and letters at the moment, but if you would ever like to talk with someone on the mirror side, someone who can approach these times with the same thoughts and humor that you and Miles encountered together, please, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at [email protected]. Miles was so unique in his ability to touch the lives of even the people he met briefly, and know that his and your journey has supported me through my time with my mom.
      All of my love,
      Emily Kleeman

    104. Alice says:

      Rest in peace Miles. You truly are my hero.

    105. suzanne warren says:

      i don’t know you or your family at all but thank you for writing down your thoughts and feelings and sharing them with us all. you gave us all a little piece of your beautiful son, Miles, at a time when we all could do with remembering what’s important in life.

    106. Kathy Robinson says:

      Len,

      When I read your message my heart sank. I am so sorry Miles passed away. He was an inspiration to me as well. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you during this very sad time.

      With deepest sympathy,

      Kathy

    107. Pat Murray says:

      Len:

      My thoughts and prayers are with you on the passing of your son Miles.

    108. Thomas Nguyen says:

      Thank you for being apart of my life.

      Tom

    109. Len, My daughter, Sierra, wa very upset to hear of Miles’ passing today. We were both blessed to get to know him. I have never seen a better father and son team than you two. It will inspire me the rest of my life. God bless you, and God Bless Miles. Ritch

    110. Melisa says:

      I’m sorry for your lost. I’m a stranger and I found Miles story a few days ago, but he will live on in many hearts and minds. Miles was a real inspiration worldwide, his smile and humor were catching. I hope and pray that you will have strength during this time of loss. My warmest condolences,
      Melisa

    111. Charlie Reinke says:

      Len, so sorry to hear about Miles passing. Both his and your courage is inspiring. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    112. Nicole Flores says:

      I am so very sorry to hear of Miles passing. He was a wonderful and truly inspiring young man. My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

    113. Erika says:

      Peace, laughter, and love.

    114. Kathy Caplan says:

      Though I never had the privilege of meeting Miles, I knew of him and his devoted dad. Len’s letter is a beautiful tribute to an extraordinarily “not normal” person. Jokes 4 Miles proves that laughter is an awesome power, but Miles proved that selflessness is a power greater still.

    115. Cubendri says:

      So sorry for your loss! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

    116. Vicky Andrews says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of Miles’ passing. My heart just breaks. He will be missed dearly. My prayers are with you all.

    117. Joshua Maciejewski says:

      Miles, you were the first person I have known that was younger than me and yet I looked up to and admired.

    118. Eric Tendian says:

      Thank you Miles for all that you have done. I will miss you immensely.

      A Tribute to a Fellow Monkey, Miles Austrevich by Eric Tendian, Northside College Prep c/o 2013

    119. Jane says:

      I never actually knew Miles personally, I just knew of him because he was in my sister’s grade at Northside. I have, however, heard stories about him from numerous people and am sad that I never did know him personally. He sounds like a person that you only meet once in a lifetime, extremely unique and one that makes you want to be a better person.
      Miles, you and your family are in my prayers. May you rest in peace.

    120. Jim says:

      Before Miles was born, his dad gave me a treasured night of laughter. Today I met Miles by reading his dad’s beautiful letter and watching two beautiful videos. I cannot imagine what it’s like to say goodbye to this amazing young man. Thank you for the example of life fully- and lovingly-lived, Miles. My deepest condolences to all who knew you.

    121. Nicole says:

      I know I don’t know you well, but I attend Northside. And I know how much cancer sucks. And I cannot understand the pain you’re going through, but I’m truly sorry. Love and Prayers to your family.

    122. The very first time I saw Miles, I thought “There’s a great kid.” He was changing the names on the marquee at the Lakeshore Theater, where his dad worked. He had a gentle smile and a kind way about him. I was stunned when I heard he had cancer. I followed his struggle through his status updates and blogs, always hopeful that he would beat it for good. Perhaps I remained so hopeful because that was what Miles conveyed in every word he wrote. Like his father said, he braved this storm without a whimper, always appreciating what was in front of him. My condolences go out to his family. It is so hard to lose a loved one and even harder when that loved one was as wonderful as Miles. He will be remembered by many for a long time.

    123. Chris DeFranco says:

      Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    124. matt says:

      Looking back on every single time I have seen you, Miles, I can honestly say that I dont think there was one instance where you were not smiling. You and your fight with cancer have inspired and touched more people than I can imagine, and I am so thankful that I got to know you. Come visit me soon duude
      Love you Miles

    125. Sarah says:

      Very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you during this time.

    126. Karen says:

      Len and Family, my daughter went to high school with Miles and shared fun and many laughs with him in the art department there. She has talked about him often, and I know she learned so much, and so much that was meaningful, from Miles. His grace, wisdom and bravery were remarkable. Thank you for writing such a moving letter. As a parent I found your words so deeply touching. Sending heartfelt condolences to you and your family,
      Karen

    127. Steve Hytner says:

      Never met you Miles. But thank you.

    128. Betty Lanktree says:

      Did not have the pleasure/honor of meeting Miles, but did tape some really bad jokes for him! What an inspriration, I wish I would known him; however, your letter is a beautiful tribute to an incredible son and person. Words do not express how saddened I am by this news.

    129. John Mann says:

      Len, I know you are experiencing something no father or parent should ever have to face. My just knowing Miles for the short time I did I could see how much he changed your life and everyone he came in contact with. He had the ability not to ask anything from anyone and still he was able to get his message of laughter and want to help others despite his own pain. He was a warrior and an amazing person. I feel truly privileged to have meet him and to see first hand the affect he had on others.
      I am honored to be part of his message to help and inspire others facing this same situation.

      John

    130. Tracy Saunders says:

      Thank you for sharing the best of Miles with us. Although I did not know him - your letter touched my heart and I will hug my kids tight tonight and every night and strive to be a better parent, mother and wife every day. I wish you and your family all the best.

    131. melisa duvnjak says:

      It is with a heavy heart and tear filled eyes that I am writing this, no one will understand how much Miles meant to our NCP community. He has been an inspiration to us all. Everytime I think “I can’t do this” I think of Miles and am reminded that anything is possible.I will miss him so much and would give anything to get him back. I am so sorry for the loss his family has endured, I wish to offer my condolences and let them know they will be in my prayers. R.I.P Miles ♥

    132. Chloe Lewis says:

      I’m going to miss you so much Miles. You were an incredibly person and I really enjoyed your conversation. You will be remembered for your beautiful soul and immense strength. You were so unique. I’m so glad to have met you. But I wish I would have hit you up one more time. Rest in peace homeboy

    133. Chris Smurzto says:

      Rest in peace Miles, you were an inspiration and role model to all. I am leaving this song on your wall because this was what we were discussing the first time we met during freshman year. It is devastating to see you gone You will surely be missed!

    134. Damon Ranger says:

      Miles, may you rest in peace my friend! i’m glad i got to know you and help spread a little laughter around the world. You are a true inspiration!

    135. Alexander Thiedmann says:

      Miles
      I can’t even express into words how much you’ve influenced me. I’m privileged to have had the experience of knowing and playing trombone next to you.
      Rest in Peace.

    136. Jalen Whitmore says:

      Miles,
      You were truly an inspiration to me. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for your support. You were one of the strongest individuals I’ve ever met and I’ll always cherish the compassion you showed me. Merry Christmas Miles P. Austrevich, rest in peace.

    137. Janet Kang says:

      Hey Miles,
      I remember the first time I met you during an art club fundraiser at northside. You were one of the first few people who kindly stopped by our table and took the time to listen to my ridiculous sales pitch. Instead of walking away like many others had done, you laughed and went along with it. Although it was a short encounter, I was truly encouraged by your bright and friendly personality. Thank you Miles. I was lucky and glad to have met you. Thank you.

    138. Naim Uddin says:

      Gonna go blast one of your favorite albums ever in your memory. I remember when we talked about this album for a good five minutes a few years ago. Thank you for all the moments.

    139. Corrine Ashley says:

      today i look back and reflect on good times with an old friend; my original freshman, Miles. we might not have been the closest, but he was always there with words of encouragement and wishes of good luck on any school work i was struggling with. we had great park adventures after school. he gave me the courage to ask for a side of pickles at mcdonalds. and whenever i was having a bad day, he would make me smile with a friendly hug and a “hello” in the hallway.
      you were an inspiration to all those who knew you. and even though our friendship was short, i am blessed to have been able to spend that time with you. Rest in peace, sweet Miles. ♥

    140. Cindy Ospina says:

      Miles,
      I admire you so much for your bravery. You touched so many lives with your great spirit. You will forever be an example of true strength and compassion.

    141. Emma Todd Cole says:

      You are loved and missed Miles. I am honored to have worked with J4M and to simply have known you. Merry Christmas in heaven, we all love and are thinking about you and your family down here!

    142. Janice Pietraszek says:

      Miles, I am so happy I had the privilege of knowing you. Your brilliance and personality could light up any room. You are an inspiration to me and you have touched my life and forever changed it. I shall miss you deeply. You will be in my heart forever. Love you..

      To Miles’ family, I extend my most heartfelt sympathy. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    143. Daniela Mueller Soppart says:

      I can’t express my feelings, I’m endlessly sad. I have so many memories of you spending time with Marlon and Marc, when you were little. I called you the ‘M’ boys. Miles, you were the nicest and most inspiring young man. You will be missed dearly.

    144. Kimberly Watley says:

      My heart is absolutely crushed. Rest in peace, beautiful Miles. :’(

    145. I was so sorry to hear that Miles has passed away. I had the honor of meeting him on a few occasions while helping out on the Jokes4Miles campaign. Len was definitely not alone in his admiration for his son. Miles was amazingly courageous and consistently upbeat. He was a shining example for all us who let life’s little annoyances get us down. Miles took on challenges that most of couldn’t even conceive of dealing with. He was a winner.

    146. Ola Topczewska says:

      Miles, i’m so so so sorry to hear about your passing. I know we didnt really keep in touch much lately, but I will always remember you as the smart, funny, and charismatic guy I went to school with. The world has lost a truely great person. RIP

    147. Susan & Henry Schleichkorn & Family says:

      You will always be a true and great friend to your fellow Northside Class of 2011. I’ll cherish the memory of you standing in our kitchen for the gatherings of your friends and that inescapable smile of yours. Our condolences to all of those that have shared in your grace.

    148. Doreen Orenstein Weiss says:

      I am just so sorry to hear this news. Miles was one of my students, and I know how much he was loved by everyone in my second grade classroom and beyond. My heart goes out to his family.

    149. Terry Miles says:

      Words cannot express what I am feeling right now. My heart goes out to your family. One of the nicest, Miss You Miles.

    150. Brandon Chansy says:

      Miles, its hard to say you’re not here anymore. You were one of my first friends in high school. I remember coming in to lit and always looking forward to sitting next to you, your jokes and sarcasm always made me laugh. You’re part of a memory that I won’t forget. Thank you for being who you were, a friend.

    151. Shelley says:

      Dear Miles!
      Even though I did not know you personally, I have heard many wonderous stories about you! I am honored to go to the same school as you and hope that I and many others can try to imitate your kindness and compassion. You will be greatly missed, but rest in peace.

    152. Natalie says:

      My heart breaks for you and your family. I learned of Miles through Rosie, hero of mine. The tribute you wrote is a testimony to the profound impact an amazing person can have in a short amount of time. What a beautiful young man and a treasure to those who had the gift of his presence. May the amazing love you shared comfort you until you are reunited.

    153. Brendan Smith says:

      My heartfelt condolences to you and your family during this most difficult of times. I’ve been following your son on Facebook now for over a year, and his optimism and enthusiasm for life have always brought me great joy. I hope that if I ever am placed in such a difficult place, that I’ll handle it with the grace and humility that Miles showed. He was an amazing person. The world is a better place for having known him. Peace and love from me to you this Christmas. Try not to miss your little boy too much, as he’s probably up in Heaven telling the saints all those awesome jokes he knew! Just know that where ever you go, he’ll always be with you.

    154. Miles, some may say that you were unlucky, but you lucky in many more ways. Lucky to have a father who went the extra mile to put you ahead of himself, lucky to have soooo many loving friends who placed you in their hearts, but most of all, you are lucky to have the spirit, attitude, endurance, unselfishness, sense of humor and pure inner strength that most of us in your position would not even come close to having. Your time on this rock may be considered short, but your loving memory to many shall live forever. God Bless You Miles, it was an honor to have known you. WWP

    155. Clyde says:

      Through my steady stream of tears, I feel honored to have known Miles these several years, as we both battled this dreadful disease simultaneously. We would text back and fourth encouraging each other and thinking optimistically. I would trade him places in a heart beat for he had so much to offer and so much Love to share. I surround you in Light my friend, I look forward to our next meeting.
      Clyde

    156. The Universe says:

      A more perfect child of the Universe has never lived. Until now, only celebrations cloaked in myth and mystery could hint at your divine heritage and sacred destiny. You are life’s prayer of becoming and its answer. The first light at the dawn of eternity, drawn from the ether, so that I might know my own depth, discover new heights, and revel in seas of blessed emotion.

      A pioneer into illusion, an adventurer into the unknown, and a lifter of veils. Courageous, heroic, and exalted by legions in the unseen.

      To give beyond reason, to care beyond hope, to love without limit; to reach, stretch, and dream, in spite of your fears. These are the hallmarks of divinity - traits of the immortal - your badges of honor. May you wear them with a pride as great as what we feel for you.

      Your light has illuminated darkened paths, your gaze has lifted broken spirits, and already your life has changed the course of history.

    157. Luis Mejico says:

      I did not know Miles personally, but I know of his strength and his nobility. Thank you so, so much for being such an incredible and strong person, and we all miss you terribly.

    158. Hey Miles, thanks for giving us the opportunity be a part of something great. Your memory and strength will live on and inspire others to face their greatest fears with kindness, dignity and laughter. Thank you.

    159. Colette & Lonnie Davie says:

      Dear Lenny, family & friends of Miles,

      Miles’ life here on earth was way to short; the question of why won’t be answered until we meet him again on the other side.

      God sent his angels to bring Miles home to perform a job only he could do.

      May you take comfort in knowing Miles is smiling and his arms are wrapped around all of you.

      Love & prayers,

      Colette & Lonnie

    160. Samantha Hoffmann says:

      Dear Miles,
      You were beloved by everyone at NCP, we all saw you not as a symbol of your disease, but as a symbol of strength and courage. You could have just wallowed in your situation, but instead, you set out to help others too with your website. I seriously mean it when I say that at NCP, you are a source of inspiration for everyone. Many of us want to make a difference later in life, but you were able to do that before your premature departure. I consider myself lucky to even have been an acquaintance of yours. You always, without fail, had a smile on your face, looking forward to whatever life will bring you next. Thank you Miles for being such an inspiration to everyone who has been touched by you.
      Stunned,
      Samantha Hoffmann

    161. Effie says:

      Miles was an extraordinary person and continues to be an amazing inspiration. Though I knew him for a short while, he and the whole jokes family will always have a place in my heart. He will truly be missed. <3

    162. Amy Murphy says:

      Len, Thank you for the lovely accounty of Miles’ journey. I know your heart will never fully heal. Take comfort in knowing you have an amazing angel to watch over you until you meet again. Heaven just got a little funnier and a lot sweeter. My deepest sympathies to you, his Mom and the rest of your family. With Much Love, Amy Murphy

    163. We loved you Miles. We will always love you. We will miss your smiling face, your quiet ways, your gentle heart. You will never be forgotten. We will keep fighting, in your memory, in your honor and for too many who have lost to pediatric brian cancer.
      We will miss your hugs and just your sweet, sweet self!
      Love you so much!
      Jo, Bella & Rosie XO

    164. The Garcia Family (366 Random Acts) says:

      One of the things that I will be sure to teach my daughter is that no matter how dire or tough something seems, we must always smile, laugh and stay positive (and even throw in some jokes). That is what Miles taught me. He was an inspiration to so many people, myself included. Len, you are in my family’s thoughts.

    165. Len, I am very sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to lose a son or daughter. However, I am glad to see you’ve come through this experience a changed man, one who is able to appreciate both the curses and blessings of life.

      (You’re the) Best,
      Michael

    166. Cousin Tonya from South Dakota says:

      Lenny,
      Thoughts, prayers, love and hugs to you, Miles and all of your family. Miles was a remarkable young man who left a big impact on my heart and on thousands of other hearts. He was a special gift to the world!
      Much love, Tonya

    167. Hans Koelsch says:

      Our prayers go to Miles and his loved ones and his growing community of supporters and members of jokes4miles that will continue to build and help many others.
      God bless.
      Hans

    168. Kristy Juran says:

      Lenny…that was beautifully written. As tears fall, I think about the few times I got the pleasure of being around him. Always thought how cool to be related to a young cool cat like Miles. Wanted my nephew Derek to meet him. Thought Lenny…you did good!! Strong brave warrior to fight like he did. It takes someone with great character and strength to endure all he went through. I send lots of love to you during this time.
      Sincerely,
      Kristy

    169. DD says:

      Thoughts, love and big hugs from mom & I to all of you….

    170. Scott May says:

      This may seem, at first, crass. I won’t grieve Miles’ passing. I won’t remember the death. I’ll celebrate the Life. I’ll celebrate the Love. I’ll celebrate the passion. From your story, Miles succeeded. He beat the Disease. He left on his terms, and when he wanted to. You’re right, old friend, Miles was a Gentle Warrior. But more than that, he was a Teacher.
      Live Life,
      Love Life,
      Seize the day.
      Rock on, little buddy…
      Thanks.
      Peace, SM

    171. paul slater says:

      Having met Miles as a baby and seeing the love everyone had for him,I can safely say that world was better because of his short time here..No words define the loss of a child just as no words could define Miles courage and indominitable spirit. I am certain his energy is somewhere among us reminding us all to be better people..

    172. Christian DeAngelis says:

      Hey Miles. I know you can read this from wherever you are, so I’d like to let you know (again), you are one of the strongest, funniest people I know. I’ve talked to you only a handful of times, but I loved every minute of it. Rest in Peace.

    173. Bette Lucchese Soto says:

      Hey Miles, so, I just found out that you passed away today. I know I haven’t seen you in years, but I just hope you know that I’ve always thought that you were just the coolest guy ever. You were always really nice to me - actually, you were nice to everyone - and I just always appreciated it. I’m so sorry that I never told you that. I remember in second grade, in class with Mrs. Weiss, how awesome you were at literally everything. Anyway, this is really longwinded and kind of pointless I guess, but I just wanted to stress how much of an impact you have had in my life, simply just by being a part of it when we were little kids. I’m currently sitting in my mom’s painting room, sobbing, because I know the world has lost one of the best people ever to have graced its surface.

    174. Jessica Holztman says:

      Miles, we will definitely miss you and the heavens are shining brighter with you up there. Getting to know you in elementary school was an absolute pleasure, and I’m so glad to have had a friend like you throughout my childhood years. Love, Jessica, Pat, and Pam Holtzmann.

    175. Mary Lew Ozbirn says:

      The world just lost a special person, Miles P. Austrevich, 20 yrs. old. Miles lost his battle due to a malignant brain tumor. He was the recipient of Cal’s All-Star Angels Foundation Twelve Days of Christmas program last year. My step-daughter, Tammi Ozbirn Vogle and I delivered the Christmas wish to Miles and his brother. What an awesome experience that was! Something we will never forget. Rest in Peace Miles!

    176. Beth Burns says:

      I am sending a lot of love to Miles and his family and friends. I was touched and inspired by the jokes for him, and his lovely sense of humor.