(WJBF) – Honoring a local army veteran who’s living her life in service to others.
Despite having a critically ill child, Deanna Miller Berry sits on school boards and is a motivational speaker. But her standing up to big insurance has made her a kind of hero to other parents of sick kids.
And that’s why Deanna Miller Berry is our latest winner of the Giving Your Best award.
This army veteran is happy to fight the fight for others, but can’t believe others are recognizing her good deeds!
“Y’all, this is a joke, right?”
“NO! We want you to the Giving Your Best award!”
Deanna Miller Berry has also had to fight her insurance company to try to save her dying daughter.
“I just started researching and googling and doing what I could to find out what could I do to save her. And then when the insurance company started denying I just picked up signs and started boycotting and protesting and finally they said, ‘What can we do to get you off the streets?’ ‘Give her the surgery.
“So, from the knowledge we’ve learned from fighting for her, we’ve used it to help other families get approvals from denials the insurance companies have given.
“She has a series of airway defects called laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, tracheobronchomalacia… so, we just learned last week that the doctors gave her 6-9 months to live. So, I’m just really overwhelmed today for this honor, especially during this time when we just got the bad news, so it feels really good to be honored.”
As she still hopes for a miracle, Deanna focuses on the good her family’s crisis has done for others in similar situations.
“I started the Saving Shannie Foundation as an effort to provide tablets to non-verbal and verbally-challenged special needs children. They just speak a different language. We just have to understand their language and speak their lingo and get them comfortable with it – and it’s so comfortable now that she tells me what she wants to wear, her makeup choices- you know just having those conversations and being able to converse back and forth gives her that much more confidence. And that’s what we do for those families.”
Deanna is also an advocate for clean water in Denmark, SC. She has run for mayor and worked hard for civil and human rights.
“Knowing that you are able to help somebody who is in need, regardless of the need, if you’re able to step in- step in and do your best to make that difference. Being involved, getting engaged, and not just talking the talk but walking the walk as well, and encouraging other people to do the same and it’s just the most humbling feeling and it’s something that I strive to do every single day!”