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Finding another gear

Dan Miller

Story by Marcus Wilkins | Photo by Rob Hill

For self-described “lone wolf” Dan Miller, mountain biking provides a meditative solitude. Miller, who is earning doctorates in medicine and pathobiology, distanced himself from the pack enough to nab a gold medal in the 34-and-under age group July 29, 2012, in the Show-Me State Games’ mountain bike race in Columbia.

But when he found himself unable to speak after surgery to remove his cancerous thyroid gland in 2005, the isolation was terrifying. “One of the risks of the procedure was that they would cut a nerve to my voice box,” says Miller of Clayton, Mo. “When I woke, I couldn’t talk because my throat had been intubated, but I didn’t know why at the time. It was a nightmare.”

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