A sleight of the hand, a wave of the wand, a few magic words, and Artie the Magician brings smiles to pediatric cancer patients. For a brief moment, they forget about the treatments they are receiving during their hospital visit, and instead are wondering, “How did he do that?”
Artie Miller has been performing for over thirty years, but some of the most rewarding performances are for the children. A long time New York Giants fan and ticket holder, Miller reached out to the NFL franchise’s community relations department to find out how he could get involved in the Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund Foundation’s Sundae Blitz. Miller was a hit and has been volunteering his time to the Jay Fund for almost four years.
“I love doing the magic for the children. It is such a warm feeling, like Superman, like I could fly through the air. Just to get even half a smile makes it worth it,” said Miller.
Miller has been performing magic since he was five years old when he accidentally opened a birthday present – a magic set – that was meant for his cousin. He and his family had no idea it would turn into a lifelong passion. Miller went on to study under who he refers to as the “Michael Jordan of magicians,” Tony Slydini.
Millers perseverance has been met with success. Over the years Miller has had the pleasure of performing for celebrities like the late, great Muhammed Ali, Donald Trump, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi, and Will Smith. But the pediatric patients he performs for through the Jay Fund remain some of his favorite spectators, and his admiration of Tom Coughlin is genuine.
Miller said, “I cannot even imagine what it would be like having him on the field. He’s like MacArthur. He always gets people to step up to the plate. He’s incredible.”
To help celebrate National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Miller performed for pediatric cancer patients at the September 20th ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation sponsored pantry at the Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at NYU Langone Medical Center. The newly renovated pantry will serve as a much needed resource of comfort and nutrition for families when their child is receiving treatment.
“I like to give. I feel blessed to be a part of the Jay Fund,” offered Miller.
What magic trick grabs the attention of the patients? Miller said, “Magicians use sponge rabbits. I use sponge Gremlins. I place one in my hand and one in their hand. And they jump from my hand to their hand. They ask how’d you do that, how’d you do that? And then I take them both and place them back in their hands, and they say the magic words and they multiply. They love that.”