Why Is Abby Lee in a Wheelchair


Abby Lee Miller, best known for her role as the demanding dance instructor in the reality TV show “Dance Moms,” is recognized not only for her passionate approach to dance but also for her resilience in the face of severe health challenges. Since 2018, Miller has been using a wheelchair due to a significant medical condition. Here, we delve into the circumstances that led to Miller’s current health situation.

Abby Lee Miller’s Health Journey

In April 2018, Abby Lee Miller was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a rare and aggressive type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The diagnosis came just after she had been released from prison, where she had served a 366-day sentence for bankruptcy fraud. Miller’s health problems began when she experienced severe neck pain and weakness in her arm. Seeking medical attention, she underwent emergency surgery for what doctors initially believed was a spinal infection.

However, upon further examination, doctors discovered that Miller was suffering from Burkitt lymphoma. This form of cancer can be particularly aggressive, impacting the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system, and can quickly spread to other parts of the body.

The Impact of Burkitt Lymphoma on Miller’s Mobility

Burkitt lymphoma affected Miller’s spinal cord, leading to rapidly progressing paralysis. Her treatment required multiple surgeries on her spine, which saved her life but led to a significant loss of motor function. Post-surgery, Miller underwent physical therapy to regain strength and mobility, but the extent of her illness and the impact of the surgeries led her to rely on a wheelchair for mobility.

Miller’s Journey to Recovery

Since her diagnosis, Miller has been open about her health struggles, frequently updating her fans about her journey through social media. She underwent chemotherapy and has made significant strides in her recovery, thanks in part to intensive rehabilitation. Despite her health challenges, she returned to “Dance Moms” for season 8 in 2019, leading the show from her wheelchair.

Physical therapy has been a significant part of Miller’s recovery process, helping her work on her strength and mobility. Over time, she has made remarkable progress. She has been working with various medical and physical therapy professionals, even showcasing her efforts to stand and walk again on her social media platforms.


Abby Lee Miller’s journey into a wheelchair is the result of a severe health crisis involving a rare type of cancer, Burkitt lymphoma, which required life-saving surgeries that affected her mobility. Her determination and resilience in the face of such a challenge are an inspiration to many. Through intensive rehabilitation, she has been working on regaining her strength and mobility, making significant progress on her path to recovery. Her journey serves as a reminder of the power of perseverance, the importance of health, and the value of a positive mindset during challenging times.

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