BYU WR Dax Milne Cherishes Mother’s Day More Than Ever After His Mom Defeated Cancer

May 10, 2020, 1:00 AM | Updated: May 11, 2020, 12:56 am

PROVO, Utah – As BYU wide receiver Dax Milne was preparing for his first year as a college football player in 2018, he was doing so with a heavy heart.

Months prior to his arrival at BYU, Milne found out that his mother, Jill Milne was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

“I always had that attitude that bad things happened to other people kind of thing. Then all of a sudden my mom sat me down and said, Dax, I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer,” said Milne.

“At that point, I was kind of in shock, I couldn’t really believe it. But I always had a feeling that it would all work out.”

Growing up Dax’s father, Darren Milne, a former BYU baseball star in the early 1990s, had always been the parent that dealt with sports according to Dax. But Jill has always been Dax’s “number one cheerleader” and supported him through all of his athletic accomplishments at Bingham High School and BYU. According to Dax, his mom is a “sweet woman with not a bad hair on her body.”

So navigating a battle with cancer was a difficult time for the Milne family.

Because of Jill’s diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer, she wasn’t able to be Dax’s cheerleader early on in his true freshman season as she wasn’t in attendance for his games. Including Milne’s first career start for BYU in the Cougars win at No. 6 Wisconsin.

“She felt so bad that she couldn’t come and I always tried to tell her, I get it, you can’t come. But I knew she was cheering me on from home.”

Challenging times, but optimism never wavered

Jill Milne had to go to the doctor every couple of months because after initially having surgery on her colon, cancer spread to her liver and then to her lungs. But throughout it all, she continued to have a positive outlook.

For Dax, trying to focus on football and school became difficult as he knew his mom was going through a battle no one should have to experience.

“I’m gonna be honest, it was challenging,” said Dax. “She for sure wanted me to stay focused on football and try not to get distracted by her health. Not a lot of people knew what was going on and I wouldn’t expect anyone to know. I didn’t have too many people to lean on but I had enough and some of my friends on the football team knew. It was rough, but I got through it.”


After an entire year of surgeries and doctor visits, the good news that the Milne’s had always been hoping for came true before the final game of Dax’s freshman season in 2018. Jill Milne was officially cancer-free, one year to the day after she being diagnosed with cancer.

“Just so much relief and happiness to find that out as a family, a lot of weight goes off your shoulders. I was excited to share that with everyone on social media to keep them in the loop.”

Now since Jill’s cancer-free diagnosis, Dax said all the related scans have come back clean and they hope that it will continue like that.

Mother’s Day means more than ever for Dax Milne

Mother’s Day is a great day to celebrate the women who sacrifice to take on one of the most important jobs in the world and be a mother. Since his mother went through a severe battle with cancer, days like Mother’s Day have taken on greater significance to celebrate his mom.

“It means a lot more because I know hearts could have been dealt a different way and she might not have been with me today. So, it means a lot that I’m able to share these Mother’s Days with her and treat her like the great woman she is.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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