One year ago, Brian Muller lost the love of his life, Amie. She died from pancreatic cancer.
"Some days are better than others," he told us. "I just wake up ever day and try and create joy in my kids' lives." Those kids, plus his stepdaughter, are the gifts that Amie left him.
"I'm trying to give them all the love I can, and all the love that Mommy had for them too," he added.
Amie's legacy lives on in them, and in the foundation that's named for her. It brought in $40,000 over the past year.
Brian said, "We were able to help six families with that money. All military families, with a diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. That's what the foundation is focused on right now. It was an honor to help those families like we were helped."
The foundation is also focused on awareness. Amie and her family believe her cancer was caused by exposure to toxic burn pits in Iraq. She was an airman with the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth.
According to the VA's website, more than 124,000 veterans have signed up for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Some have started getting physicals scheduled.
And in January, an administrative law judge ruled that open air burn pits are connected to lung disease. That's according to an article by Military Times.
It's progress in a fight that Senator Amy Klobuchar is a part of. Her legislation named 'Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act' did pass the Senate last September.
"Our bill basically says the VA needs to get its act together, and create this Center of Excellence, so this is not our next generation's agent orange," Klobuchar said. "My plan is to get it into the next big military bill."
Brian remains optimistic about the creation of that center, which would help veterans like Amie.
Meanwhile, he passes each day, with memories of her.
"A friend of mine said, now you're past all the firsts. No more first birthdays without her, no more first Thanksgiving without her or Christmas without her. Still, it doesn't change the fact that she's gone. And we miss her every day."
He hopes to raise another $40,000 or more this coming year, through the foundation.