‘Sharing Miracles’ Television Program to Feature Professional Basketball Legend Alonzo Mourning
‘Sharing Miracles’ Television Program to Feature Professional Basketball Legend Alonzo Mourning
Washington, DC (February 3, 2010) – Basketball great Alonzo Mourning will be featured on February’s episode of Sharing Miracles – a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients. Sharing Miracles airs on more than 300 television stations nationwide.
Mourning was one of the top professional basketball players of his era, a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, when he was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a rare and life-threatening genetic kidney disease.
In this month’s episode, he discusses his surprise upon receiving his diagnosis: “I was shocked when they told me. I was looked at as the picture of health. As a professional athlete, I was always praised because I kept myself in great condition. I had always relied on my strength because I was an under-sized center. I never imagined I would get sick.”
He was told that he would need dialysis and a kidney transplant. To many, Alonzo Mourning’s career in the NBA was over. However, he defied expectations and fought his way back to the basketball court the year after receiving a transplanted kidney in late 2003.
Also appearing in this month’s episode of Sharing Miracles is Mourning’s close friend and former Miami Heat teammate Shaquille O’Neal, who says: “On the court he was a fierce competitor. He wasn’t scared of anybody and he never backed down to anybody. He was a great player – a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. Off the court, he is kind, gentle – well-liked and respected. Once we were on the same team, I saw a guy who never complained about his kidney ailment, and never complained about the 60 to 70 pills he had to take every day.”
Pat Riley, who coached both Mourning and O’Neal on the NBA Championship-winning 2006 Heat, added: “What he had, more than any player I ever coached, was this strength that came from inside. And that attitude that he had developed throughout the course of his career as a player he brought to every aspect of his life.”
Mourning attributes his recovery to his positive attitude throughout his illness: “The key to my recovery was resilience. I worked hard to stay confident. It’s human to have doubts, but I felt that if I stayed positive, my body would follow the mind. I could easily have given up. But if I had given up, I wouldn’t be a world champion today. Without a dream, there’s never a dream come true. Because of all of the things that I had to go through personally, and because of the journey that I had to take, I appreciate life more. This is something that I’ll carry in my heart for the rest of my life.”
Working hard to help kidney disease patients like Mourning are researchers at America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. In fact, there are currently more than 100 potential new medicines in development for kidney and bladder disorders.
Also featured in this month’s episode of Sharing Miracles are Super Bowl Champion Jerome Bettis, who has asthma, and Leave It To Beaver star Jerry Mathers, who has diabetes. The two stars talk about their involvement with the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) and how important it is for patients to have access to the medicines they need to live stronger, healthier, more productive lives.
Future episodes of the program will feature Academy Award-nominated actress Lorraine Bracco, who suffered from depression; famed former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, who has diabetes; and Boston Red Sox general manager Terry Francona, who battles deep vein thrombosis.
Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Bettis and Mathers as well as Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, an advocate of breast cancer awareness; actor Danny Glover, who suffered from epilepsy; legendary Major League Baseball manager and cancer survivor Joe Torre; Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Naomi Judd, who overcame Hepatitis C; pioneering rapper and actor Ice-T, who speaks about his battle with heart disease; baseball great Darryl Strawberry, who twice beat colon cancer; former Philadelphia Phillies star and ESPN commentator John Kruk, who overcame testicular cancer; Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who suffers from clinical depression; Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka, who suffers from heart disease; Super Bowl Champion Tedy Bruschi, who recovered from a stroke to return to professional football; and Aaron Boone, a baseball star who returned to the field after undergoing open-heart surgery.
Other guests on the show have included two-time NCAA tournament-winning University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun, who has overcome cancer three times; NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins, who has diabetes; Boston Red Sox star pitcher Jon Lester, who has battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Emmy-nominated former star of Family Ties Meredith Baxter, who survived breast cancer; Olympic gold medal winners Mark Spitz (high cholesterol), Bruce Jenner (attention deficit disorder), and Greg Louganis (HIV); syndicated television talk show host Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis; pop icon and Broadway star Deborah Gibson, who has suffered from devastating anxiety attacks; and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and Super Bowl Champion Len Dawson, who survived prostate cancer.
'Sharing Miracles' airs on 323 television stations across the country in the following cities:
Anchorage, AK; Decatur, AL; Harrison, AR; Jones, AR; Mountain Home, AR; Tempe, AZ; Bath, ME; Casa Grande, AZ; Chino Valley, AZ; Anaheim, CA; Compton, CA; Coralville, CO; Del Mar, CA; Gilroy, CA; Hayward, CA; Pacifica, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; San Andreas, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Arvada, CO; Aurora, CO; Fort Collins, CO; Golden, CO; Greeley, CO; Longmont, CO; Northglenn, CO; Thornton, CO; Bridgeport, CT; Canaan, CT; East Haven, CT; Hamden, CT; Hartford, CT; Madison, CT; North Haven, CT; Plainville, CT; Simsbury, CT; Wallingford, CT; Brooksville, FL; Cape Coral, FL; Coral Springs, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Myers, FL; Port Orange, FL; MacDill AFB, FL; Tampa, FL; Palm Coast, FL; Vero Beach, FL; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, GA; Douglasville, GA; Fort Oglethorpe, GA; LaGrange, GA; Lawrenceville, GA; Hilo, HI; Ames, IA; Des Moines, IA; Fairfield, IA; Mount Vernon, IA; Olin, IA; Muscatine, IA; Boise, ID; Coeur d’Alene, ID ; Moscow, ID ; Soda Springs, ID ; Addison, IL; Aurora, IL; Batavia, IL; Darien, IL; Galesburg, IL; Glen Ellyn, IL; Glenview, IL; Joliet, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Naperville, IL; Plainfield, IL; Peoria, IL; Rock Island, IL; Romeoville, IL; Urbana, IL; Wheaton, IL; Austin, IN; Bloomington, IN; Connersville, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Richmond, IN; Derby, KS; Haysville, KS; Lawrence, KS; Olathe, KS; Ottawa, KS; Covington, KY; Highland Heights, KY; Louisville, KY; Middlesboro, KY; Paducah, KY Bossier City, LA; Houma, LA; Lafayette, LA; Mandeville, LA; New Orleans, LA; Amherst, MA; Arlington, MA; Boston, MA; Boylston, MA; Brookline, MA; Carver, MA; Chelmsford, MA; Dracut, MA; Easthampton, MA; Foxboro, MA; Framingham, MA; Haverhill, MA; Holden, MA; Hopkinton, MA; Leominster, MA; Longmeadow, MA; Lynn, MA; Marion, MA; Newburyport, MA; Quincy, MA; Sandwich, MA; Wakefield, MA; Wilbraham, MA; Worcester, MA; Bel Air, MD; Columbia, MD; Easton, MD; Greenbelt, MD; Largo, MD; Rockville, MD; Bath, ME; Boothbay Harbor, ME; Bridgton, ME; Brunswick, ME; Farmington, ME; Madison, ME; Mexico, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Byron, MI; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Holland, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Lake Orion, MI; Manistee, MI; Monroe, MI; Portage, MI; Romeo, MI; Waterford, MI; Wyandotte, MI; Blaine, MN; Bloomington, MN; Champlin, MN; Coon Rapids, MN; Duluth, MN; Fergus Falls, MN; Hibbing, MN; Hutchinson, MN; Inver Grove Heights, MN; Le Seuer, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Rosemont, MN; Spring Park, MN; Stillwater, MN; White Bear Lake, MN; Brentwood, MI; Hudsonville, MI; Blue Springs, MO; Columbia, MO; Independence, MO; Ste. Genevieve, MO; Hillsboro, MS; Jackson, MS; Vicksburg, MS; Great Falls, MT; Helena, MT; Albemarle, NC; Charlotte, NC; Knightdale, NC; New Bern, NC; Wingate, NC; Fargo, ND; Jamestown, ND; Grand Island, NE; Hastings, NE; Lincoln, NE; Omaha, NE; Claremont, NH; Derry, NH; Durham, NH; Keene, NH; Londonderry, NH; Manchester, NH; North Conway, NH; Wolfeboro, NH; Bloomfield, NJ; Jersey City, NJ; Metuchen, NJ; Montclair, NJ; Piscataway, NJ; Pomona, NJ; Princeton, NJ; Statewide, NJ; Summit, NJ; Wayne, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, NM; Rio Rancho, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Taos, NM; Boulder City, NV; Carson City, NV; Minden, NV; Chappaqua, NY; Fairport, NY; Penfield, NY; Staten Island, NY; Tivoli, NY; Webster, NY; Yonkers, NY; Athens, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Defiance, OH; Fairborn, OH; Hudson; OH; Macedonia, OH; Medina, OH; Middletown, OH; Norwood, OH; Troy, OH; Wadsworth, OH; Perry, OK; Oregon City, OR; Silverton, OR; Ardmore, PA; Berwyn, PA; Bethel Park, PA; Gettysburg, PA; Harrisburg, PA; McMurray, PA; Moon Township, PA; Pottstown, PA; Reading, PA; Wayne, PA; York, PA; Greenville, SC; Rockhill, SC; Union, SC; Clarksville, TN; Franklin, TN; Germantown, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; Alvin, TX; Arlington, TX; College Station, TX; Denton, TX; Houston, TX; Kingsville, TX; Cedar City, UT; Logan, UT; Salt Lake City, UT; Vernal, UT; Blacksburg, VA; Gloucester, VA; Herndon, VA; Norfolk, VA; Roanoke, VA; Suffolk, VA; Barre, VT; Bellow Falls, VT; Burlington, VT; Hyde Park, VT; Manchester Center, VT; Newport, VT; Springfield, VT; Waitsfield, VT; Bainbridge Island, WA; Bremerton, WA; College Park, WA; Ellensburg, WA; Kent, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Seattle, WA; Toppenish, WA; Dodgeville, WI;Fitchburg, WI; Hartford, WI; Janesville, WI; Lake Mills, WI; Kenosha, WI; Madison, WI; Merrill, WI; Muskego, WI; New London, WI; Reedsburg, WI; River Falls, WI; Sun Prairie, WI; Superior, WI; Waterloo, WI; Wenatchee, WI; Whitehall, WI; Wisconsin Rapids, WI; Huntington, WV; and Summersville, WV.
The show’s corresponding Web site, www.sharingmiracles.com, is an interactive forum for people to relate their own personal stories of hope and survival. Every patient’s battle is unique, but the collective power of shared experiences can offer great help and courage to others who are fighting for their lives.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps uninsured and financially-struggling patients access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. To find out if they may qualify for help, patients should call toll-free 1-888-4PPA-NOW to speak with a trained specialist or visit www.pparx.org.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
PhRMA Internet Address: http://www.phrma.org
For information on stories of hope and survival, visit: http://sharingmiracles.com/
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For more information on public health emergencies, visit: http://www.rxresponse.org
For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit: http://www.buysafedrugs.info