‘Sharing Miracles’ Television Program to Feature Super-Bowl Winner, Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka

‘Sharing Miracles’ Television Program to Feature Super-Bowl Winner, Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka

Washington, DC (June 3, 2009) – Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka, one of the most popular figures in the history of professional sports, will be the subject of this month’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 every Sunday morning on more than 310 television stations nationwide. Known for his flamboyant style, “Da Coach” is one of only two people ever to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach. 

Mike Ditka began his professional career in football in 1961 with the Chicago Bears, where he was a Pro Bowl choice during his first five seasons. Later, he moved to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, where he helped legendary Coach Tom Landry win his first Super Bowl. When he retired as a player after the 1972 season, he ranked second among all tight ends in receptions. 

Upon retiring, Ditka joined the Cowboys staff as an assistant coach and remained there for nine seasons. In 1982, he returned to Chicago as the head coach of the Bears, turning around a troubled football program to lead the team to six NFC Central titles, three trips to the NFC championship game, and a Super Bowl victory in 1986. He remained with the team until 1992, four years after being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. 

Unfortunately, the pressure to win that drove Ditka to victory for so many years also caused him damage, and in 1988, he suffered a heart attack. “My heart attack was brought about by stress,” he says in this month’s episode of Sharing Miracles. “I always put an emphasis on being first, on winning, and after a while, I think it took its toll.” 

“After my heart attack, my lifestyle changed; I ate better, I exercised. But I don’t think my tension changed and I don’t think my attitude changed,” he adds. “It scared me, it put the fear of God in me, and I did a lot of things differently. But the stress was still tremendous, and I didn’t deal with it any differently.” 

Ultimately, it took another scare to get him to change his ways. Six years after suffering a heart attack, Ditka had to undergo an angioplasty to repair a clogged artery. “Now, I’ve learned how to control my stress. Winning is the farthest thing from my mind now.” 

He speaks about the important role that awareness plays in his health: “You take life for granted until you come face to face with the reality that you're not going to be around forever. I thought to myself, ‘I’m Iron Mike. I’m invincible.’ You’ve got to understand that you’re not taking this trip through life alone.” 

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. With 865,000 heart attacks a year in the U.S., someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds. 

That’s why America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are committed to discovering new medicines to treat heart disease and stroke. In fact, today there are 312 potential new medicines in development for the diseases, including 16 for heart attack, 33 for heart failure, and 11 for coronary artery disease. 

Speaking in the new episode about the methods for treating and controlling cardiovascular disease is Eli Lilly and Company scientist Dr. Anthony Ware. “It’s been shown very clearly that reducing levels of bad cholesterol has a beneficial effect in patients in whom it’s elevated. This can be done through a variety of measures, including diet, exercise and weight loss, and also with the use of medicines, which now are very powerful at reducing levels of bad cholesterol.” 

The episode also includes an interview with fellow Pro-Football Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach. 

Upcoming episodes of Sharing Miracles will feature rapper and actor Ice-T, who lost both of his parents to heart attacks; actor Danny Glover, who battles epilepsy; and four-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry, who overcame colon cancer. 

Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, a breast cancer advocate; Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Naomi Judd, who overcame Hepatitis C; Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who suffers from clinical depression; Super Bowl Champion and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who has asthma; two-time NCAA tournament-winning University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun, who has overcome cancer three times; NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins; Boston Red Sox star pitcher Jon Lester, who has battled leukemia; 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; actor and Leave It To Beaver star Jerry Mathers, who is affected by diabetes; 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. 

The new episode debuts June 7. Sharing Miracles airs on Sunday mornings on the following network-affiliated stations:

  • KFBB-TV (ABC) Great Falls, MT, 10 am-10:30 am
  • KUCW-TV (CW) Salt Lake City, UT, 7:30 am-8 am
  • KAME-TV (MyTV) Reno, NV, 9 am-9:30 am
  • KPDX-TV (MyTV) Portland, OR, 10 am-10:30 am
  • KOCB-TV (CW) Oklahoma City, OK, 9 am-9:30 am
  • KVMY-TV (MyTV) Las Vegas, NV, 9 am-9:30 am
  • KWGN-TV (CW) Denver, CO, 6:30 am-7 am
  • WPHL-TV (MyTV) Cherry Hill, NJ, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WSIL-TV (ABC) Cape Girardeau, MO, 10:30 am-11 am
  • WSIL-TV (ABC) Paducah, KY, 10:30 am-11 am
  • WSIL-TV (ABC) Carbondale, IL, 10:30 am-11 am
  • KTBY-TV (FOX) Anchorage, AK, 6 am-6:30 am
  • WNYA-TV (MyTV) Albany, NY, 8 am-8:30 am
  • KGEM-TV (NBC) Quincy, IL, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WTOV-TV (ABC) Rockford, IL, 10:30 am-11 am
  • KDEV-TV (ABC) Cheyenne, WY, 7:30 am-8:00 am
  • KLKN-TV (ABC) Lincoln, NE, 10:30 am-11 am
  • KBMY-TV (ABC) Minot/Bismarck, ND, 9 am-9:30 am
  • KDLT-TV (NBC) Sioux Falls, SD, 9 am-9:30 am
  • KLRT-TV (FOX) Little Rock, AR, 9:30 am-10 am
  • KEYE-TV (CBS) Austin, TX, 7:30 am-8 am
  • WHBF-TV (CBS) Davenport, IA, 10 am-10:30 am
  • WHBF-TV (CBS) Rock Island, IL, 10 am-10:30 am
  • WOI-TV (ABC) Des Moines, IA, 6:30 am-7 am
  • WMBD-TV (CBS) Peoria, IL, 10 am-10:30 am
  • KHBB-TV (ABC) Helena, MT, 10 am-10:30 am
  • WMTW-TV (ABC) Portland/Augusta, ME, 11:30 am-12 noon
  • WOWK-TV (CBS) Charleston/Huntington, WV, 11:30 am-12 noon
  • WAPT-TV (ABC) Jackson, MS, 9 am-9:30 am
  • WACH-TV (FOX) Columbia, SC, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WLAJ-TV (ABC) Lansing, MI, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WNCF-TV (ABC) Montgomery, AL, 9:30 am-10 am
  • WHTM-TV (ABC) Harrisburg, PA, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WNAC-TV (FOX) Providence, RI, 10:30 am-11 am
  • WRLH-TV (FOX) Richmond, VA, 10 am-10:30 am
  • KTKA-TV (ABC) Topeka, KS, 8:30 am-9 am
  • WBRZ-TV (ABC) Baton Rouge, LA, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WCIA-TV (CBS) Springfield/Champaign/Urbana/Decatur, IL, 10:30 am-11 am
  • WTWC-TV (NBC) Tallahassee, FL, 10 am-10:30 am
  • WWL-TV (CBS) New Orleans, LA, 7:30 am-8 am
  • KTXL-TV (FOX) Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA, 6:30 am-7 am
  • WSYX-TV (ABC) Columbus, OH, 7:30 am-8 am
  • WRAZ-TV (FOX) Raleigh, NC, 7:30 am-8 am
  • WCTX-TV (MyTV) Hartford/New Haven, CT, 9-9:30 am
  • WNAB-TV (CW) Nashville, TN, 10-10:30 am
  • KABB-TV (FOX) San Antonio, TX, 8 am-8:30 am
  • WXIN-TV (FOX) Indianapolis, IN, 11:30 am-12 noon
  • WUTB-TV (MyTV) Baltimore, MD, 9 am-9:30
  • WPHL-TV (MyTV) Philadelphia, PA, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WDCA-TV (MyTV) Washington, DC, 9 am-9:30 am

The show also airs on 274 community broadcast stations across the country. For free DVDs ofSharing Miracles, please contact the PhRMA press line at 202-835-3460.

 

Community stations airing Sharing Miracles are located in the following cities: Anchorage, AK; Decatur, AL; Harrison, AR; Mountain Home, AR; Casa Grande, AZ; Chandler, AZ; Chino Valley, AZ; Tempe, AZ; Anaheim/Anaheim Hills, Villa Park, CA; Brea, LaHabra, La Habra Heights, Yorba Linda, CA; Buena Park, Fullerton, Placentia, Santa Ana, CA; Compton, CA; Del Mar, CA; Gilroy, CA; Hayward, CA; Oceanside, CA; Pacifica, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Andreas, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Arvada, CO; Aurora, CO; Fort Collins, CO; Golden, CO; Longmont, CO; Northglenn, CO; Thornton, CO; Bridgeport, CT; East Haven, CT; Hamden, CT; Hartford, CT; Madison, CT; North Haven, CT; Plainville, CT; Simsbury, CT; Wallingford, CT; Waterbury, CT; Windsor, CT; Brooksville, FL; Cape Coral, FL; Coral Springs, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Myers, FL; MacDill AFB, FL; Palm Coast, FL; Tampa, FL; Vero Beach, FL; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, GA; Douglasville, GA; Ft. Oglethorpe, GA; Hilo, HI; Ames, IA; Coralville, IA; Des Moines, IA; Fairfield, IA; Mount Vernon, IA; Muscatine, IA; North Liberty, IA; Olin, IA; Boise, ID; Coeur d'Alene, ID; Addison, IL; Aurora, IL; Batavia, IL; Darien, IL; Galesburg, IL; Glen Ellyn, IL; Glenview, IL; Highland Park, IL; Joliet, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Naperville, IL; Plainfield, IL; Romeoville, IL; Urbana, IL; Wheaton, IL; Austin, IN; Bloomington, IN; Connersville, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Richmond, IN; Haysville, KS; Lawrence, KS; Olathe, KS; Ottawa, KS; Covington, KY; Highland Heights, KY; Louisville, KY; Bossier City, LA; Houma, LA; Lafayette, LA; Mandeville, LA; New Orleans, LA; Amherst, MA; Arlington, MA; Boston, MA; Brookline, MA; Carver, MA; Chelmsford, MA; Dracut, MA; Easthampton, MA; Foxboro, MA; Holden, MA; Hopkinton, MA; Leominster, MA; Lexington, MA; Longmeadow, MA; Lynn, MA; Marion, MA; Sandwich, MA; Wakefield, MA; Worcester, MA; Easton, MD; Greenbelt, MD; Largo, MD; Rockville, MD; Bath, ME; Boothbay Harbor, ME; Bridgton, ME; Brunswick, ME; Madison, ME; Mexico, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Holland, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Lake Orion, MI; Manistee, MI; Monroe, MI; Portage, MI; Romeo, MI; Wyandotte, MI; Blaine, MN; Bloomington, MN; Champlin, MN; Coon Rapids, MN; Duluth, MN; Fergus Falls, MN; Hibbing, MN; Hutchinson, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Rosemont, MN; Spring Park, MN; Stillwater, MN; White Bear Lake, MN; Columbia, MO; Hillsboro, MO; Independence, MO; Ste. Genevieve, MO; Vicksburg, MS; Great Falls, MT; Helena, MT; Albemarle, NC; Charlotte, NC; Knightdale, NC; New Bern, NC; Fargo, ND; Grand Island, NE; Hastings, NE; Lincoln, NE; Omaha, NE; Claremont, NH; Derry, NH; Durham, NH; Londonderry, NH; Manchester, NH; North Conway, NH; Wolfeboro, NH; Bloomfield, NJ; Metuchen, NJ; Pomona, NJ; Princeton, NJ; Statewide, NJ; Wayne, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, 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; 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; Bath, PA; Berwyn, PA; Bethel Park, PA; Gettysburg, PA; Harrisburg, PA; McMurray, PA; Moon Township, PA; Pottstown, PA; Reading, PA; Wayne, PA; York, PA; Rock Hill, SC; Union, SC; Clarksville, TN; Franklin, TN; Germantown, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; Arlington, TX; College Station, TX; Denton, TX; Houston, TX; Kingsville, TX; Cedar City, UT; Cedar City, UT; Logan, UT; Salt Lake City, UT; Blacksburg, VA; Hampton, VA; Herndon, VA; Norfolk, VA; Roanoke, VA; Suffolk, VA; Barre, VT; Bellows Falls, VT; Bristol, VT; Burlington, VT; Hyde Park, VT; Manchester Center, VT; Middlebury, VT; Newport, VT; Springfield, VT; Waitsfield, VT; Bainbridge Island, WA; Bremerton, WA; Ellensburg, WA; Kent, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Seattle, WA; Toppenish, WA; Dodgeville, WI; Eau Claire, WI; Hartford, WI; Janesville, WI; Kenosha, WI; Lake Mills, WI; Muskego, WI; New London, WI; Reedsburg, WI; River Falls, WI; Sun Prairie, WI; Superior, WI; Waterloo, WI; Wausau, WI; Whitehall, WI; Wisconsin Rapids, WI 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 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

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