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'Sharing Miracles' Television Program to Feature Olympic Legends Mark Spitz and Bruce Jenner
Date:7/31/2008

WASHINGTON, July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the world's attention focused on the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing this month, Sharing Miracles -- a 30-minute Sunday morning public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients -- will feature two of America's greatest Olympic athletes, Gold Medalists Mark Spitz and Bruce Jenner. Sharing Miracles now shows on 158 television stations across the United States.

Mark Spitz is considered one of the most dominant Olympic athletes ever, collecting a total of 11 medals, including a record-breaking seven Gold Medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics -- a record that U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps will be eyeing at this year's Beijing games. Spitz held 17 national records for his age group by the time he was 10 years old and retired from competitive swimming after his sweep at the Munich games.

Unfortunately, Spitz did something else at a young age: he discovered, at 38, that he had high cholesterol and was at risk of developing heart disease. Now, Spitz is an advocate for cholesterol testing and heart health, spurred by his personal battle.

Speaking on the newest episode of Sharing Miracles, Spitz says, "I realized that I have to get a message out to people: regardless of the way you think you are, you may be walking around with this silent killer. I was surprised that this could happen to me -- after all, I've worked out my whole life. But this can happen to anyone."

Another Olympic Hall of Famer, Bruce Jenner, captivated the world when he broke the world record by scoring 8,634 points in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, earning him the title of "World's Greatest Athlete." Since retiring from athletics, he has been a sports commentator, actor, and author; his most recent release is an inspirational book entitled Finding the Champion Within.

However, these achievements were not attained without a struggle. As a child, he suffered from attention deficit disorder and dyslexia, and his struggle to learn left him depressed. As he explains in this month's episode, "I failed second grade, and I suffered from terribly low self-esteem. I thought all of the kids were smarter than I was. My biggest fear was to go to school as a young kid because I was afraid that the teacher was going to ask me to read in front of the class."

Today, motivated by his own battles with ADD and dyslexia, he serves as an advisory board member for several foundations for the learning and mentally disabled, including the National Dyslexia Research Foundation and the Special Olympics.

Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Olympic Gold Medal-winning diver Greg Louganis, who is HIV positive; Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who suffers from clinical depression; 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 North Carolina State University women's basketball coach Kay Yow, a breast cancer survivor. Future programs will highlight Academy Award winner and patient advocate Marcia Gay Harden; NFL Hall of Famer, Super Bowl MVP and prostate cancer survivor Len Dawson; former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Star running back and asthma patient Jerome Bettis, now a commentator for the NFL Network and an NBC studio analyst for Football Night in America; and Emmy Award-winning television talk show host Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Sharing Miracles is produced by PhRMA's Communications & Public Affairs Department and hosted by PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin, a cancer survivor.

The new episode debuts August 3. Sharing Miracles airs on Sunday mornings - in 49 television markets, reaching nearly 45 million households - on the following network-affiliated stations:

WUSA-TV (CBS), Washington, DC, 12 noon-12:30 pm

KCOP-TV (MyTV), Los Angeles, CA, 10 am-10:30 am

WFLD-TV (FOX), Chicago, IL, 10 am-10:30am

WWOR-TV (MyTV), New York, NY, 9 am-9:30 am

WFTX-TV (FOX), Boston, MA, 11 am-11:30am

WBFF-TV (FOX), Baltimore, MD, 11:30 am-12 noon

WPHL-TV (MyTV), Philadelphia, PA, 11 am-11:30 am

WXIN-TV (FOX), Indianapolis, IN, 11:30 am-12 noon

WGCL-TV (CBS), Atlanta, GA, 7 am-7:30am

WCIA-TV (CBS), Springfield/Champaign/Urbana/Decatur, IL, 10:30 am-11 am

WLAJ-TV (ABC), Lansing, MI, 11 am-11:30 am

WNYT-TV (NBC), Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY, 11:30 am-12 noon

KQCA-TV (MyTV), Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA, 11:30 am-12 noon

KXTL-TV (MyTV), Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA, 6:30 am-7am

WBRZ-TV (ABC), Baton Rouge, LA, 11 am-11:30 am

WAPT-TV (ABC), Jackson, MS, 9 am-9:30 am

WOWK-TV (CBS), Charleston/Huntington, WV, 11:00 am-11:30 am

WSYX-TV (ABC), Columbus, OH, 7:30 am-8 am

WTVO-TV (ABC), Rockford, IL, 9 am-9:30 am

KGEM-TV (NBC), Quincy, IL, 11 am-11:30 am

WNAC-TV (FOX), Providence, RI, 10:30 am-11 am

WMTW-TV (ABC), Portland/Augusta, ME, 11:30 am-12 noon

KHBB-TV (ABC), Helena, MT, 10 am-10:30 am

KIVI-TV (ABC), Boise, ID, 8 am-8:30 am

WMBD-TV (CBS), Peoria, IL, 10 am-10:30 am

WTWC-TV (NBC), Tallahassee, FL, 10 am-10:30 am

WWL-TV (CBS), New Orleans, LA, 7:30 am-8 am

WOI-TV (ABC), Des Moines, IA, 6:30 am-7 am

WKOW-TV (ABC), Madison, WI, 11 am-11:30 am

KFBB-TV (ABC), Great Falls, MT, 10 am-10:30 am

WVNY-TV (ABC), Burlington/Montpelier, VT, 11:30 am-12 noon

WHBF-TV (CBS), Davenport, IA/Moline, IL, 10 am-10:30 am

KEYE-TV (CBS), Austin, TX, 10:30 am-11 am

KDEV-TV (ABC), Cheyenne, WY, 7:30 am-8:00 am

KTKA-TV (ABC), Topeka, KS, 8:30 am-9 am

WRAZ-TV (FOX), Raleigh, NC, 7:30 am-8 am

KATV-TV (ABC), Little Rock, AK, 10 am-10:30 am

KDLT-TV (NBC), Sioux Falls, SD, 9 am-9:30 am

WRLH-TV (FOX), Richmond, VA, 10 am-10:30 am

KWBQ-TV (CW), Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM, 10 am-10:30 am

KRCG-TV (CBS), Columbia/Jefferson City, MO, 10:30 am-11 am

WNCF-TV (ABC), Montgomery, AL, 9:30 am-10 am

KBMY-TV (ABC), Minot/Bismarck, ND, 9 am-9:30 am

KLKN-TV (ABC), Lincoln, NE, 10:30 am-11 am

WACH-TV (FOX), Columbia, SC, 11 am-11:30 am

WHTM-TV (ABC), Harrisburg, PA, 11 am-11:30 am

KXTU-TV (CW), Colorado Springs, CO, 10:30 am-11 am

KOCO-TV (ABC), Oklahoma City, OK, 11 am-11:30 am

WSIL-TV (ABC), Carbondale, IL/Paducah, KY/Cape Girardeau, MO, 10:30 am-11 am.

The show also airs on 109 community broadcast stations across the country. For free DVDs of Sharing Miracles, please contact the PhRMA press line at 202-835-3460 or go to http://www.sharingmiracles.com.

Community stations airing Sharing Miracles are located in the following cities: Harrison, AR; Mountain Home, AR; Chino Valley, AZ; Compton, CA; Del Mar, CA; Gilroy, CA; Hayward, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Aurora, CO; Longmont, CO; Bridgeport, CT; Hamden, CT; Hartford, CT; Madison, CT; North Haven, CT; Plainville, CT; Tampa, FL; Atlanta, GA; Douglasville, GA; Hilo, HI; Des Moines, IA; Mount Vernon, IA; Olin, IA; Mountain Home, ID; Aurora, IL; Batavia, IL; Bloomington, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Covington, KY; Vicksburg, KY; Lafayette, LA; Amherst, MA; Boston, MA; Carver, MA; Dracut, MA; East Longmeadow, MA; Easthampton, MA; Holden, MA; Hopkinton, MA; Lexington, MA; Lynn, MA; Marshfield, MA; Sandwich, MA; Worcester, MA; Brunswick, ME; Mexico, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Holland, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Bloomington, MN; Champlin, MN; Coon Rapids, MN; Duluth, MN; Fergus Falls, MN; Hutchinson, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Stillwater, MN; White Bear Lake, MN; Helena, MT; Columbia, MO; Vicksburg, MS; Albemarle, NC; Londonderry, NH; Manchester, NH; North Conway, NH; Princeton, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, NM; Minden, NV; Fairport, NY; Staten Island, NY; Tivoli, NY; Webster, NY; Macedonia, OH; Norwood, OH; Oregon City, OR; Silverton, OR; Berwyn, PA; Gettysburg, PA; McMurray, PA; Reading, PA; Murfreesboro, TN; Cedar City, UT; Hyde Park, VT; White River Junction, VT; Bainbridge Island, WA; Bremerton, WA; Kent, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Seattle, WA; Toppenish, WA; Janesville, WI; River Falls, WI; Whitehall, WI and Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

The show's corresponding Web site, http://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 http://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 $44.5 billion in 2007 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $58.8 billion in 2007.

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 information on the danger of imported drugs, visit: http://www.buysafedrugs.info


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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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