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'Sharing Miracles' Television Program to Feature Super Bowl-Winning Running Back Jerome Bettis
Date:12/3/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the football season reaches its climax, Sharing Miracles, a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients, will feature Super Bowl-winning running back and likely Hall-of-Famer Jerome Bettis. Sharing Miracles now airs on more than 200 television stations across the United States.

Bettis -- known in the sports world as "The Bus" -- was 14 years old when he was first diagnosed with asthma. In this month's episode, he says: "Initially I thought that with asthma, I couldn't be involved in any sports or other activities. Thankfully, my mother encouraged me, instead of discouraged me, to play. She said, 'As long as you take your medicine, the doctor told me that you will be fine.' But, as I got older, I had to take serious steps to control my asthma."

Jerome Bettis had a stellar career - first, during four years at the University of Notre Dame, and then a 12-year career in the National Football League with the St. Louis Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, despite his NFL success, the disease that he calls his "toughest linebacker" still managed to knock him down occasionally.

In 1997, while playing with the Steelers, he had a severe asthma attack during a nationally televised game. "Up until I had that asthma attack, I always felt that asthma was a situation that I would deal with it as needed," he says. However, that frightening incident altered his view of the disease: "I realized that I was in a life-threatening situation, and I needed to do everything I could do, in my power, to understand what I was dealing with and what I was stricken with. At that point, my life changed."

For the rest of his career, he says, he made a stronger effort to "manage and monitor myself to make sure that I was in the right condition in order to be able to play."

The tenacity that he displayed on the field and in dealing with his condition paid off, and in 2005 - his final season in the NFL - he helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Now, he works hard as a patient advocate, helping to assure children with asthma that they, too, can pursue their dreams. "I tell kids with asthma to not let their situation become a liability. Understand what you have. Learn how to manage it and learn how to deal with it on a daily basis and you can be successful. If I was able to overcome this, then you can overcome it."

Also helping asthma patients overcome their illness are scientists at America's pharmaceutical research companies. According to a recent survey, 77 potential new medicines are in development for lung and respiratory disorders, including asthma.

Also featured on the episode is GlaxoSmithKline scientist and asthma expert Dr. Courtney Crim who says, "Although a cure for asthma may not be immediately around the corner, we hope that current and future research may give us more insight into the disease and more insight how to better treat it."

He adds: "Even though we may or may not be able to cure it in the near or relatively near future, it hopefully will allow us to better manage the disease so that patients can live a more fulfilling life in terms of their overall health status and sense of well-being."

Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, a breast cancer advocate; Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who suffers from clinical depression; 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; Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Len Dawson, who survived prostate cancer; and North Carolina State University women's basketball coach Kay Yow, a breast cancer survivor. January's Sharing Miracles will feature Grammy Award-winning country singer and hepatitis C survivor Naomi Judd.

The new episode debuts December 7. Sharing Miracles airs on Sunday mornings -- in 52 television markets, reaching nearly 50 million households -- on the following network-affiliated stations:

  • WTTG-TV (FOX), Washington, DC, 10:30 am-11:00 am
  • KCOP-TV (MyTV), Los Angeles, CA, 10 am-10:30 am
  • WMAQ-TV (NBC), Chicago, IL, 11:30 am-12 noon
  • WWOR-TV (MyTV), New York, NY, 9 am-9:30 am
  • WFTX-TV (FOX), Boston, MA, 11 am-11:30 am
  • WBFF-TV (FOX), Baltimore, MD, 11 am-11:30 am
  • 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-7:30 am
  • KABB-TV (FOX), San Antonio, TX, 8 am-8:30 am
  • 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 (FOX), Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA, 6:30 am-7 am
  • 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), Rock Island, IL/Davenport, IA, 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
  • KLRT-TV (FOX), Little Rock, AR, 9 am-9:30 am
  • KDLT-TV (NBC), Sioux Falls, SD, 9 am-9:30 am
  • WRLH-TV (FOX), Richmond, VA, 10 am-10:30 am
  • KTBY-TV (FOX), Anchorage, AK, 6 am-6:30 am
  • KXD-TV (CBS), Fairbanks, AK, 5:30 am-6 am
  • KWBQ-TV (CW), Albuquerque/Sante 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 172 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 www.sharingmiracles.com.

Community stations airing Sharing Miracles are located in the following cities: Decatur, AL; Harrison, AR; Mountain Home, AR; Casa Grande, AZ; Chino Valley, AZ; Claremont, CA; Compton, CA; Del Mar, CA; Gilroy, CA; Hayward, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Andreas, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Aurora, CO; Golden, CO; Longmont, CO; Thornton, CO; Bridgeport, CT; Hamden, CT; Hartford, CT; Madison, CT; North Haven, CT; Plainville, CT; Brooksville, FL; Tampa, FL; Palm Coast, FL; Atlanta, GA; Douglasville, GA; Fort Oglethorpe, GA; Hilo, HI; Des Moines, IA; Mount Vernon, IA; Olin, IA; Muscatine, IA; Mountain Home, ID; Pocatello, ID; Addison, IL; Aurora, IL; Batavia, IL; Glen Ellyn, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Naperville, IL; Bloomington, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Lawrence, KS; Covington, KY; Highland Heights, KY; Houma, LA; Lafayette, LA; New Orleans, LA; Amherst, MA; Arlington, MA; Boston, MA; Brookline, MA; Carver, MA; Chelmsford, MA; Dracut, MA; East Longmeadow, MA; Easthampton, MA; Foxboro, MA; Holden, MA; Hopkinton, MA; Leominster, MA; Lexington, MA; Longmeadow, MA; Lynn, MA; Marion, MA; Marshfield, MA; Sandwich, MA; Worcester, MA; Easton, MD; Greenbelt, MD; Largo, MD; Bridgton, ME; Brunswick, ME; Mexico, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Holland, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Lake Orion, MI; Manistee, 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; Minneapolis, MN; Rosemont, MN; Spring Park, MN; Stillwater, MN; White Bear Lake, MN; Helena, MT; Columbia, MO; Vicksburg, MS; Albemarle, NC; Fargo, ND; Hastings, NE; Omaha, NE; Claremont, NH; Derry, NH; Durham, NH; Londonderry, NH; Manchester, NH; North Conway, NH; Wolfeboro, NH; Metuchen, NJ; Princeton, NJ; Statewide, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, NM; Taos, NM; Minden, NV; Chappaqua, NY; Fairport, NY; Staten Island, NY; Tivoli, NY; Webster, NY; Athens, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Defiance, OH; Fairborn, OH; Hudson; OH; Macedonia, OH; Norwood, OH; Perry, OK; Oregon City, OR; Silverton, OR; Ardmore, PA; Berwyn, PA; Gettysburg, PA; McMurray, PA; Reading, PA; Wayne, PA; Murfreesboro, TN; Denton, TX; Houston, TX; Cedar City, UT; Logan, UT; Blacksburg, VA; Bristol, VT; Herndon, VA; Hyde Park, VT; Manchester Center, VT; Middlebury, VT; Newport, VT; Springfield, VT; White River Junction, VT; Bainbridge Island, WA; Bremerton, WA; Ellensburg, WA; Kent, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Seattle, WA; Toppenish, WA; Janesville, WI; Muskego, WI; River Falls, WI; Whitehall, WI and Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

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 patientsaccess 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 $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://www.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

    CONTACT:
    Kate Michael
    (202) 835-3460


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

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