WASHINGTON, June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legendary pitcher Don Sutton will appear on June'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.
Sutton retired from the majors in 1988 after a remarkable 22-year career in which he won more than 300 games and struck out more than 3,000 batters – one of only 10 pitchers in Major League Baseball history to do so.
However, he is the only one of those 10 to have survived cancer.
Sutton was diagnosed with kidney cancer after getting a voluntary full-body scan on a whim. He fought the disease with the same tenacity that made him a legend on the mound. Speaking in this month's episode, he says, "I sat down with my oncologist and said, 'There are two rules we're going to play by. Number one: You're never going to lie to me and paint me a rosy picture. If I'm dying next week, tell me. Don't surprise me. And number two: Tell me what I need to do to beat it, and I will do it.' And I ended up beating it!"
Unfortunately, three years after beating kidney cancer, Sutton learned that the cancer had metastasized on his lungs. Faced with surgery and the removal of part of his lungs, Sutton made a bold decision and, under the guidance of his doctor, enrolled in a research program for a cancer retardant in development. "There aren't any road blocks for cancer, but it's a speed bump," he explains in the episode. "I've been on that medicine ever since."
He credits his upbringing with his survival. "The way I was raised helped me to defy cancer. My father never missed a day of work in his life, whether from rain, cold, sleet or hail. Starting from nothing was a positive for me because from a young age, I knew how to fight."
He adds, "The other thing that helped me is that there was never a day when I thought I was going to give up, or wanted to give up. Deep down inside, I knew there was a chance I would die of kidney cancer. But I decided that I was going to die with it, not from it, and I still believe that now."
America's biopharmaceutical research companies are doing what they can to give other patients the same chance that Sutton had. Millennium Pharmaceuticals scientist Dr. Natalie D'Amore appears on the episode to discuss research to treat cancer, for which more than 800 new medicines are currently in development.
Also appearing on the episode are World Series champions Jim Sundberg and Darryl Strawberry, who discuss Sutton's career in the MLB.
In addition, the program features Strawberry, Super Bowl champion and former Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis, and Leave It To Beaver star Jerry Mathers, who discuss how the Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help uninsured Americans find information about patient assistance programs that may help them to get the medicines they need for free or nearly free.
Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Bettis, Strawberry and Mathers, as well as actor Danny Glover, who suffered from epilepsy; Oscar- and Emmy- nominated actress Lorraine Bracco, who overcame clinical depression; Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, an advocate of breast cancer awareness; 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; Super Bowl Champion Tedy Bruschi, who recovered from a stroke to return to professional football; 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; Aaron Boone, a baseball star who returned to the field after undergoing open-heart surgery; and Boston Red Sox general manager Terry Francona, who lives with deep-vein thrombosis.
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; legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden, who lives with diabetes; Boston Red Sox star pitcher Jon Lester, who has battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins, who has diabetes; 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 325 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; Reading, 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; Fairfield, 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; Wausau, 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 $45.8 billion in 2009 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.3 billion in 2009.
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
SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America