Former Detroit Lions president Mat Millen suffers from a rare disease that could force him to seek a heart transplant. Millen, 60, suffers from amyloidosis, he told The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The condition occurs when the amyloid accumulates in the bone marrow and eventually reaches the tissue or organs. As the disease progresses, the protein can disrupt the healthy tissue around it, causing organ failure. In Millen, the disease is attacking the heart, according to the newspaper, and the symptoms are not usually obvious at first. According to The Morning Call, Millen's heart works at 30 percent capacity, and it is believed that he will eventually need a transplant. To help with the treatment, Millen has undergone chemotherapy once a week for the past eight months. It is believed that chemotherapy slows down abnormal cell growth.
Millen, a former ESPN employee who still serves as an analyst for the Big Ten Network, began experiencing symptoms of the disease seven years ago when he felt chest pain after exercise. He underwent tests over the next six years, without diagnosis, before the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, diagnosed him with amyloidosis last summer. "We know what you have and you're not going to like it," Millen said the doctors informed him, according to The Morning Call. Millen continued to work the games for BTN last season. Millen was drafted in the second round from Penn State in 1980, and played 12 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL for the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. He was elected to the Pro Bowl once, named All-Pro twice, and won four Super Bowls. At the end of his career as an NFL player, Millen became a color commentator for NFL games before being hired by the Lions in 2001 as president and general manager of the club. He held the position for more than seven seasons before being fired at the start of the 2008 campaign, when Detroit went 0-16.Follow premium oddstakes and bet on your favourite team.
Millen, according to The Morning Call, seems to cope with his diagnosis with a certain level of positivism, and continues cutting his lawn and working wood in his Pennsylvania home. "I've always lived this way," Millen told the newspaper. "You get what you can, I look at my life, and it's been a story, I have a great family, a phenomenal wife, and I can not ask for much more.
"So, are not you supposed to receive the good with the bad? When you come to a stop on the road, you deal with that." It's ridiculous to feel sorry for oneself, I'm grateful for what I have, and will receive what I I touched". Although amyloidosis can affect anyone, 70 percent of those diagnosed are men, according to the Mayo Clinic. Of those, a good number are between the ages of 60 and 70.