WASHINGTON, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This month, Sharing Miracles -- a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients -- will feature Jerry Mathers, childhood star of the hit TV show Leave it to Beaver.
Mathers is an American icon, best known for his portrayal of the mischievous Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver. Currently shown on TV Land and in countries throughout the world, Leave it to Beaver has made Jerry Mathers one of the best-known actors in television history. He has also appeared in movies, such as Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry, and on stage, starring as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony-winning Broadway musical Hairspray.
Despite Beaver's seemingly perpetual youth, life caught up with Mathers when he was diagnosed with diabetes. Originally faced with a life expectancy of three to five years, he has kept his disease at bay over the last 10 years. Speaking of his experience in this month's episode of Sharing Miracles, Mathers says, "You have to take control of your diabetes; you can't let it take control of you."
Now, Mathers works tirelessly as a patient advocate, using his celebrity to help spread the word to others: "I've been so blessed, and I've had so many good things happen to me, that if I can help just one, two, maybe even 1,000 people -- as many as I can -- it makes my heart feel good."
Speaking about the importance of early diagnosis and thorough treatment, Mathers adds, "You'll have a much better quality of life throughout your entire life, and it can be long and productive."
Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who has clinical depression; former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, who is battling colon cancer; syndicated television talk show host Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis; cancer survivor and mountain climber Sean Swarner; and breast cancer survivors Mayte Prida, a Telemundo personality, and North Carolina State University women's basketball coach Kay Yow. Future programs will highlight Olympic Gold Medal winners Greg Louganis, who suffers from HIV, Mark Spitz, who has high cholesterol, and Bruce Jenner, who has attention deficit disorder; and pop icon and Broadway star Deborah Gibson, who has suffered from devastating anxiety attacks. Sharing Miracles is produced by PhRMA's Communications & Public Affairs Department.
Sharing Miracles airs on Sunday mornings -- in 37 television markets, reaching more than 20 million households -- on the following network-affiliated stations:
The show also airs on 55 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: Dallas, TX; Hartford, CT; Manchester, NH; Atlanta, GA; Minneapolis, MN; Albuquerque, NM; Tampa, FL; Sacramento, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Gilroy, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; Aurora, CO; Bridgeport, CT; Hamden, CT; Madison, CT; Plainville, CT; Mountain Home, ID; Batavia, IL; Bloomington, IN; Covington, KY; Vicksburg, KY; Lafayette, LA; Carver, MA; East Longmeadow, MA; Easthampton, MA; Lexington, MA; Sandwich, MA; Worchester, MA; Mexico, ME; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Champlin, MN; Londonderry, NH; North Conway, NH; Princeton, NJ; Los Alamo, NM; Minden, NV; Fairport, NY; Manhattan, NY; Tivoli, NY; Webster, NY; Macedonia, OH; Norwood, OH; Gettysburg, PA; Reading, PA; White River Junction, VT; Bremerton, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Janesville, 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 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 $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
SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America