A few years ago, Raider Nation was on the brink of losing one of the greatest players to ever don the Silver and Black.
Many prayed for the outcome of Matt Millen's life, as he waited nearly 100 days for someone to donate a heart for a transplant that would save his life.
Millen is a longtime friend of Sports Illustrated Raider Maven Editor and Publisher Hondo Carpenter. Millen recently joined Carpenter on the Radio, as he was co-hosting with Clay Baker on the "Pritch & Clay" morning show on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE).
First and foremost, Carpenter asked him about his health and how he is doing today.
"Yeah, I'm doing really well," Millen said. "So far so good. You know, I've had all good doctor visits and all my tests and stuff, all that's been fine."
The Oakland Raiders selected Millen in the second round of the 1980 draft. He played in the NFL for 12 seasons, playing for three different teams and winning a Super Bowl in every stop.
Millen worked in television before taking a job as the president and CEO of the Detroit Lions from 2001-2008.
After his stint in the front office, he would return to broadcasting.
But in 2015, his family noticed a shortness of breath and knew something was wrong with Millen's health.
After years of tests, Millen was diagnosed with a rare disease, AL Amyloidosis, a condition that affects nearly 4,500 people every year in the United States.
It causes the body to produce abnormal amounts of protein that attack the heart, making it stiff and unable to pump properly.
Millen faced months of chemotherapy to control the protein levels. Still, in the fall of 2018, while working for the Big Ten Network, he felt a series of shortness of breath, which led to him to step down from broadcast and be admitted to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey, one of the best hospitals for heart transplants.
After waiting nearly 100 days for a heart transplant, Christmas came a little early for Millen. He was able to have a donor and schedule a heart transplant on Christmas Eve.
"I'm very thankful and grateful for everything that's happened, but on top of that, I think the bigger thing and the bigger blessing was, I was fine with it," Millen said. "I would say to anybody who would listen, if something happens. I'm good, I'm in a good spot."
Things have gone very well for Millen, his strength and endurance are back, and he's gone down from taking under 60 medications a day to only 12.
"I think your faith plays a big part in that and, I like to think that I'm in a safe spot right there," Millen said.
We are blessed to still have Millen here with us to share his knowledge and insights on football, especially on the Raiders.
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