Fightshark Mark Miller

If you said you had a tougher life than Mark "Fightshark" Miller or overcame more with any comparable strength and determination, let's just say I'd be pretty skeptical. Once upon a time, Mark was considered to be the future of American kickboxers. He was a rising star. Then things went bad and then from bad to worse. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and was told he needed open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. Soon after his surgery, he lost his father, mother and brother one after another. But Mark was determined to compete again despite the open heart surgery, an eight year lay-off, the horrific personal tragedies and the fact that by combat sports standards, Mark was not a young man. 

Mark returned in 2011 to fight Nikolaj Falin at United Glory 14 in Russia. A victory in and of itself to be sure but to hell with moral victories. Mark wanted an actual victory. And nine seconds and one right hook into the fight, he got it. His next fight was against Sergei Kharitonov. Widely regarded as one of the very best in the world. Mark lost but taking that fight as his second fight back is certainly a testament to his fearlessness and fighting spirit. In other words, Mark Miller has balls of steel. 

While training for his next fight, Mark became ill -Bronchitis that turned to pneumonia and Mark being as tough as he is didn't realize how serious it was until it was too late and he wound up in the hospital fighting for his life. Mark is also a Type 1 diabetic. This means that between that and his heart condition, he is uninsured and uninsurable. While Mark is home now, the results of a kidney biopsy have revealed that he's suffering from renal failure. In other words, he needs a kidney transplant.

I honestly can't imagine what Mark is going through. The amount of suffering he's been through and the strength and perseverance it takes to come back and fight again is monumental and now, after a mere 3 fights since his return, he will not even have that anymore. 
What I know of Mark from interviewing him and chatting with him is of a truly genuine and selfless guy. A guy who likely feels bad that people are going through so much to help him and at the same time a guy who would absolutely be doing the same if it were someone else. 
We hope you'll do what you can to help Mark out with some of his growing medical bills and help spread the word about Mark and his cause. Here's the link to the fundraiser to help out. If you have $5 or $5000 or even a kidney to donate, or if you've got nothing but a moment to tweet or post, it all helps! 
http://www.gofundme.com/mark-fightshark-miller 
Get well soon, Mark. All of us at Diamond are rooting for you. 
 
*** You can follow Mark and his partner Shelby for updates on Mark. 
UPDATE 11/20: Mark has seen a new Cardiologist and Endocrinologist both of whom have a much brighter prognosis than the doctors in the hospital had and believe Mark will recover fully and will not need a kidney transplant. While this is great news, it doesn't change the fact that there is a long road to recovery and a lot of medical bills. So thank you to everyone who donated and shared Mark's story. Please continue to do so. 
WAR FIGHTSHARK! 



Tom Cunningham
Tom Cunningham

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