My brother, Major Mike Chand Jr. USMC, Ret. was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, 2 years ago. The doctors aren’t sure what caused his heart problem, but it is likely that the pneumonia he contracted during cold weather high-altitude training (for a military deployment) compromised his heart, leaving it permanently disabled.
This past week, we received the devasting news that Mikey is in the final stages of heart failure and needs a heart transplant. Before Mikey’s diagnosis a week ago, he and his fiancé, Meredith, were planning on getting married on Dec. 16th. Sadly, those plans have been postponed indefinitely until Mikey can get a new heart. We are hoping that he will be added to the transplant list within the next week. At which point, he will be admitted to the ICU indefinitely until a heart becomes available.
For those that don’t know my brother, let me give you a little background info on the kind of man he is. Mikey went to undergrad at UCSD. After graduating at the top of his program, he joined the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer. During his 11 year career he became a combat veteran, received numerous personal military decorations, and completed his Masters at SDSU (once again at the top of his program). Professional accomplishments aside, Mikey also has plenty of personal accomplishments to be proud of as well. Before being diagnosed with his heart condition, he was an avid runner and dedicated athlete. He once completed an Ultra Marathon. That’s 50 miles of nonstop running...yeah he’s crazy. Basically he’s just an overall PT and academic stud. Still, what’s most impressive about Mikey is his character. He constantly puts others before himself — whether it be his fiancé, his family, a fellow Marine, or any person that needs his help.
I know that the coming months will be emotionally and psychologically difficult for Mikey and Meredith. In preparation for their new life together, they had just recently purchased a new home and puppy. Under normal circumstances, these two things would be cause for celebration. However, with all the uncertainty surrounding Mikey’s condition and his need of a heart, I am worried that they will be under financial stress and pressure.
I lost my Dad when I was 12 years old — he was killed in Iraq after being held as a Prisoner of War for three years. After my Dad died, Mikey selflessly stepped up and became a father figure for me and my little brother, Ryan. I will never be able to repay him for all that he has done for me, but I can start.
I can’t change Mikey’s condition and I can’t give him my heart, but I CAN help him and Meredith as they take on this new challenge.
I CAN raise awareness about becoming an organ donor.
I CAN raise awareness about becoming a blood donor.
And I CAN help relieve unnecessary stress and pressure on Mikey and Meredith.
Please help me, help them.
Any amount of support goes a long way.
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