As I see it, there are 2 kinds of people who become professional fighters.  There are glory-hungry jocks, and then there are the artists.  Artists that do not paint, do not sculpt, but hope to inspire, through expressing in exhibition of a superior skill.  It is for this reason I am grateful for my opponents, for without them, I would not have the ability to show my abilities.  I appreciate them for they push me harder than any coach, to the very extent of my skill and ability.  All I ever wanted to do as a fighter was win.  As an artist, I wanted to inspire.

Which is why it completely crumples me with humility when I get messages like the one I got last night.  

At about midnight last night I got a tag on twitter, from a nice lady, a mother in Texas, who had written a blog about me.  Apparently her husband was in another room watching tv when my episode of “Inside MMA” came on.  He started to yell for her to come watch, for as it turns out, their 13 year old son was born with CHD (congenital heart defect) as well.  She went on in her blog to talk about how her son Jacob has undergone 2 surgeries like mine to repair his aortic valve, and is facing a third.  She talked about how I inspired them. 

I can not express how moved I was, how honored I feel to be an inspiration to this young man, but truly, HE is the inspiration to me.  ALL survivors are inspirations to me, and most people are survivors of something.  This young man, 13 years old has braved his way through 2 of what I have been through, and faces a third.  He has more courage, more guts, more moxy than most any professional fighter I have ever met had mustered when walking into the ring.

I recently began to follow Mick Foley ( on twitter.  I suggest everyone do the same.  The man has dedicated so much of his life, his time to helping survivors.  He donates time, money, and puts a lot of work into the RAINN foundation.  This is a man who inspires me, who I aspire to be like.  I want more than anything to say to myself when each day is over that I have done good work, however small for that day.  I used to be angry, frightened, bitter, but seeing this second chance before me, and receiving so much love from so many corners of the world…. I just don’t feel it anymore.  I feel stronger than ever.

We as artists, create ripples with every move we make, every little thing we say.  I suppose I want for this to be seen by my peers, as much as by my fans.  Seek to inspire.  Sow seeds of hope.  We are given a gift, the ability to become more than just simple folk in the eyes of people who feel the need to believe in more.  It is a huge and wonderful burden.  I try to appreciate it more and more everyday.

Thank you for your strength Jacob.

Editor Note → (Mark Miller will be blogging here from time to time leading up to his on May 28th, if you don’t know his story check out his interview here. Make sure to follow Miller on twitter at

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4 Responses

  1. austin hires

    I have Aortic Stenosis and i have a dream to be a fighter in the ufc oneday. My doctor tells me that i will never make it as a fighter. But i have faith in the lord that he will keep my heart healthy. Is there any type of speacil training i could do to help me as a fighter and wont cause dameage to my heart?

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