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Ex-Lions GM Matt Millen needs heart transplant

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Former Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen needs a heart transplant.

The Morning Call newspaper of Allentown, Pa., published an extensive feature on Millen, 60, on Friday, detailing his medical situation. He’s battling amyloidosis, where amyloid — an abnormal protein — builds up around your organs.

Millen’s heart is currently operating at 30 percent, according to the article, and he’s been undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatment for the past eight months. He had been dealing with symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, for six years prior to his diagnosis.

While he battles the illness, Millen tries to enjoy a normal lifestyle, like mowing his lawn.

“While I’m still up on this side,” Millen told The Morning Call, “I’ll enjoy everything.”

Read the full story:Matt Millen battles rare disease, may need heart transplant

Millen played 12 seasons in the NFL (1980-91) for Oakland, San Francisco and Washington, winning four Super Bowls and earning a pair of All-Pro selections. Following his playing career, he moved to the broadcast booth until he was hired by the Lions to run the franchise in 2001.

His seven-year tenure with the organization was a disaster, resulting in a 31-84 record. He was fired three games into the 2008 season. The Lions would go on to finish the year without a win, the first time that had happened since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

Following the firing, Millen, 60, returned to broadcasting, working for the Big Ten Network, ESPN and Fox Sports.