AMYLOIDOSIS can kill in as little as three months. Does that get your attention? It should. This insidious killer is still relatively unheard of, despite its ability to strike so quickly and mimic other diseases with similar symptoms. The Corvette world found that out all too well in March 2004, when Chip Miller, co-founder of Carlisle Events, succumbed to this rare malady.
On Sunday, November 8, the Corvette Club of Northern Delaware, the Keystone State Corvette Club, the Corvette Club of Delaware Valley, and the County Corvette Association joined forces to stage the third annual Corvettes for Chip show. The show is intended to fight amyloidosis by raising awareness of the disease and generating funds for treatments and research.
Corvettes for Chip 2009 took place at its new home, Brandywine Picnic Park in West Chester, Pennsylvania. According to the Corvette Club of Northern Delaware's Michael Crank, the show has grown from 175 cars on display in its inaugural year to 331 in 2009. Show sponsors, meanwhile, have jumped from just three to a total of 65. Best of all, the event raised $8,000, bringing its total-to-date to more than $14,000.
The Miller family was well represented by Chip's wife, Judy, along with son, Lance, and his family. Lance brought along a family gem in the form of the "Purple People Eater" 1959 Chevy Corvette C1, a motorsports legend that had slipped into obscurity at the end of its racing career. Little did the Millers realize that the car was stashed away in their own garage, hidden by a coat of white paint applied by a previous owner. Fully restored with its original purple hue, race number, and door lettering, the Vette was a real crowd pleaser.
How does the Miller family feel about the efforts being made at the Corvettes for Chip show? Lance Miller had this to say:
"What more can you ask for? We had great weather, awesome cars, and incredible people with big smiles on each of their faces while helping a good cause. This isn't just another good cause; it's something very near and dear to my heart. My father passed away in 2004 from this little-known disease called amyloidosis. If we had known about the disease earlier, there's a good chance he would have been at this event, sharing the smiles and the great time had by all. However, it was too late, and the disease took his life.
"It's great to see so many generous people come together in such a small hobby that we all love, while we endure so much in our lives. My family and I can't thank the Corvette hobby enough. I was fortunate to learn at an early age that the hobby isn't all about the car. It's about the people who own and cherish the Corvette. These people came out in force to raise over $8,000 for the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation. I'm certain my father was smiling down throughout the entire day. As he would say just about every day he was here, 'Life is good!'"
Chip Miller's story will resonate among the Corvette family for years to come, and thanks to the clubs, the show's participants, and the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation, research and awareness of amyloidosis will continue to move forward
For more information, or to make a donation, please visit www.corvettesforchip.com or www.chipmiller.org.