View Full Version : Brother in iron needs your help...

Tom Mutaffis
07-19-2009, 09:00 AM
While I was down in Florida this weekend a friend of mine and long time powerlifter had a siezure and collapsed after the contest.

Mike Witmer, accomplished powerlifter, bodybuilder, strongman, husband, and father needs your support and prayers. As a powerlifter mikes best lifts in singly ply equipment in the early 90's included a 925 squat, 600lb bench, and 725 deadlift. Mikes lifted alongside such greats as Ed Coan and Joe Ladnier. Mike and Ryan Kennelly were training partners for the first half of Ryan's benching career. Lately due to what he though was a lower back problem Mike turned his attention to strongman and even planned a comback to bodybuilding. Mike has been a school teacher for over 15yrs and specializes in "behaviorly challenged" kids. Mike also coached the football team and the boys olympic lfting team.

Saturday Mike was feeling weak while helping out the 3rd Annual SW Florida strongest man contest. Shortly after the show Mike had a seizure and was taken by ambulance to lee memorial hospital. Mike had two more seizures that became increasingly worse until the hospital was forced to sedate Mike and place a breathing tube. A cat-scan revealed that Mike has a plum size tumor in the middle of his brain and is intertwinned in both lobes. Neurologist were called in and say that without surgery Mike will die. They will be attempting surgery early this week after moving mike to another hospital. With or without surgery Mike's chances are not very good.

Christi Witmer, also an accomplished powelifter and strongwoman (who took 1st in the womens division yesterday!) is currently in training Pto be a firefighter and will be finishing school in late November.

Mike and Christi also have a four year old son together.

An account has been established at paypal to help Mike, Christi, and Ryan get through this difficult time.

PayPal Donation - Mike Witmer Fund (https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=hFUzgh3LcAfF-NIPkLP2EkTcHevEVaKZ-uHzVnZTKd_QG4_jyWRxIqJ1IH4&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1fb6947b0aeae66fdb090c3508df63c7a0893fe72a3c73ad63)

If everyone on this site can help out I know that he and his family would be very grateful. Even a small donation will make a difference. Mike is the type of person who would do the same for you if you were in this position.

Attached are a couple of photos of Mike. One from his wedding and one from a recent fishing trip in Florida (Mike is in the red shirt).

Travis Bell
07-19-2009, 09:00 PM
Man Tom, I'm really sorry to hear that. Mike will be in my prayers.

07-19-2009, 09:08 PM
Mike will be in my prayers

keep us up to date tom

chris mason
07-19-2009, 09:14 PM
That's horrible! I will make a donation.

07-19-2009, 10:03 PM
This is very sad. I want to make a small donation but the link takes me to an error page. Is there an address I could mail a check?

07-20-2009, 12:44 AM
That is really sad. He sounds like an incredible guy. He is in my prayers for sure.

Tom Mutaffis
07-20-2009, 06:26 AM
Due to his condition Mike's surgery is being moved up to today. He will be moved from Lee Memorial to Healthpark Medical Center @8 and then surgery is scheduled for 1pm.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Here is a link to the full thread on Marunde Board where many of Mike's other friends have posted as well. The donation button there should be working: http://www.marunde-muscle.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16760

07-20-2009, 09:59 AM
He and his family will be in my prayers.

07-20-2009, 10:28 AM
Thats really sad to hear. I will pray that he gets through this, and for a full recovery

07-20-2009, 11:05 AM
sending some strength to him

07-20-2009, 11:14 AM
I've forgotten my paypal account password but will send a donation when I get home. He and his family are in my prayers in the meantime.

Tom Mutaffis
07-20-2009, 11:19 AM
Thank you for the prayers and donations.

Mike is in surgery right now and I will post an update as soon as I hear something.

Tom Mutaffis
07-20-2009, 09:16 PM
Mike passed away tonight at 10:02 PM.

Travis Bell
07-20-2009, 09:34 PM
Geeze Tom. I'm really sorry to hear that. My condolences to you as his friend, and his family

07-20-2009, 09:43 PM
My most sincere condolences to his friends and family.I am very sorry to hear this.

chris mason
07-20-2009, 09:56 PM
****ing terrible... I can feel their pain. My mom's passing was so fast... I really feel for his wife and child...

07-20-2009, 10:29 PM
Rest in Peace Mike - My thoughts are with you Christi in this terrible time.

07-20-2009, 10:32 PM
My condolences to his family. Ill be praying for his family to see that they make it through these hard times. RIP big dude

07-20-2009, 10:35 PM
My condolences to his friends and family. Not just a loss to those close to him but the strength community as a whole.

Joe Black
07-21-2009, 01:46 AM
My thoughts are with the family, that's very sad...

07-21-2009, 05:29 AM
My sincere condolences to his family & friends.

07-21-2009, 06:06 AM
Thats very sad, my thoughts and prayers for all his friends and family. That is tragic news.

07-21-2009, 08:21 AM
Our thoughts and prayers are with Christi and little Ryan.

07-21-2009, 08:52 PM

Heart felt condolences man... RIP brother. God Bless him and his family.

Erik 23
07-21-2009, 09:26 PM
My condolenses to you Tom as his friend and to his family.

07-21-2009, 10:57 PM
What a loss. My biggest sympathies to the family.

07-22-2009, 12:21 AM
That is just awful. Really sad.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family for sure.

Tom Mutaffis
07-22-2009, 09:01 AM
Dave Beers posted this today:

Michael Wayne Witmer, 43yrs old and long time resident of Arcadia, passed away Monday night after he was overcome by a recently discovered brain tumor. Mike passed away at Healthpark Medical Center in Fort Myers.
Mike came with his parents to Arcadia at a young age, excelled in many sports and especially had a passion for football. Mike became a corrections officer but still felt a strong pull towards his true passion which was teaching. While working full time he acquired a bachelors degree in education from USF. Mike taught for over 15yrs with the majority of those being at Desoto high school. Mike was also an accomplished powerlifter, bodybuilder, and strongman. He has many records in powerlifting including world records. Mike enjoyed mentoring and teaching young lifters also and many of his lifters went on to break records. Mike's kind smile and joyful demeanor made him a pleasure to be around. He touched many people lives with his wisdom and willingness to teach.

A visitation will be held Thursday night at First Baptist Church of Arcadia from 5-7pm. Services will be held Friday at the same location at 11am. Burial will follow. Donations can be sent to 2092 NE Opal Dr. Arcadia, Fl. 24266

Jeff Garvin
07-22-2009, 02:32 PM
Sorry to hear the terrible news.....