Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I have ACM I (Arnold Chiari Malformation I). Because it is such an unusual condition, within hours of getting the diagnosis, I scoured the internet looking for information and support groups to help me understand it better. That is when I discovered WACMA, the World Arnold Chiari Malformation Association, and its founder, Chip Vierow. WACMA's website turned out to be a treasure trove of information for the newly diagnosed like me. It was from the WACMA page that I found the support group to which I currently belong. And it was from Chip's website that I learned my decompression surgery qualified me for the nickname of Zipperhead.

Chip's website has been bookmarked on all of my computers for two years now. It is the link I send to people who want to know more about the condition. It is where I go when I need additional information about a symptom or research. Although I didn't really know Chip, his story and generosity in sharing what he knew about ACM I have helped me during my journey on the Zipperhead Road.

A few days ago, while searching for some additional information about a symptom, I was shocked to find a Google result for a discussion board on which had been posted an announcement that Chip had died. In addition to ACM I, Chip suffered from a liver ailment for which he was awaiting a transplant. He had a live donor in his best friend, but before the transplant could be done, Chip passed away.

It seems strange to mourn for someone you didn't really know, someone whom you have never met. But Chip's concern and compassion for his fellow Zipperheads was amazing. He will be sorely missed.
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