“The worst thing about being stationed in Italy was that we had to wait to see Cat Saturday because of the time change!”

Not the words we were expecting from Michael and Brandi Akins, whose son Merrick was about to become Chive Charities’ newest recipient. In preparation for our call with the Akins family, we read their application and the narrative about Merrick’s short life, already riddled with so many painful obstacles, but also so much joy... so much hope. It was hard to believe this biography belonged to a 9 month-old! Brandi and Michael could easily choose to focus on the bad. They could hold onto the grim prognosis; they could be hurt by the many doctors’ words that their son wasn’t going to live. But falling into despair was the last thing on their mind - they were too busy being there for their son. Instead, they wanted to talk about Cat Saturday.

Chivers are the best kind of people.

For Michael, a US Navy Submariner stationed in Honolulu and Brandi, a Kindergarten teacher in Fresno, it was love at first sight. After dating for 3 years they were married and could barely wait to start a family, but their dream eluded them for years as they tried in vain for a baby. Following rounds of testing they discovered there was a very slim chance they could ever conceive. As Brandi and Michael struggled to accept this news, life intervened with an opportunity, as it so often does: Michael was offered a position to be stationed in Naples, Italy. So the couple moved, jumping on the chance to embrace this adventure. It was while in Italy they found out that “the unthinkable had come true” - Brandi was pregnant. As Brandi put it, “There had never been such joy.”

US Navy father learns true courage from his son (14 Photos)

When baby Merrick was rushed to the Emergency Room after he became limp and very pale, the triage nurse tested his blood oxygenation right away. Her face turned as white as a sheet as she looked at the results. “It says 45%,” she whispered, “but there’s no way that’s right. Most people are at 98 or 99%. He’d be unconscious…”

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Often imitated, but never duplicated. The original Keep Calm and Chive On tee helped launch an entire community of misfits and has become the calling card for Chivers everywhere. When you see someone across the bar with that distinctive mantra on a Chive green tee you know instantly that they're of like mind. The official Keep Calm and Chive on tee is back in stock at The Chivery today, so head over HERE and grab one before they're gone again.

The one and only original is back

Often imitated, but never duplicated. The original Keep Calm and Chive On tee helped launch an entire community of misfits and has become the calling card for Chivers everywhere. When you see someone across the bar with that distinctive mantra on a Chive green tee you know instantly that they’re of like mind. The official Keep Calm and Chive on tee is back in stock at The Chivery today, so head over HERE and grab one before they’re gone again.

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