The Heart of a Survivor – With CBS Survivor Winner and Military Family Member Mike Gabler

In our last episode of Season 5, Dr. Ron Hirschberg talks with Survivor's Season 43 Winner Mike "Gabler" Gabler, the first winner to give their entire $1 Million to a deserving cause close to our hearts at Home Base. As a heart valve specialist from a military family, Gabler talks about the inspiration of service he’s had from his dad and friends in the military, and an unforgettable veteran named Lester who lived well into his 90s, following his team's transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. While thinking literally under the stars over the island for days, things started to come together for a guy who has served many people's hearts, about how a grateful civilian could best help many more veterans in need. 


Remember that tomorrow 2/15/23 is the final day to take advantage of discounted fundraising minimums for the RUN TO HOME BASE At Fenway Park July 22nd, 2023 - GO TO –

It’s February, 2023 – It’s American Heart Month and today is Valentine’s Day folks… So it’s also the perfect time to talk about a special person who not only has shown his massive heart for giving to veteran mental health, but happens to work in the business of giving people new functioning hearts - Mike Gabler. Gabler is a heart valve specialist, who’s lived most of his life in Texas, and last year found his way from his family home base in Idaho to Fiji as one of 18 contestants on the CBS show Survivor. Gabler is the winner of this past season #43, he is 1 of 2 winners over 50, and is the first winner in Survivor history since its first year in 2000 to give the entire $1M dollar prize to charity. He is supporting the veteran community with this gift, specifically in PTSD and mental health, gifting under his dad’s name, Army Veteran and Green Beret Robert Gabler.


Thank you Gabler, for your serving those who’ve served through this more than generous gift, and the chance to make a difference in an ongoing way. Survivor has been right in our living rooms around the country for almost 23 years and getting the chance to lift awareness about the needs for returning and all recovering veterans is huge, so thank you sir. 

Special thanks to Betty Diaz at Paramount and Jennifer Mendez-Ruiz at CBS for bringing us together and for all you do to support mental health, veteran and other efforts!

For all returning Survivor fans and for anyone who’s never seen it, it’s never too late to start - Survivor 44, which has been the twelfth consecutive season to be filmed in Fiji is set to premiere on March 1, 2023, on CBS, coming right up in 2 weeks. 

If you are your loved one is experiencing any emotional, mental health struggles, you are not alone and please contact Home Base at (617) 724-5202, or visit

Theme music for Home Base Nation: "Rolling the tree" by The Butler Frogs

Follow Home Base on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

The Home Base Nation Team is Steve Monaco, Army Veteran Kelly Field, Phebe Garver, Justin Scheinert, Chuck Clough, with COO Michael Allard, Brigadier General Jack Hammond, and Peter Smyth.

Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Assistant Producer, Editor: Chuck Clough
Chairman, Home Base Media Lab: Peter Smyth

To Donate to Home Base where every dollar goes to the care of veterans and military families that is cost to them, go to:

Home Base Nation is the official podcast of Home Base Program for Veterans and Military Families, a partnership of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation. To learn more and connect with us at Home Base Nation:

The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.