A television program called The Doctor is In” was on as I sat in my doctor’s waiting room. I felt miserable, stewing in my own juice about health problems and feeling sorry for myself. Scott Hamilton, the ice skater, was a guest and I became embroiled in his life’s story The Great Eight.
He was adopted by a wonderful family, and at an early age developed a mysterious illness that caused him to stop growing. Corrected by Boston’s Children’s Hospital, he began to ice skate with great confidence, uncommon speed and talent. He suceeded in competing in international rinks and finished 5th at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. He won both the National and World Championships in 1981, capping his outstanding career with a gold medal in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
A star in the Ice Capades (1984-1986) but, because of a change of ownership, he was abruptly dimissed. A champion in the truest sense of the word his courage and determination carried him forward. In the 1996-1997 skating season with Stars on Ice he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Twelve weeks of successful chemotherapy treatments and a successful surgery, and he triumphed over the disease. He’s now a lifetime spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and the founder of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative.
On November 12, 2007 it was announced that he had a non-cancerous benign brain tumor and underwent high-tech radiation therapy He’s still with us and continuing on with his vast charitable activities including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The nurse called my name and, as I went through the door to the examination rooms asked how I was feeling. My reply was “Never better…” Thank you, Scott Hamilton.