Scott Hamilton is an Olympic champion, television broadcaster, motivational speaker, author, husband, father, and testicular cancer survivor. He is also an outspoken advocate for cancer research and an inspiration to other cancer patients around the world!
Hamilton became a household name and one of the most recognizable figure skaters in the world after winning a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. His list of achievements includes that Olympic championship, along with more than 70 other titles, awards, and honors. In 1990, Hamilton was inducted into the Team USA Olympic Hall of Fame. He’s also a member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
TRIUMPHS AND TRIALS
Hamilton has definitely experienced several highs in his lifetime, but he’s also all too familiar with the lows of life – from a debilitating childhood disease to losing his mother to cancer. He is also a testicular cancer survivor, beating two benign tumors in 2004 and 2010, before being diagnosed with a third in August 2016.
“I have a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness,” Hamilton said after his third diagnosis. “It’s six years later and it decided that it wanted an encore.”
While testicular cancer is not common – it only accounts for about 1% of cancers in men – the incidence rate has been increasing in the U.S. for several decades. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 10,000 new cases will be diagnosed and more than 400 men will die from testicular cancer in 2022.
Testicular cancer is also very treatable and one of the most curable forms of cancer if detected early. And that’s where Scott Hamilton is using his voice to make a difference in the fight against testicular cancer – and really all cancers.
“We’re not bulletproof. We are all human, so we need to be vigilant in our health,” Hamilton says. “But above all things is the importance of early detection and the importance of cancer screenings. To really survive cancer in the best way possible, early detection is still the best thing you can do.”
USING HIS VOICE TO LEAD AND INSPIRE
Despite his health issues, Hamilton continues to lead an amazingly full and successful life, helping and inspiring others along the way. He has founded several education and survivorship programs to fund research for cancer treatments that will spare the patient harm.
He also authored a children’s book designed to help parents talk with their children about cancer. Fritzy Finds a Hat, illustrated by country music star Brad Paisley, teaches kids how their love and support can sometimes be the best medicine for a parent with cancer.
Proceeds from that book benefit the vital cancer research being done at Moffitt Cancer Center and through his own charity, Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation. Hamilton also serves on the Board of Directors for his foundation.
One of Hamilton’s more recent projects is Live Your Days, a YouTube and podcast series inspired by the mantra, “We don’t control the number of days we have on this earth; we only control what we do with them.” In the series, he chats with celebrities like Kristi Yamaguchi, Robin Roberts, and Verne Lundquist about their inspiring personal and professional journeys.
“Live Your Days is a call to being present and not letting day after day pass, just going through the checklist of life,” says Hamilton. “It is about putting down your phone to enjoy the people and moments that God has given you.”