Scott Hamilton Skates Into Boston on November 30

As if fighting cancer doesn’t seem fair for someone to have to deal with once, imagine having to battle cancer along with three rounds of treatment for a pituitary brain tumor. With success to his credit, that’s just what Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton has done in overcoming this most difficult disease. These challenges have led him to establish a foundation – The Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, which today raises money for cancer research. 

Next week, Hamilton will return to Boston for the Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer benefit being held at The Skating Club of Boston’s Brighton facility with the hopes of raising more than $100,000 this year. The four-time United States champion will also be on hand for the tree lighting at Boston’s Frog Pond and plans to visit Boston Children’s Hospital, Mass General Pediatric Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute while he is in town. Proceeds from these events will benefit the CARES Foundation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Cancer Center.

Scott HamiltonPhoto Credit: Scott Hamilton

We caught up recently with Hamilton to find out what his foundation is all about and how it feels to return to Boston.

What’s the ice show going to be like on November 30 and can you please talk about the Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer benefit being held on December 1?

This is our big fundraising platform where skaters raise money for cancer research. Boston has been an incredible success story. Skating in Boston seems better than anywhere else. The World Championships were held in Boston recently and we do these in rinks all over the country. Boston is the biggest one we have ever done. When I am in town, I will be doing hospital visit and the tree lighting at Frog Pond.

You received treatment for cancer in Boston; you have family ties to the area and are being honored at this year’s tree lighting at the Frog Pond. How does it feel to return here?

My mother grew up in Weymouth and my aunt and uncle lived in Salem where we would spend the holidays. I was a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital when I was a kid and the first show I did was the Ice Capades at the Garden around Christmas, so Boston has always been a big chunk of my life. One of my most vivid memories was looking out of the window at Boston Children’s Hospital with the brick building and all the snow. It is a very powerful memory, so it’s great to go back.

Tell us about the CARES Foundation.

CARES is many things and stands for Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship. When we started, it was a big thank you to the clinic and how they treated me there. No one really understands chemotherapy until they have it. People don’t want to understand it. They are given information they need for their own experiences, but aren’t told how to manage the side effects. I felt like I was flying blind when I was going through my own experience. I decided the one thing I need to do with CARES was grow it and go into the community at large, so I created a foundation. We really wanted to bring the future of cancer treatment options into the present. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by cancer. Through the foundation, I am asking everyone to join with me and help raise the bar. We are way more powerful together than individually.