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Scott Hamilton to Host Star-Studded Event Amid Fight

An Evening With Scott Hamilton and Friends to Take Place This Sunday at Bridgestone Arena

by John Glennon @glennonsports / NashvillePredators.com

In the midst of his own fight against cancer, Scott Hamilton just can't stop battling the disease for everyone else.

Last month, the former Olympic gold-medal skater went public with the news that he'd been diagnosed with cancer for the fourth time in his life. This marks Hamilton's third battle in the last 12 years with a benign pituitary brain tumor, all of which have come after he fought testicular cancer in 1997.

But the Franklin resident has hardly curled up in a ball since then, which should come as no surprise to anyone associated with the 5-foot-4 bundle of energy.

After all, Hamilton - a father of four children under the age of 16 - is still steering the Scott Hamilton Proton Therapy Center in Franklin toward opening in 2018, overseeing the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy at Ford Ice Center and fundraising for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation for cancer research and care.

It's tiring just thinking about keeping up with Hamilton, who says much of his energy and inspiration stems from the death of his mother to cancer in 1977.

"She was the center of my universe," Hamilton said. "You have to do something. You can't just sit back and take that. So when I lost her I became a fundraiser and then when I survived (cancer), I came back to it.

"We're working toward changing the cancer community forever. I've learned if you're 5-foot-nothing from a very small town, you're able to do things and you kind of think that everything is possible. If you don't try, you'll never know."

It's in that spirit of generosity that Hamilton is promoting "An Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends" on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Bridgestone Arena.

The ice show, which begins at 5 p.m., features Olympic, world and national champion figure skaters performing to a live musical concert by nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow and an all-star musical lineup. All proceeds will benefit the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.

"I don't think Nashville has seen anything like this before," Hamilton said. "When you combine Olympic-level skating with live music, it's a whole new level, a whole new identity. It's so powerful, the way it all combines, the way it all creates the excitement and the way it all creates the spectacular. I'm really excited for people to see it."

As for his own battle with the brain tumor, Hamilton said he draws strength from the fact he's already survived two bouts with the same malady - the first in 2004 and the second a recurrence in 2010 that led to surgery.

"When it's not your first rodeo, it's kind of like, `Well, I've already survived this twice. If I can do it twice, I can definitely do it again,'" Hamilton said. "With each one, it maybe gets a little more complicated, but when you get your cancer and you've had two brain tumors, you're kind of like, `OK, it's a process.' I don't fear it. I respect it. But I also know so much of it is in my hands."

Hamilton said he's in the midst of gathering opinions from all over the country on how best to combat the latest tumor.

"I'm going to keep an eye on it, and when it starts doing its mischief, which it can quickly, then I'll treat it," Hamilton said. "I'll hit it with everything I've got. But in the meantime, I'm going to work hard, enjoy my life and not think about it too much."

Enjoying his life certainly seems an appropriate description for Hamilton's event on Sunday, as some of the big musical stars - in addition to Crow - will include Jewel, Sara Evans, Ben Rector and Rodney Crowell. Former Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi will co-host the event with Hamilton.

"I'm really looking forward to it because I get to work with my heroes," Hamilton said. "I get to produce a show and talk to the audience as a contemporary. I've always wanted to be a rock star and now I get to work with them."

 

-John Glennon can be reached at jg1sport@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @glennonsports.

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