Scott Hamilton to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 2, 2002

Scott Hamilton to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 2, 2002

April 24, 2002

World renowned figure skater Scott Hamilton -- who won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics, the National and World Figure Skating Championships from 1981 to 1984, and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990 -- will be the keynote speaker for the University of Chicago Hospitals' 13th-annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration on Sunday, June 2.

The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 909 N. Michigan Ave. Anyone who has had cancer, plus friends or family members, is welcome to attend. Last year, more than 900 people enjoyed the celebration.

In March, 1997, while on tour with "Stars on Ice," Hamilton was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"Shock and fear are the first two things that you feel," followed by a feeling of "anxious depression, of now what?" he said in an interview on ABC. But when he realized there was an effective treatment, "it was nonstop humor."

"My goal is to find a way to laugh every day," he said. "For that, I think, is the healthiest form of denial. Anger and bitterness are debilitating. Find a way to laugh."

Hamilton began chemotherapy soon after diagnosis and had surgery three months later in June. By September, the cancer was in remission, and he had returned to professional skating.

Cancer Survivors Day provides an opportunity for those with cancer to meet other patients and long-term survivors.

"Events such as this one can take away some of the stress that comes with a diagnosis of cancer," said Peggy Baker, Director of Psycho-Oncology Programs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. "This gathering is a chance for cancer survivors to see old friends, chat with their caregivers in a nonclinical setting, and celebrate their success. It also allows newly diagnosed patients to meet with hundreds of long-term survivors, walking evidence that there is good reason for hope despite a cancer diagnosis."

Cancer Survivors Day events include:

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Refreshments, mingling and a chance to visit information booths that assist cancer patients and survivors.

Melanie Turner, performer and breast cancer survivor.

Welcoming remarks from Ken Kates, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, University of Chicago Hospitals, and Peggy Baker, Director of Psycho-Oncology Programs, University of Chicago Hospitals.

1:05 p.m.
Master of Ceremonies, Derrick Blakely, NBC-5 Anchor and News Reporter.

Remarks by medical oncologist Dr. Olofunmilayo Olopade, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the University of Chicago Cancer Risk Clinic.

Puppet show and musical activities for children.

Shawna Culp, 13 years old and a six-year survivor of osteosarcoma.

Entertainment by Lynne Jordan & The Shivers.

1:50 p.m.
Keynote speaker Scott Hamilton.

Admission is free, but participants are requested to make reservations by calling 1-888-UCH-0200.