For the third time, Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The 58-year old gold medalist survived testicular cancer in 1997 and two previous brain tumors in 2004 and 2010.
“I have a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness,” Hamilton told PEOPLE. “It’s six years later, and it decided that it wanted an encore.”
Doctors found the tumor during a routine check-up. Hamilton is currently researching all of his options for treatment.
“I’ll tell anybody that will listen: If you’re ever facing anything, get as many opinions as you possibly can,” he says. “The more you truly understand what you’re up against, the better decision you’re going to make.”
Hamilton's wife and wife Tracie are finding strength in their faith as they face this latest round of bad news.
“I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest imagination; I would never even think to dream the stuff that I’ve been able to do,” he says. “Last round, in 2010, I told Tracie, ‘God doesn’t owe me a day. I’m good. Whatever’s next is next.’ The blessings keep coming because we allow them and we ask for them.”
Hamilton lost his mother 40 years ago and has used his story of cancer survival to inspire people around the globe through the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.
“I choose to truly — in everything that we do — celebrate life,” says Hamilton. ”
Scott and his family, including his wife and four kids: biological sons Aidan, 13, and Maxx, 8; and adopted children Jean Paul, 15, and Evelyne, 13, reside in the Nashville area and are well respected among the country music community. Next month, the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation will host its Nashville Ice Show, where music greats with join with figure skating legends to raise money to help find a cure for cancer.
“The first thing I teach skaters at my skating academy is how to get up — because we’re going to fall,” Hamilton says. “And that’s how I live my life: I’m going to fall down, I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to do all kinds of things that I’m going to wish didn’t happen. But it’s what’s next — it’s how you get up … The more times you get up, the stronger you are to face the next thing, which will happen — because that’s life.”
Our prayers are with Scott Hamilton and his family during this time.