Skating legend Dorothy Hamill, 51, is undergoing treatment for breast cancer at The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland. In a statement released on Friday, January 4, Dorothy also stated that the prognosis is favorable, but she will have to miss some of the Broadway on Ice tour while she is receiving treatment. She hopes to rejoin the tour on January 16 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and finish the final four dates of the season. 1988 Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano will be subbing for her in the interim.
Recently, on December 5, 2007, Dorothy brought the house down at the AT&T Park in San Francisco, skating to "Weekend in New England" in the Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular featuring songs by Barry Manilow.
In October 2007, Dorothy published her second autobiography A Skating Life: My Story where she chronicles her battle with depression after winning the 1976 Olympics and World Championship. She also discusses depression within her family (including daughter Alex), her two divorces, the death of first husband (Dean Martin's son) in a plane crash, her filing for bankruptcy, and the pressures of being America's sweetheart for over 30 years. Here is a link to a brief interview with Dorothy where she is as eloquent and down-to-earth as we all imagine she really is in person!
After hearing about this, I was reminded of the courage and grace that 1984 Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton and 1968 Olympic gold medalist Peggy Fleming exhibited while publicly dealing with their own medical crises. Scott was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997 and was treated with surgery and chemotherapy. He started the Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, a charitable organization which offers information about cancer and cancer resources. Peggy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 and underwent successful surgery. In addition to continuing her television commentator/analyst duties with Dick Button, Peggy is also a breast cancer activist who recommends not procrastinating and early detection.
A Skating Life: My Story (link to Amazon.com)