By Cathy Clark, APR - February 04, 2020
Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton’s new book, “Fritzy Finds a Hat,” helps families talk with their children as they tackle the difficult topic of cancer. The story follows Fritzy, a young boy who loves to skate and learns his mom has cancer. Throughout the imaginative picture book, Fritzy searches for the perfect hat he could give his mom to wear as she undergoes cancer treatments.
The book teaches children a powerful message of how their love and support sometimes can be the best medicine, while expressing to parents how children want to be involved and to help in some way. The subject is personal for Hamilton, who as a teenager lost his mother to cancer and later faced and survived his own diagnosis of cancer. He has founded several education and survivorship programs and is a member of Moffitt’s national Board of Advisors.
Hamilton and Mary Coffeen, chief of staff to the CEO at Moffitt, worked to develop the story, turning to Moffitt’s oncology social workers for input.
"Scott is so inspiring. Obviously, he is an Olympic champion, but also his dedication to curing cancer and to finding ways to help cancer patients is so impressive, so genuinely touching, and I was honored to work with him on the book and excited about the opportunity to tell his story, too,” said Coffeen.
Hamilton asked his friend country music superstar Brad Paisley, who also is an artist, to create the hat illustrations, which add a creative, whimsical touch to the gentle storyline.
The hard-cover, 32-page picture book created for ages 5 to 8 also appeals to parents and older children. Proceeds from the book sales will benefit cancer research at Moffitt and research funded through the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation. Proceeds also will benefit the Families First program at Moffitt, which provides guidance to parents in talking about cancer with their children.
Getting To Know ScottScott Hamilton’s outlook on life could be summed up by a quote appearing on his website: “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
His positive attitude, coupled with skill and perseverance, led Hamilton to become the most recognized male figure skating star in the world, having won 70 titles. His awards and honors include an Emmy Award nomination, induction into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and a privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
At a young age Hamilton lost his mother to cancer, and he later survived his own battle with cancer. As an activist, he aims to inspire others as a speaker and humanitarian. Hamilton lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Tracie, and their four children.
Let’s hear what he has to say.
Favorite book (besides “Fritzy Finds a Hat”)?
Self-help/self-realization books during this season of life to help strategize “how to get to the finish line in the healthiest, best way.”
“It’s always my mom.”
Three favorite skating songs?
“In the Mood”
“Walk This Way”
“Hair” (“Because I was losing mine!” he laughs)
Coffee or tea?
“There are so many moments. My mom passed away, and I needed to respond in a way that was healthy while at the same time trying to be that person she always saw I could be. So, the proudest moment was making that choice to honor her and become more accountable and more responsible and to do things right and well.”