ST. CHARLES – From his skating accomplishments to his battles with cancer, there are many reasons why figure skating legend Scott Hamilton is an inspiring figure.
Hamilton will appear at Christ Community Church in St. Charles on Saturday and Sunday as part of the church's Inspiring Stories Weekend.
He will be interviewed at the church at 5 p.m. Saturday and at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday at Christ Community’s St. Charles Campus, located at the northwest corner of Randall Road and Bolcum Road. Both services will include live worship music and the interview.
The interview will also be shown via livestream at Christ Community’s Aurora, DeKalb and Streamwood campuses during their regular weekend services. There is no charge or ticket required to attend any of the services.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Hamilton in advance of his appearances at Christ Community Church. The interview has been edited for length and style.
Eric Schelkopf: You've been pretty busy this week. You were on the “Today” show on Tuesday talking about your new children's book, “Fritzy Finds a Hat,” which is designed to help parents talk with children about cancer. Was this an idea that you've had for a while?
Scott Hamilton: No, it was brought to me. We work with Moffitt Cancer Center. It was their idea, to base something on the story of how my mom told me, because they were very moved by that.
It was really an honor to be able to represent my mom that way and to be able to tell people how she told me and how I learned to share my challenges with my children.
It's pretty amazing.
Eric Schelkopf: And of course country musician Brad Paisley did the illustrations for the book.
Hamilton: Yeah, he loves doing art. I actually took it first to Kevin Nealon, and he told me that he wasn't comfortable putting his art in front of people like that. And then Brad said he would love to do it.
Schelkopf: As far as turning to Brad, did you hear about his artwork or how did that come about?
Hamilton: We've been friends for about 17 years. We met right when he was about to take off.
Schelkopf: You are going to be at Christ Community Church as part of the church's Inspiring Stories Weekend. Have you heard from people who have said that your story has inspired them? It seems like your whole life you have been overcoming one thing or another.
Hamilton: I meet people all the time that sort of ask, 'How do you do this? You've survived this, this, this and this.' ''
I try to do my best to stay optimistic. I was at the peak of my career when I went through cancer and I had no idea the amount of people I touched over a long period of time.
I received 65,000 get well cards. It was just astounding that I touched that many people and in a way, that they really wanted to participate in my healing.
When you have that many people praying for you, I think God hears their prayers and He brought me back to health quickly.