Scott Hamilton and Brad Paisley create book for kids whose parents are battling cancer

The NewsDesk
Read Time2 Minutes, 45 Seconds

Brad Schmitt, Nashville Tennessean
Published 5:00 a.m. CT Nov. 7, 2019 | Updated 9:28 a.m. CT Nov. 7, 2019CLOSE
Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton announces that Nashville will host the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Wednesday Oct. 30, 2019
Shelley Mays, smays@tennessean.comPaisley and his sons drew all the hats for the book, about a boy who searches for the perfect hat for his mom when she starts losing her hair because of treatment for her cancerFigure skating legend Scott Hamilton joined with his country star buddy Brad Paisley — and Paisley’s two sons — to create a children’s book written to help parents talk to their kids about cancer.In “Fritzy Finds a Hat” — to be released Feb. 4, World Cancer Day — a young boy who loves to skate looks for the perfect hat for his mom to wear when her hair falls out because of treatment to battle her cancer.The story strikes close to home for Hamilton: The Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater and cancer survivor lost his mother to the same disease when he was 18.”When my mom died, I really still was just a kid,” Hamilton, 61, told The Tennessean.”She never wanted us to really understand what it felt like to go through cancer,” he said.More: Brad Paisley-Scott Hamilton bromance: You can thank William Shatner”I watched her go through losing her hair, and I saw her when they removed her left breast and go through a lot of pain. (But) she’d say things like, ‘This chemo is so great, I’ve finally lost all this weight’ or ‘This chemo, it helped me quit smoking.’ It was remarkable watching this woman brave all she had to endure.”Hamilton said he started on the book a few years ago after an executive at Florida-based research treatment nonprofit Moffitt Cancer Center — where the skater sits on the board — brought him the idea for the story.Hamilton thought of his friend Paisley for illustrations because Hamilton loves the country singer’s painting and drawings.► William Shatner started it: More on Scott Hamilton-Brad Paisley bromancePaisley revealed that he involved his sons, Huck, 12, and Jasper, 10, with “Fritzy Finds a Hat” when he called the Olympic champion to say the drawings of the hats were done.”He told me, ‘Hey, would you object if I had the boys each do a hat?’ ” Hamilton said.”I said, ‘Of course not!’ And he said, ‘Good, ’cause they did.’ “The book shows parents how to talk to their kids about cancer. Hamilton is particularly excited that the child gets the job of finding his mom a hat.”Kids can really be part of a parent’s experience and play a huge role in all of that. Not to be a bystander, but a participant,” he said. “They don’t have to sit back and watch things. They can play a significant role.”Reach Brad Schmitt at or 615-259-8384 and on Twitter @bradschmitt.Scott Hamilton & Friends fundraiser showWhat: An ice skating and live music event to raise money for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, which battles cancerWho: Scott Hamilton, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Loggins, Olympic medal-winning figure skaters and moreWhen: 5-11 p.m. Nov. 24Where: Bridgestone Arena, 501 BroadwayCost: $30-$70More info/ticket purchases: ScottCARES.orgRead or Share this story:

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