Hughes: Skate for hopeWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
For 10 years, I have been traveling to Bowling Green, Ohio, to perform in Skate for Hope. Out of all the events I do each year, Skate for Hope has a special meaning to me. The reason being that Skate for Hope supports cancer research as well as friends and family of those impacted by cancer.
Soon after undergoing multiple rounds of treatment, my mother watched my sister Sarah win her first national medal as National Junior Champion. Her diagnosis put everything in perspective, but Sarah’s win was a celebration for the whole family. Skating gave us all a chance to forget about cancer, hospitals and chemo, even if just for a few moments.
By the time Sarah became the 2002 Olympic champion and I represented the U.S. in the 2006 Olympics, my mother had scored a victory that dwarfed anything ever done on the ice: She watched all our triumphs cancer-free.
I recognize that the story of my family is only one of millions of stories in the battle against cancer. Having the chance to perform again at Skate for Hope, I feel as though I get the chance to do something I love and give back to the community. Skate for Hope has already raised over $540,000 for research, but the show is more than a fundraiser. It’s an experience for the 7-year-old whose mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer and the teenager skating for their recently diagnosed uncle, and the 30-something-year-old skating for herself after overcoming a diagnosis.
Skate for Hope began over 12 years ago. The founder, Carolyn Bongirno, had overcome stage 3 breast cancer and set out to create an event that would empower people of all ages to better cope with a friend or family member’s cancer diagnosis as well as teach the importance of giving back to one’s community.
This year, I will be joined by World Professional Champion Dan Hollander; Alexe Gilles, aka Elsa from Disney on Ice’s “Princesses and Heroes”; two-time national champion and Bowling Green native Alissa Czisny; four-time national champion Jeremy Abbott; and national pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim.
The show will also feature 95 amateur skaters from Northwest Ohio who earned spots in the event through local fundraising.
Skate for Hope is a one-of-a-kind skating show where the community comes together. On May 2, Skate for Hope will bring together world-class figure skaters, brave cancer survivors and their loved ones in a show that dazzles and inspires. I hope to see you all at the BGSU Ice Arena!
Proceeds from Skate for Hope go toward multiple cancer research and support service organizations, including the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.
Tickets start at just $11 and are on sale at the door, online and at all Ticketmaster locations. For more information, visit www.skateforhope.org.
Emily Hughes is the 2007 U.S. National silver medalist and was a member of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team. She is the younger sister of Sarah Hughes, who won gold at the 2002 Olympics.
Tags: Alexa Scimeca, Alexe Gilles, Alissa Czisny, breast cancer, CARES Foundation, Carolyn Bongirno, Chris Knierim, Dan Hollander, Emily Hughes, Jeremy Abbott, Sarah Hughes, Scott Hamilton, Skate for Hope