Skating icon and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton shares conversation he had with music producer Busbee during his private battle with brain cancer

A battle with glioblastoma out of the spotlight

  • Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Busbee has privately battled a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma. He passed away in September 2019.
  • Busbee chose to share his cancer diagnosis with figure skating icon Scott Hamilton, who is a three-time cancer survivor.
  • A glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive primary brain tumor.
  • There is no right way to fight cancer. A person’s health is a private matter, and a battle with cancer is arguably even more private. This is why some people, including celebrities like Busbee, choose to keep their health issues out of the spotlight.

Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Busbee battled an aggressive form of brain cancer before his death in 2019. He kept his health concerns mostly private, but one of the exceptions was the triple cancer survivor and icon. figure skating Scott Hamilton who didn’t. forgot about the conversation so far.

Michael James Ryan Busbee was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of malignant brain tumor, in 2019. Known professionally as Busbee, he has found great success working with a wide variety of artists ranging from Maren Morris to Pink via Keith Urban and Shakira. He passed away at the age of 43, but it is safe to say that his contributions to the music world have had a lasting impact since his death in September 2019.

busbee performs on October 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp / WireImage for the Recording Academy)

“Today we have lost Busbee, a dear friend, business partner of his company Altadena, and one of the best and brightest creative minds in music.” read a memo from Warner records following his death. “Busbee’s kindness and legacy will never be forgotten.”

His passing came as a shock to many, but one person Busbee confided in was Hamilton.

Scott Hamilton attends the Harlem Champions of Life Figure Skating Gala on May 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward / Getty Images)

“I spent time on the phone with him, just cheering him on and trying to help him figure out second or seventh opinions or whatever it would take to extend his life,” Hamilton, 63, said in a recent interview about the conversation he had with Busbee before He spent. “I was amazed at his love for life and family and how, in his senior year, what he created was so deep. It was amazing.

And that powerful conversation has stayed with the iconic skater to this day. This year he decided to dedicate his 5th Annual Scott Hamilton & Friends Ice Show at Busbee. The event will feature skating performances from Olympic skaters like Katia Gordeeva, Ilia Kulik and Kaetlyn Osmond, but there will be an extra twist that makes it more of a tribute to Busbee. He has selected artists whose personal and professional lives have been touched by Busbee’s history, including country trio Lady A, lead singer Grace Potter and Christian pop duo For King & Country to perform songs that Busbee has. helped create for them.

“There are going to be times on this show that are just going to let people understand what it’s like to be alive,” Hamilton said of the event. “This is how it feels to feel, and this is what it feels like to have empathy, and this is what it feels like to have the power they have in their hands to change the world.”

All proceeds will go to the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation which was established to help fund research into cancer treatment – a cause close to Hamilton’s heart after its own battles with cancer.

“I wouldn’t be alive without the research,” he said. “You know, there were these two doctors from Indiana who just came up with a cocktail that eradicated my cancer. We must therefore continue to fund research.

Hamilton was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997, a brain tumor in 2004 and another brain tumor in 2016. He has gone five years without chemotherapy to date, and now he is focusing on his health and positive attitude. .

“The tumor shrinks and grows and shrinks and shrinks and grows and shrinks,” Hamilton notes. “Right now, I’m just focusing on getting strong, exercising, eating less, eating cleaner, being active, and laughing a lot. It’s just about doing all of those things that make every cell in your body wake up and be alive.

“I have tough times, sure, but usually I wake up every day with the thought, ‘I’m going to get strong and I’m going to live my life.’ “

Understanding brain cancer

Normal functioning of the brain and spinal cord can become difficult when a person has brain cancer. This is because a tumor can put pressure on or spread to neighboring normal tissues.

There are many types of brain tumors. Certain types of brain and spinal cord tumors are more likely to spread to nearby parts of the brain or spinal cord than others. Slow growing tumors can be considered benign, but even these tumors can cause serious problems.

RELATED: Could A New Treatment Have Saved John McCain? Fight brain cancer with electric fields

The type of brain tumor that Busbee had, for example, is called glioblastoma (GBM). It is the most aggressive primary brain tumor. But despite the aggressive nature of GBM, the top brain researcher in the United States and neuro-oncologist at Duke University Medical Center, Dr Henry Friedman, tells SurvivorNet, “You didn’t die just because you were diagnosed with glioblastoma. So many people are being told by their doctors or institutions that they are, “I’m sorry, put your things in order and move on.”

There is new hope for those battling the same cancer that took John McCain and Ted Kennedy; Using polio and immunotherapy to fight brain tumors

This message of hope comes from the promise of future clinical trials like the one Dr Friedman and colleagues are conducting at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center using the modified poliovirus.

“The modified poliovirus is used to treat this tumor, by injecting it directly into the tumor, through a catheter. It is designed to lyse the tumor and cause tumor cells to rupture, ”Friedman told SurvivorNet. “I think the modified poliovirus is going to be a game-changer in glioblastoma, but I must also say that its reach is now extending to melanoma, soon to bladder cancer.”

Keeping a battle with cancer private

A person’s health is a private matter, and a battle with cancer is arguably even more private. This is why some people, including celebrities, choose to keep their health concerns out of the spotlight. Busbee, for example, has apparently battled brain cancer without the knowledge of most people.

People like actress Kelly Preston, who was married to actor John Travolta, have also kept her battle with cancer a secret; she died of breast cancer at age 57 last summer. His death came as a surprise to many as his cancer diagnosis was largely unknown to the public.

RELATED: Kelly Preston Dies of Breast Cancer at 57 – Husband John Travolta Thanks Everyone Who Helped, Says “Kelly’s Love and Life will be forever remembered”

Announcing his death, Travolta, now 67, noted at the time that he – like his late wife – would opt for a quiet, private road ahead as he began to mourn his wife. The actor posted on Instagram: “I’ll take the time to be there for my children who have lost their mothers, so forgive me in advance if you haven’t heard from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months to come as we heal.

Actor Stanley Tucci also recently revealed for the first time that he privately battled tongue cancer three years ago. And actress Helen McCroy, wife of actor Damien Lewis, died in April at the age of 52 after a private battle with cancer.

People have different reasons for or not sharing the news of their cancer diagnosis. For Marquina Iliev-Piselli, she says sharing the news can be a burden.

Deciding when and who to talk to about my diagnosis has become a burden

“Deciding when and who to tell has become a burden,” she previously told SurvivorNet. “So you have to relive your story over and over again. “

That alone is reason enough for people to keep their cancer diagnosis a secret, but ultimately the decision is up to the person diagnosed with the disease. And it’s important to remember that there is no right way to treat cancer; everyone handles it differently.

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.


Abigail Seaberg, a recent graduate of the University of Richmond, is a Denver-based journalist. Read more


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