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Gold medalist brings smiles to UF hospital

Scott Hamilton meets young patient with brain tumor

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton was in Jacksonville Saturday to meet a spunky 7-year-old who has never met a stranger.

Zariah Hardy is a gregarious, funny kid who is in Jacksonville at the University of Florida's Proton Therapy Institute receiving treatment for a rare brain tumor—the same kind of tumor Hamilton was treated for in 2010.

The tumor, called craniopharyngioma, is usually is situated behind the eyes. With proton therapy, doctors are able to avoid unnecessary radiation to the optic nerve and other normal tissues in the brain and reduce the risk of blindness and other side effects.

Hamilton is also serving as the keynote speaker at the UF Proton Therapy Institute's 5th Anniversary Gala Saturday evening.