This Saturday, July 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Highland Ice Arena is the Skate for Coach benefit, which will raise funds for Coach Darin Hosier. Joining this landmark event will be announcer Kristi Yamaguchi, along with figure skaters Michael Weiss, Rachael Flatt and Ben Agosto. Over 120 local skaters will gather together for an incredible night of ice skating with the purpose of supporting one of their own.
Coach Darin Hosier was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in November 2012 and only days later he found himself in surgery as the doctors worked to remove the tumor pressing against his back. Darin had known that something was wrong for quite some time and when the pain became unbearable, Darin underwent testing where he was shocked to discover that he had stage 4 colon cancer.
Coach Darin’s message to everyone is simple, “Get a colonoscopy.” Colon cancer is a slow moving cancer. He most likely had cancer for 5 to 10 years before being diagnosed, but without a colonoscopy it could not be properly identified.
Since then Darin has undergone surgery and twelve rounds of chemotherapy. He will take a short break and then plans to undergo another invasive surgery in September and an additional round of chemo in January 2014. Though stage 4 cancer typically has a bleak outlook, Darin’s goal is to be in remission by this time next year.
Drawn to the sport by watching Dorothy Hamill, Coach Darin started skating when he was 10 years old and skated competitively for 10 years, earning himself a U.S.F.S. gold medal in figures and freestyle as well as a U.S.F.S. National medal. After completing his competitive career, he went on tour for a few years until he finally fell in love with Seattle, where he relocated and began his coaching career at the Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline, Washington.
Darin has been coaching at Highland for over twenty years and has coached elite skaters on national and international levels. Just days after his first surgery he boarded a plane for a major competition, just to be there for his students. He loves the sport and his students and has continued coaching even while receiving treatment.
“It’s part of my therapy. It’s part of my recovery. The more normalcy I have in my life, the better I feel.” Darin explained. Darin loves the process of coaching and comes up with innovative ways to teach his students. Known for being a hard worker with a positive attitude and warm personality, it is no wonder why so many are gathering to raise funds for his treatment.
When asked how he felt about the benefit being put on for him, he said, “It’s surreal, I keep thinking it’s for someone else,” he laughs. Darin explained that he is truly overwhelmed by the amount of support that he has received. He is so grateful for his best friend, Corrie Martin who is directing the benefit, the Highland Skating Club who put together the foundation, the Highland Ice Arena staff for being so supportive and the numerous people that have built webpages, Facebook pages and have contributed in so many ways. Darin seems the most touched by the number of his students who have poured out their love and support for him.
Darin’s treatment is extremely expensive and the proceeds raised from this event will go towards his treatment. The skating show is currently sold out, but tickets can still be purchased the night of the event with the understanding that it will be standing room only. DVD’s will also be available for purchase.
The Skate for Coach figure skating show is like none other. Skaters are donating their time, community vendors are donating items for a silent auction directly following the event, and it is all to support an incredible coach that is so loved and valued by many.
The ice skating community has truly rallied around him to give back after all that he has given to the skating world. In many ways Coach Darin sees himself as just a regular guy, who loves gliding across the ice and who is currently faced with adversity that is not meant to defeat him, but rather for him to overcome. It is clear through this foundation and this event, that Coach Darin is certainly not fighting this battle alone.