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Shannon Miller’s Surgery, Personal Message

February 26, 2011

Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller posted the following personal note on her website addressing the surgery she had last month to remove a germ cell malignancy on an ovary and the nine weeks of preventive chemotherapy she will receive beginning  March 7.

Dear Friends,

For the past several weeks I have been dealing with a health issue that arose rather suddenly during the holidays.

In mid-January I had surgery to remove a baseball-sized “germ cell malignancy” that my physician discovered during a routine exam. Surgery was successful and I have recovered with little break in my normal routine.

While there is no sign of cancer and the tumor was completely removed, the suggested treatment for my specific issue is three cycles of preventative chemotherapy. This treatment provides the best chance to eliminate the need to deal with this issue again, and I have decided to begin chemotherapy March 7th.

I am working hard to prepare my body, mind and soul for this challenge and remain thankful for such a positive prognosis. I am grateful to the wonderful physicians and nurses at St. Vincent’s HealthCare, North Florida OB/GYN and Southeast Gynecologic Oncology Associates. They have helped me feel comfortable every step of the way and provided the best of care. There is no substitute for their kindness and compassion.

As an advocate for women’s health and wellness, I feel it is important for me to let others know what I am going through and how early detection has saved my life. I urge all women to continue to get their annual exam. Make your health a priority. Do not delay, do not reschedule. Early detection saves lives.

Many wonderful people have already shared their stories with me and have given me the strength to face these next few months with courage, dignity and a sense of humor. Your continued thoughts and prayers are important to me. While I may be a bit slower (and even have a new hairstyle), I look forward to traveling to my brother’s wedding in Oklahoma this June.

With the amazing support, incredible hard work and true dedication of the Shannon Miller Lifestyle team, we plan to move full steam ahead with all of our initiatives and programs, including the SML Radio Show, Children’s Fun Run & Women’s 5K, SM Walk-Fit Program and the SM Foundation Running Clubs. God willing, I plan to participate in all upcoming events and obligations. If there is one thing I know from my gymnastics career, it’s that I don’t enjoy sitting on the sidelines.

This is certainly the greatest obstacle I have ever encountered. I am grateful for the love and support of my husband John, son Rocco, my family and friends, and the many of you who encourage me every day. I am up for the challenge and confident about the outcome.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.


Updates available at

From → Olympians

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