Just days after his teams won the 2014 NHRA championships in Top Fuel (son Tony) and Funny Car (Matt Hagan), team owner Don Schumacher took a detour on his way back to Indianapolis that may ultimately have saved his life.
Schumacher stopped in Rochester, Minnesota to undergo his yearly physical at the renowned Mayo Clinic.
Typically a rather healthy fellow, Schumacher received quite an unexpected diagnosis: he’s suffering from Stage 1 Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, according to SkinCancer.org.
“I will beat this,” he told the web site Tuesday, one day before his surgery.
“Finding this early is the key,” Schumacher added. “Thank God, I’ve been coming here to the Mayo Clinic for annual physicals so this could be discovered.
“I can’t stress to everyone how important it is to get regular physicals and take care of your health.”
Team officials are expected to give an update on Schumacher’s condition sometime early next week.
Don Schumacher Racing has earned 13 world championships, including eight in Top Fuel by son Tony, and 240 NHRA national event wins.
As someone who had his own battle with a similar skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma), two years ago (discovered, ironically enough, during a free cancer screening at Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to the fall 2011 NASCAR race there), I can relate to what Schumacher is going through. That it was caught in the earliest stages is a blessing.
We wish Don a very speedy recovery.
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