Canadian Wrestling Legend Bret “Hitman” Hart Battling Prostate Cancer
Canadian pro wrestling legend Bret “Hitman” Hart – a multi-time world champion and one of the most popular stars in modern pro wrestling history – announced today that he is battling prostate cancer. The 58-year-old Calgary native revealed the news via social media in a lengthy post to fans and loved ones that has since gone viral.
“I now face my toughest battle,” Hart wrote. “With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer. In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all.”
In the post, Hart noted the many health battles he’s faced as a result of his near quarter-century in the ring, from various surgeries to the kick to the head that resulted in a career-ending concussion. In recent years he said he’s endured knee replacements, “a four-corner fusion of my right wrist that even now makes it most difficult to write or type” and, of course, the stroke he suffered in 2002, at age 45, after a fall while riding his bike.
“One year ago, I watched a brave young man named Whesley fight brain cancer to the end,” Hart wrote. “If I can find even an ounce of his courage to stand unafraid and face the tough road ahead of me, I will march toward this destiny with his spirit chanting in my ear.”
Hart then vowed to fight, urged on by the love of his wife, Steph, as well as his children and grandchildren.
“I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying,” he concluded. “Most important of all, I hope I can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten.”
Hart’s words echo an interview he gave to Zoomer in 2013 as he discussed his future, post-stroke, his fighting spirit and his desire to be a positive role model every bit as evident as it was when he conquered giants inside the squared circle.
“And the next chapters of my life, whether it’s the stroke or where I go from here, being a grandfather … I’m going to always try to lead the way by example – but a good example,” he said. “You know, if I was a good hero to somebody 20 years ago I can be a good hero to them tomorrow, [or] 20 years from now.”
See below for the full text of Bret Hart’s message to his fans:
It is with great remorse that I feel compelled to speak truthfully to my friends, family and my millions of fans around the world. In the past few years, I’ve spent more than enough time paying the price for all those years trying to be the best there ever was as a professional wrestler. I executed excellently and my proudest claim was that I never seriously hurt or injured another wrestler in my 23 year career. I’ve paid a price for all that “fake” wrestling … Mark Helprin wrote: “We are all perfect clocks that Divinity has set to ticking when, even before birth, the heart explodes into a lifelong dance.” I’ve had a great lifelong dance and I’m a survivor of many hard battles. I now face my toughest battle. With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer. In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all. My fans have always looked upon me as a hero and I’ve always done my best to live up to that in and out of the ring. I beat the odds when I suffered my stroke in 2002, but it is now yet again, that I … stand unafraid and face the tough road ahead of me, I will march toward this destiny with his spirit chanting in my ear. I make a solemn vow to all of those that once believed in me, the dead and the living, that I will wage my fearsome fight against cancer with one shield and one sword carrying my determination and my fury for life, emboldened by all the love that’s kept me going this long already. Love is my weapon and I’ve got much of it around me all the time, for which I’m truly blessed and eternally grateful. My children, grandchildren, and my loving wife Steph have been and will constantly be at my side. I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying. Most important of all, I hope can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten. B x