Breaking News
More () »

7-year-old Seattle figure skater battling brain tumor

Rose is channeling her figure skating poise and self-confidence to face the challenge of her latest brain surgery.

SEATTLE — A young figure skater with the Kraken Skating Academy was about to start her first competitive season when the family was thrown for a twist. 

Rose King, 7, is fighting a rare brain tumor and will require intensive brain surgery in a few weeks.

Rose is facing craniopharyngioma — the very same rare benign pituitary brain tumor Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton battled three times. The pituitary gland is in the skull, below the brain and above the nasal passages. A large tumor can press upon and damage the brain and nerves. 

Rose is channeling her figure skating poise and self-confidence to face the challenge of her latest brain surgery. 

Her mother Kaylin said Rose was first diagnosed at age five. A fall on the ice led to what they assumed was a concussion but medical tests revealed the tumor.

“Figure skating saved her life,” Kaylin said. 

Three surgeries removed the tumor in 2021.

Rose is preparing for a break in her figure skating by fine-tuning a performance she’s been rehearsing. The Kraken Skating Academy is holding a mini-performance for Rose to showcase her “Girl on Fire” program before she heads into brain surgery.

Coach Anna Matuszewski said Rose is a natural on the ice. 

“She’s a super hard worker, she’s tough and she’s always wanting to skate and get better,” Matuszewski said. 

Coach Sally Jeanne Watkins, who works with Rose, says she has a spirit about her and the eye of the tiger. 

“When she’s skating you can tell she loves it and you can see it on her face and in her moves,” Watkins said. 

Kraken Skating Academy offers skaters the opportunity to be supported by a team environment and Rose is feeling the love. 

“It’s an individual sport but everyone supports each other here and it feels like family with the Kraken so it really does feel like we’re all in this together,” Kaylin said.

Rose will undergo her fourth brain surgery March 23 but already has her heart focused on competition later this spring. 

“She’s fearless and focused on returning to figure skating so your thoughts and prayers help during what is expected to be a month at the hospital,” said Kaylin. 

Rose says she plans to be back performing on the ice quickly and has estimated roughly 100 gold medals in her career as a figure skater.

At just 7 years old Rose seems to know an important life lesson.

“I gotta be really, like, tough, because you always have to fall,” Rose said. 

Rose always gets back up.


Before You Leave, Check This Out