Richard Chambers was disappointed that the pandemic-delayed 2020 Daytona 200 was cancelled in October. It was the first time in 50 years that the 74-year-old former AMA Pro racer and a long-time public address announcer for motorcycle races at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) had missed a motorcycle road race at DIS. But the cancellation of the Daytona 200 may have saved his life.
“When they cancelled the Daytona 200,” said Chambers, “that’s when I went, ‘Hey, Doc. Let’s check out this lump that’s growing on my jaw,’ because I had the time.”
The lump on Chambers’ jaw was removed and found to be benign, or non-cancerous, but his doctor wanted to do a scan of Chambers’ torso just in case.
Days before that scan, Chambers experienced an unusual pain when scaling a short wall to avoid some construction work at his home in Hollywood, California, and saw blood in his urine the next morning.
“So, when I went in for my full body scan,” said Chambers, “I said, ‘Pay particular attention to the urinary tract. I peed blood a couple of days ago.’ The next morning the doctor called and said I had a growth on my kidney.”
Three weeks later, Chambers had surgery, and doctors removed his right kidney and a growth on it equal in size to the kidney.
“The diagnosis came back as it was clear cell renal cell carcinoma [a.k.a. cancer of the kidney],” said Chambers, “but it had not invaded the capsule of the kidney and two lymph nodes that they pulled out that were close to it were non-cancerous. So, they caught this timebomb before it blew up.”
Chambers says he has fully recovered from his surgery and is looking forward to announcing at the 2021 Daytona 200, hopefully with a new hip.
“Now that I’ve got my filter fixed, I can go back to work on my suspension and get a new hip,” said Chambers.