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Wednesday May 29, 2024

5 Reasons to Sign Up for Haymakers for Hope Belles of the Brawl

Are you ready to step into the ring and make a real impact? Haymakers for Hope's Belles of the Brawl offers an incredible opportunity for women to lace up their gloves, throw some punches, and fight for a cause that hits close to home. This unique charity boxing event not only supports cancer research, patient care, awareness and survivorship but also provides participants with a chance to experience personal growth, form lasting connections, and achieve peak physical fitness. If you're looking for a challenge that's as rewarding as it is demanding, here are five knockout reasons why signing up for Belles of the Brawl could be one of the best decisions you ever make.     1. Knockout CancerBy participating in Belles of the Brawl, you directly support cancer research and care. The funds raised from these boxing events go to various cancer-related charities, making a significant impact in the fight against cancer. 2. Fight for Your FutureTraining for a boxing match is a rigorous and transformative process. It demands physical and mental strength, resilience, and dedication. Participants often experience immense personal growth, gaining confidence, discipline, and a sense of accomplishment. 3. Join a Knockout CrewJoining Belles of the Brawl means becoming part of a supportive community of women who are all working towards the same goal. The camaraderie among participants fosters lasting friendships and a strong support network. 4. Get Fit, Hit HardBoxing training provides a full-body workout, improving cardiovascular health, strength, endurance, and agility. Participants often report significant improvements in their physical fitness, weight management, and overall well-being. 5. Unforgettable MemoriesCompeting in a boxing match is a unique and exhilarating experience that few people undertake. It offers a chance to step out of your comfort zone, face new challenges, and create lasting memories. The event itself is a celebration of hard work, dedication, and the collective effort to make a difference. Apply now for your chance to become a Belle of the Brawl!

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Wednesday Apr 24, 2024

Fighting for a Cause: Haymakers for Hope's 2nd Annual Liberty Bell Brawl

In a world often marred by adversity, it’s heartening to witness individuals stepping into the ring not just to battle opponents, but to take a swing at something far bigger and more formidable: cancer. On Wednesday, April 24th, at The Fillmore Philadelphia, the stage is set for the 2nd Annual Liberty Bell Brawl, hosted by Haymakers for Hope. This event is not merely about boxing; it’s a poignant display of resilience, compassion, and a collective determination to knock out cancer. For each of the 24 fighters, this event holds a deeply personal significance. Cancer, with its pervasive reach, has touched their lives in profound ways. As they lace up their gloves and step under the bright lights of the ring, they carry with them the memories, struggles, and triumphs of their loved ones who have faced this relentless foe. Luke Gambale, a fighter who himself battled Stage IIIB cancer, shares his journey of resilience and hope, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness and funds to support others in their fight against the disease. He reflects, “Cancer unfortunately touches so many people and their loved ones and has become a big part of my life over the last few years. Closing in on year 2 of 'No Evidence of Disease,' I can think of no better way to celebrate while raising money and awareness about cancer than stepping into the ring.” Ethan Wergelis-Isaacson, driven by a lifelong commitment to healthcare impact, sees Haymakers for Hope as the next step in his journey to eradicate cancer. He states, “Haymakers for Hope is giving me the opportunity to step into the ring and fight for the eradication of this disease. We've all been impacted in our personal lives and communities by cancer, so I hope you join [us] in our collective fight to knock out cancer once and for all.” For George Balatsinos, the memory of his father’s battle with Mesothelioma fuels his resolve to step into the ring and honor his legacy. His poignant tribute underscores the deeply personal nature of this fight against cancer. Donald Lyons, fighting in memory of his father and niece, shares the heartbreaking stories that have shaped his decision to participate in this event. He says, “I will be fighting in honor of my father, James Wilson (1936 -2002) and niece, Simone Lyons (1993-1995) and everyone who has battled with or lost a loved one to cancer.” Joey Davanzo draws strength from his wife’s courageous battle with cancer, highlighting the profound impact of witnessing a loved one confront adversity with grace and determination. He explains, “Today, I am overjoyed to share that my wife is cancer-free. This experience has become my driving force, propelling me to participate in this event.” Tyler Gilger’s decision to step into the ring is driven by a desire to celebrate the victories of his family members against cancer. His message of resilience and determination echoes the sentiment of hope that unites all the fighters in their mission. David Zhao’s rallying cry for hope, healing, and unity encapsulates the collective spirit of the fighters as they prepare to take on this formidable opponent. He declares, “After intense months of training, fundraising, and more punches than I’ve ever dreamed of taking, I’m ready to prove that when we band together, we can deliver a knockout blow to cancer.” Joyce Adelugba invites others to join her in making a difference, emphasizing the importance of collective action in the fight against cancer. Her call to support fundraising efforts underscores the vital role of community in driving change. Bianca Solari fights not only for those affected by cancer but also in honor of her grandmother, embodying the legacy of strength and resilience passed down through generations. Yuryssa Lewis draws inspiration from her aunt’s victorious battle with cancer, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and determination in overcoming adversity. Her commitment to supporting cancer research reflects a deep-seated belief in the power of hope. Lydia Ali’s passionate advocacy for the fight against cancer is rooted in personal losses and a dedication to honoring the memory of loved ones. Her resolve to give cancer a knockout blow speaks to the indomitable spirit of resilience. Kate Skarvinko’s lifelong dedication to helping others finds new purpose in the fight against cancer. Her commitment to supporting loved ones in their time of need underscores the enduring power of compassion and solidarity. Liz Ring’s poignant tribute to her father and all those lost to cancer echoes the collective sentiment of grief and determination shared by fighters and supporters alike. Her resolve to knock out cancer for good serves as a powerful reminder of the stakes at hand. As the fighters of Haymakers for Hope step into the ring at the Liberty Bell Brawl, they do so not only as athletes but as champions of hope, resilience, and solidarity. Their stories remind us that in the face of adversity, it is our shared humanity and collective action that have the power to effect change. Together, let us join them in their mission to knock out cancer once and for all.

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Tuesday Apr 23, 2024

Step into the Ring for a Cause: Why You Should Join Haymakers for Hope

In a world filled with opportunities to make a difference, Haymakers for Hope stands out as a unique and impactful way to contribute to the fight against cancer. Founded on the principle of using boxing as a platform for fundraising and advocacy, this organization has garnered attention for its innovative approach to charity work. But what sets Haymakers for Hope apart, and why should you consider stepping into the ring? Jeff Scola, Rock ‘N Rumble alumni, highlights the unparalleled physical and emotional journey that Haymakers for Hope offers. He emphasizes the raw, visceral connection forged through the act of stepping into the ring, literally fighting against cancer. Beyond raising funds for vital causes, the experience promises personal transformation, regardless of motivation. It’s a chance to push oneself physically and mentally, emerging changed for the better. Chris Rohland, another Rock ‘N Rumble alumni, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the personal nature of the decision to participate. For him, it was a familial connection to cancer that fueled his desire to fight. Through commitment to training and the cause, participants not only achieve peak physical condition but also find profound emotional fulfillment. It’s about looking within oneself and deciding to take action, despite the inevitable challenges. Nikki Joyal, a Belles of the Brawl alumni, adds a layer of enthusiasm to the discussion, highlighting the sheer joy and satisfaction that come from being part of Haymakers for Hope. As both a participant and a boxing trainer, she emphasizes the transformative power of the experience. From raising substantial funds to receiving free swag, every aspect contributes to a sense of fulfillment and purpose. It’s an opportunity not just to help others but to emerge stronger and more resilient. Joanne Beck, a Liberty Bell Brawl alumni, brings a poignant perspective, emphasizing the significance of honoring loved ones impacted by cancer. Whether they’ve battled the disease themselves or supported someone through it, Haymakers for Hope offers a tangible way to fight back. It’s a literal manifestation of the resilience and determination displayed by cancer patients, a chance to stand in solidarity with them. At its core, Haymakers for Hope is about more than just boxing. It’s about community, empowerment, and the relentless pursuit of a cure for cancer. It offers a unique blend of physical challenge, emotional fulfillment, and meaningful impact. So, why should you sign up to participate? Because it’s an opportunity to make a difference in a way that resonates deeply with your soul. It’s a chance to step into the ring and fight, not just for yourself, but for those who need it most. Learn more and sign up now in a city near you!

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Friday Apr 19, 2024

Insights from Alumni : Jennifer Markowitz

If you're considering embarking on the four-month boxing journey with Haymakers for Hope but need that final nudge, let Jennifer Markowitz, an alumni who fought in The Beltway Brawl IV in Washington DC, be your guide. In a recent episode of Not Every Fight Ends at the Bell, Jen shares invaluable insights into the transformative power of this experience. 1. Embrace Consistency and FocusWhen asked what advice she'd give to someone starting their Haymakers journey, Jennifer emphasizes the importance of staying consistent and focusing on one day at a time. It's about setting small, achievable goals and tackling them methodically. By concentrating on daily progress rather than the overwhelming scope of the end goal, participants can steadily work their way towards success. 2. Discover Your Limits Jennifer speaks to the value of pushing your boundaries and exploring new challenges. Participating in Haymakers for Hope isn't just about boxing; it's about testing your own limits and discovering strengths you never knew you had. Even if you don't emerge victorious, the experience itself is invaluable for personal growth and self-discovery. 3. Support a Meaningful CauseOne of the most compelling aspects of Haymakers for Hope is its partnership with charitable organizations like the Maddie Maracle Cancer Foundation. Jennifer chose to fundraise for this foundation, which focuses on establishing psychosocial standards of care for pediatric cancer patients. By participating in Haymakers, you're not just boxing for yourself; you're also making a meaningful contribution to important causes. 4. Challenge Yourself Ultimately, Jennifer's message is clear: Haymakers for Hope offers a unique opportunity to challenge yourself in ways you may never have imagined. Whether it's stepping into the ring for the first time or dedicating yourself to months of rigorous training, the experience is about growth, resilience, and self-discovery. Signing up for Haymakers for Hope isn't just about boxing; it's about embracing challenges, supporting important the fight against cancer, and discovering the best version of yourself. As Jennifer Markowitz eloquently puts it, "The reason you do it is so you can find out things about yourself that you didn't know." So why wait? Take the plunge, lace up your gloves, and join the fight today. Thank you to Jennifer Markowitz for sharing her inspiring story and insights. Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple or Amazon. Or check out all our episodes here. This blog post highlights the key takeaways from Jennifer's podcast episode, emphasizing the personal growth, meaningful impact, and transformative potential of participating in Haymakers for Hope.

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Thursday Apr 18, 2024

Inside the Ropes: A Journey Through the Haymakers for Hope Experience

Joining the fight against cancer isn't just about donating money or attending events; sometimes, it's about stepping into the ring yourself. At Haymakers for Hope, ordinary people become fighters, raising funds and awareness for cancer research, care, awareness and survivorship through a once in a lifetime boxing experience. Let's take a closer look at what it takes to be part of the Haymakers family, from sign-ups to the electrifying fight night and everything in between. 1. Gloves On: Sign Up for the EventThe journey begins with a simple application, where aspiring fighters share their motivations and fundraising plans. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a novice, Haymakers welcomes all who are driven to make a difference. After applying, the boxing ops team meticulously matches fighters based on weight, height, age, and experience, ensuring fair matchups. No previous boxing experience is required. See what applications are now open! 2. Punching for a Purpose: Fundraising for the CauseFundraising is a crucial part of the Haymakers experience, with each participant setting a goal to support a cancer related 501c3 of their choice. Through personalized fundraising pages and support from the Haymakers team, fighters engage their networks and communities to surpass their targets. The funds raised not only support vital research but also provide care and support for those affected by cancer. Check out some of the organizations we work with. 3. Finding Your Match: Gym Pairing & MatchmakingAs an integral part of the Haymakers for Hope journey, we match each boxer with a USA Boxing registered gym and experienced trainer. In order to corner their boxer on fight night, we require each trainer must be certified by USA Boxing. While each boxer may face the ring alone on fight night, boxing thrives as a team sport. These gym communities serve as invaluable support systems, aiding competitors in their physical and mental preparation, ensuring they step into the ring on fight night with unwavering confidence in their abilities. Haymakers takes great care to ensure that matchups are fair and evenly matched, creating a level playing field for all participants. Check out some of our gym partners. 4. Wrap Up, Sweat On: Training to Knockout CancerTraining for a Haymakers fight is no easy feat, requiring dedication, discipline, and hard work. Over four months, fighters commit to a grueling regimen of technique drills, conditioning exercises, and sparring sessions. With the support of experienced trainers and fellow fighters, they push their limits and strive to be the best version of themselves come fight night.  5. Lights, Camera, Action: Sparring & Media DayHalfway through their training, fighters showcase their skills at sparring and media day, a chance to spar with their potential opponent and capture epic footage for fundraising efforts. The event brings the Haymakers community together, energizing fighters for the final stretch of their journey. Check out some of the awesome content from our production partners, Gauntlet Films! 6. Pushing Limits: The Final CountdownAs fight night approaches, fighters ramp up their training and fundraising efforts, fueled by the support of their friends, family, and supporters. With the finish line in sight, they push through fatigue and doubt, knowing that their efforts will make a meaningful impact in the fight against cancer.  7. Clash of Champions: Fight NightOn the big night, fighters step into the ring amid a sea of cheering fans, ready to showcase their months of hard work and dedication. Each bout lasts for three 2-minute rounds and is sanctioned by USA Boxing. With adrenaline pumping and determination in their hearts, they give it their all, knowing that they're fighting not just for themselves, but for everyone affected by cancer. The energy and excitement of fight night are unmatched, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Check out some of our past events. 8. Beyond the Ring: Alumni FamilyAfter the final bell rings and the gloves come off, fighters join the ranks of Haymakers alumni, a tight-knit community bonded by their shared experience. From exclusive events to ongoing fundraising efforts, alumni continue to support each other and the Haymakers mission, ensuring that the fight against cancer never ends. Joining Haymakers for Hope isn't just about stepping into the ring; it's about joining a movement, a community united in the fight against cancer. From the first sign-up to the final bell, the Haymakers experience is one of camaraderie, determination, and hope. Are you ready to step up and join the fight?

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Wednesday Apr 22, 2020

Brands Giving Back

Over the course of the last couple of months, our worlds have all been turned upside down. For Haymakers, in particular, our events have been postponed, fighters have had to train from their own homes rather than at the gym, and there are a lot of unknowns. While it could very well be easy to focus on the negative and everything that isn’t happening right now – instead we’ve been surrounded with nothing but positivity.During this time, we’ve been so encouraged seeing many of our partners, sponsors and alumni-owned businesses doing their part to help give back. Whether it is changing their facilities to producing face masks or sanitizers, donating product or just spreading joy – we wanted to take the time to highlight just some of the amazing work being done and the way that our community has come together for the greater good. YORK Athletics – We’ve partnered with the team at YORK for many years to help KO Cancer.  Not only are they an amazing group of people, but we LOVE their kicks (seriously, it’s rare to walk into the office and not have at least one H4H team member in a pair of YORKS). So what better way for them to give back than to literally help keep the front line on their feet – which is exactly what they’ve done. Right now, you can donate or give a pair of their brand new Gail sneakers to someone on the front line, and in exchange, YORK will hook you up with a free pair of kicks of your choice. All you have to do is follow these easy steps…1. Head to their website here 2. Add a pair of Gail’s to your cart  3. Add any pair of kicks to your cart for free as YORK’s way of saying thank you 4. Check out 5. Spread the word! More donations mean more support for our frontline workers!#FightFromHomePhunkshun Wear – Owned by Haymakers Denver Alumni, Jay Badgely, Phunkshun Wear makes some of the coolest neck tubes and ski & snowboard masks we’ve seen. But with high demand for facemasks from both the front line workers and everyday citizens – they’ve changed up production and are now producing Personal Hygiene Masks. Plus for every PH Mask, you purchase for yourself – they’ll donate one to the Colorado Mask Project! Check out their masks & other gear here to help support (and cover your face!) #MasksForAllAmerican Giant – If you were lucky enough to receive a commemorative H4H fighter hoodie from American Giant then you know the bulletproof quality of their apparel. We love AG and stand behind everything they make and do! Especially since they worked to retool their North Carolina facilities and retrain their team of remarkable seamstresses! They are now making HHS-certified medical masks and distributing them to the front line medical personnel that are confronting this crisis. In need of some durable new swag? Check out everything they’ve got and support!Oofos – Founded by a friend who battled cancer, Oofos specializes in recovery footwear and has supported Haymakers for Hope over the course of the years! With our shared mission to KO Cancer, every purchase made on oofos.com contributes to finding a cure for Breast Cancer. Over the course of the last month, Oofos has donated over 1,200 pairs of recovery footwear to hospitals across the country. Their unique OOfoam technology and footbed provide much-needed relief for those long shifts. Plus, all their shoes are antimicrobial and machine washable which makes for easy cleaning! Do your feet a favor and check out all their recovery footwear, which could technically serve as your new “business shoes” if you’re now working from home!TB12 – If you’re from New England then you know TB12 well (Farewell Tom). Tom and the TB12 Team are fully behind our mission to KO Cancer and are also stepping up their game to battle COVID-19! The TB12 community is actively supporting national and local charities across the country responding to COVID-19 by giving back during this time of need. Make a purchase from their site and a portion will be donated! Additionally, any healthcare member working to fight the pandemic can book a complimentary virtual session with a TB12 Body Coach to help with their physical and mental wellness!Bully Boy Distillers – Co-founded by H4H Boston Alum, Will Willis, Bully Boy Distillers has rocked our world with some delicious rum, vodka, and other alcoholic treats. Now they have pivoted to help make and distribute hand sanitizer for those who are most in need!Other Beer & Spirit Partners –While it’s comforting to know these next brands are patiently waiting in your liquor cabinets and fridge to help get you through this pandemic, they’re also stepping up in a big way to provide much-needed support to the front lines, service workers that are out of a job and many more. We are fortunate to be associated with so many brands that have not only supported our mission to KO Cancer but are also giving back to their community in any way they can.Tito's Handmade Vodka – Producing & distributing hand sanitizer Harpoon Brewery – Producing & distributing hand sanitizer to consumers & front line workers Breckenridge Distillery - Producing & Distributing hand sanitizer Jack Daniels + Brown-Forman – Donating $1 million to help those impacted in the industry Proximo Spirits – Donating $1 million to help those impacted in the industry Blue Point Brewery – Order from Blue Point and you can make a meal donation to frontline healthcare workers! Pernod Ricard USA – Producing & distributing hand sanitizerGyms & Trainers - Not only are our partners, sponsors, and alumni run businesses giving back, but the gyms and trainers we work with year after year are also there for you during this time. Take a virtual class, learn new boxing techniques or take on one of the many challenges they’re throwing your way. Check out our constantly growing list of partner gyms and their associated virtual training offerings that will keep you fit (and sane) during quarantine!Most importantly, to the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, medical personnel, EMT’s, Police Officers, firefighters, grocery store workers, custodians, postal workers, delivery drivers, bus drivers, train conductors and all those doing their part to help keep us safe, YOU are the real heros. THANK YOU for the invaluable work you are doing for the community. And to everyone staying home, thank you for also doing your part! We are all in this together, and we have no doubt we’ll come out of this even stronger than before!  

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Monday Mar 9, 2020

Rumble in the Rockies III: Alec Abruzzo

During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rumble in the Rockies III in Denver on June 11th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Alec Abruzzo, fighting out of Touch of Sleep.Where are you from? Long Grove, IllinoisWhere’d you go to college? University of Iowa Did you play any sports growing up? Football, Baseball, BasketballWhat do you do for work? Major Account Executive Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting? Grew up watching boxing with my brothers - it has been a dream of my to be a part of a boxing event Why on earth did you sign up to fight?? I’ve always wanted to box but only if it was in front of many people. Why go through the pain if there is no glory You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you? My grandma Sally was the closest person to me in my life. She was my rock and my conscious. My grandma was always questioning my intentions and 99% of the time she had the right to be but we always talked through it. No matter if it was 1pm or 4am she was always there to guide me. I fight for her as well as my grandpa Irv and grandpa Joe. (My grandma Toni doesn’t know I’m fighting she would worry too much)What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?) Junk foodWhen you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have? Watching Horse racing, WW2 history, Baseball. Most people say I was born in the wrong era.Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night? My brothers - both booked flights immediately once I told them I was fightingCheck out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Alec!

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Monday Mar 9, 2020

Rumble in the Rockies III: Conor Horan

During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rumble in the Rockies III in Denver on June 11th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Conor Horan, fighting out of Front Range Boxing Gym.Where are you from? Denver, COWhere’d you go to college? Grand Canyon University Did you play any sports growing up? Golf/BaseballWhat do you do for work? Security sales Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting? I have always been interested in boxing and Haymakers was the thing that finally pushed me to do so. Why on earth did you sign up to fight?? To take a step to maximize my 2nd chance. You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you? I am a cancer survivor. Unfortunately, cancer has affected many people close to me. I feel this is an opportunity to make a difference, a difference that I have been wanting to make for a long time.What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?) I burn calories the way most people wish they could. I am eating more than normal to keep weight on. Time, food, beer, anything I am changing in my life is completely worth it!When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have? Throwing punches and running are currently my only hobbies!Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night? My dad is fired up! He did a tough-man competition at the Fillmore back in the day. My friends are all looking forward to it also!Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Conor!

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Monday Mar 2, 2020

Rumble in the Rockies III: Ian Marcheschi

During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rumble in the Rockies III in Denver on June 11th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Ian Marcheschi, fighting out of Bring it Back Boxing.Where are you from? Chicago-LA-DenverWhere’d you go to college? CU Boulder Did you play any sports growing up? SoccerWhat do you do for work? School Psychology Student Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting? I think boxing because it is literally a fight. What else could get you more out of your comfort zone? I tell my students all the time, you have to fight for your life everyday and with everything you have. I'm going to literally take my own advice in this process. I can't say I pictured myself fighting, but I love training and I love the process of learning new things. Four months of intense boot camp that leads to a final bout? I'll take it. Why on earth did you sign up to fight?? I'm fighting because I want to give back. I watched so many people support my mom in her battle with Ovarian Cancer, and now I'm watching my sisters go through the same. I'm fighting to raise awareness of this silent killer. You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you? The fight night (June 11th) is the 3 year anniversary of the end of my moms fight against ovarian cancer. I'm tired of dreading that day every year. I'm taking June 11th on with everything I've got. This one is for you, mom. I miss you so much, and I'm ready to put those feelings into action.What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?) I think my time will be the most difficult to give up. I'm a grad student, I have a little boy due April 3rd, classes, work at an at-risk youth program, a dissertation to write, and an amazing wife to love. I've been an athlete my whole life so I'm always training. This is just different training. I've got to unlearn some of my soccer habits and listen to my trainers at Bring It Back Boxing, an amazing gym.When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have? I enjoy anytime I get with my wife, Emily, who has been my number one supporter on this journey. I also love any opportunity to play soccer, the game I love and the place I feel most free. I've always said I'm happiest at a full sprint attacking the goal.Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night? My sisters. No question. They love me but hate that I got my mom's nose.Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Ian!

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Monday Mar 2, 2020

Rumble in the Rockies III: Matthew Hamstra

During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rumble in the Rockies III in Denver on June 11th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Matthew Hamstra, fighting out of Touch of Sleep.Where are you from? Minneapolis, MNWhere’d you go to college? Southern Adventist University - BBA Andrews University - MBA Did you play any sports growing up? Most sports, but particularly basketball and hockeyWhat do you do for work? Real estate developer and appraiser Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting? I have pictured myself fighting, but not necessarily boxing, and I don't think I have any particular talent for it. I feel like boxing chose me because it is the challenge that was put in front of me. Why on earth did you sign up to fight?? My friend Kyle Chiasson fought in last year's event, and I sponsored him. I was really impressed with his training story and with the event, and ever since then it was something I wanted to experience for myself. You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you? 2019 was a tough year for me. My grandmother passed away in March. I flew to her funeral, carried her casket, and flew back to finalize my divorce in April. The week after that, my other grandmother passed away as well. Beginning of May, while I was at her funeral, my great uncle passed away - he was my grandfather's twin brother and a D-Day veteran. In June a good friend of mine from college died while SCUBA diving in the Caribbean, and in July another college friend lost his daughter in a car accident that also left his wife paralyzed. After going through these losses and seeing the losses happening to people around me, I spent a lot of time processing, and trying to handle the negativity I was experiencing. As I worked through that pain, I came to accept that life will always have negativity to throw our way, and we can either choose to accept it, and dwell on it, succumb to that pressure, and become a negative person, or we can start trying to create good in the world around us and find ways to give back, and become a positive person. Having gone through these experiences, fighting for a cause like H4H took on a lot of meaning for me. I'm fighting on behalf of several friends and family members whose lives have been affected, or ended, by cancer. I'm also fighting for people out there who are fighting their own battles against cancer, and for those people who are trying to find ways to be an emotional support, financial support, or trying to find cures for this disease. I would also like to believe that I am fighting on behalf of people trying to process the losses life has thrown there way, or trying to heal from things that they don't talk about.What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?) I already keep a pretty busy schedule, and working my training in with everything else eats up a lot of the flexibility that I have left, so I would say the time commitment is the biggest sacrifice for me.When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have? Powerlifting, hunting, fishing, reading, spending time with my kidsWho do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night? Probably my brothers, or several of my college buddies.Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Matthew!

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