Why NYC Fights
Monday, November 13 2017
On Thursday, November 16th, 28 different men & women will step into the ring for the first time. This is no easy fest, the past four months have been filled with ups and downs, pushing their bodies to the limits. One can only imagine the amount of nerves and emotions swirling around in their heads. Excitement, fear, anticipation, hope, dread, the list goes on. They all have someone they are fighting for, they all have individual things driving them. Their lives have all been touched by cancer in some way. As fight night is approaching get an inside look as to what motivates these brave men & women who are stepping in the ring to literally knock out cancer.
I’m a sucker for a good cause. And I can’t think of a better cause to raise money for than knocking the f**k out of cancer. Learn a new skill and fight cancer. Sounds like a double win. Cancer has hit everyone. I am drawing inspiration from my two grandmothers, my mom’s best friend and my business partners brother. If there is any way to get one step closer to finding a cure, I’m in. – Jason Harris, Church Street Boxing Gym
Over the past six months, cancer has infiltrated the lives of many people I hold dear. Most recently, my grandfather was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer which has affected his ability to eat and digest both solids and liquids. At this stage, there is no specific treatment in sight, and he is too weak to undergo the intensive surgery required. His hearing is also starting to fade, making our communication more difficult. In addition, my aunt recently underwent chemotherapy as part of her cancer treatment and continues to battle against the disease. While I used to go on frequent visits to see my aunt and grandfather in Taiwan, I haven’t been able to see them over the past several years and miss them dearly. After the fight, I hope to visit my grandfather, encouraging him to continue his battle against the brutal disease.
I know many of you have gone through similar experiences where you or someone close to you has fought cancer. Amidst the physical and emotional suffering, I’ve witnessed amazing exhibits of strength and unity. In my fight, I'm inspired by the strength I've seen and I’m honored to be given the opportunity to fight and raise awareness so that others can have a better chance of conquering the disease. -Rebecca Cai, EverybodyFights
Cancer has affected my life in a major way. When I was 20 years old I was a living organ donor for my Uncle who had liver cancer. I donated 70% of my liver in 2002. That experience had such a profound impact on my life in so may ways. Since then, many of my loved ones and friends have battled this horrible disease. Currently, a lacrosse teammate of mine is battling prostate cancer, and he is 35 years old! Cancer can affect anyone at any time and I am determined to do my part to help. -Rich Beecher, Mendez Boxing
It’s strange; my whole life I’d always viewed cancer as a threat very distant from me. Then last summer for the first time, it got right up in my face. My dad, the man I adore most in this world, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer—and then in the winter with a second form of cancer. But where it would’ve been easy and understandable for him to retreat to self-pity and thoughts of mortality, instead he pressed on. Over nine months of treatment and through his last days with us, there was never a doubt in his mind that he was going to beat this.
Profoundly blessed to have been raised by this man, to share his name—from the father, through the daughter—we continue the fight. On November 16th I’m going to look up and pass you the W—hold this, Dad—this one’s for you. -Jackie Rung, Gotham Gym
As with many families, cancer has unfortunately affected mine as long as I can remember. My grandfather passed away from cancer only a few months after I was born. My grandmother, who is a cancer survivor, was diagnosed when I was 5 years old. My great-grandmother passed away from cancer when I was 14 years old, and most significantly, my mother passed away from cancer when I was 17 years old. I’ve personally witnessed and experienced the devastating affect this horrible disease has on those who are diagnosed, the struggle they endure to fight it, and the pain and suffering it causes for their loved ones. I am drawing my inspiration from all of these amazing people who have impacted my life and helped shape me to become the person that I am. -Michael Kiami, WorkTrainFight
My mom is a huge inspiration. Not only did she help me with homework every single night of my high school career but she worked really hard for peace and social justice in or society. She wanted it and fought for it and spoke true to power to anybody that stood in her way. Although she'd totally freak out if she knew I was boxing, my mom was a fighter - in the truest sense of the word. -Ben Rader, Church Street Boxing Gym
My inspiration to get in the ring and fight for a cure stems from wanting to support two great organizations, Haymakers for Hope and Candlelighters NYC. Both of these organizations allow me to do something meaningful and give back to people who need and appreciate the support. When I was introduced to Candlelighters NYC by a close friend, I was so moved by how they support kids and their families going through cancer treatment. Having my own family, I imagined what it would be like to be going through what these families and kids are going through fighting cancer. I immediately decided I would do whatever I could to support their efforts. -Nick Boles, Gotham Gym
I'm inspired everyday by the trainers and people I'm surrounded by. The support system I have now is the same support system I want to be for those children that are fighting for their lives as they battle cancer. Like most, I unfortunately have lost many family members and close friends to various types of cancer. My Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle and few more have all lost their battle; while others dear to my heart are still battling or have battled in the past. -Joe Cervasio, Gleason’s Boxing Gym
My uncle, Stephen, died of Leukemia when he was 6 years old. I saw and felt the impact losing him had on my family. This fight is real for me. -Stephen Trevor, Mendez Boxing
As far as direct impact, I lost grandparents to cancer. But I really empathize with those who have seen loved ones battle cancer earlier in life. I think we all feel that, and it shows in the donation support from friends and family – even strangers. It’s inspiring to see so many people come together for a cause that clearly affects all of us, even if indirectly. My firm is heavily involved with MSKCC as well as Ronald McDonald House with our big annual event, RBC Race for the Kids, on September 16th, and I’ve recently become a supporter of For Pete's Sake Cancer Respite Foundation which helps cancer-battling families from a different angle. The past few years I competed in the D10 which benefits Memorial Sloan Kettering, so I was naturally excited about another shot to contribute to the (literally) vital work being done there. To have the opportunity to test myself physically while also raising money for such an important cause – it doesn’t get much better than that. -McKay Claghorn, Church Street Boxing Gym