The Fighters Weigh In - How Signing Up to KO Cancer Changed Their Life
Monday, December 18 2017
Ever thought about throwing your name in the hat for a chance to step in the ring to help knockout cancer? It’s a big decision, one that most don’t take lightly. The idea of getting punched in the face is not one that most people particularly enjoy, but neither does the thought of having cancer or having to watch a loved one’s life be impacted by cancer. That being said, we think this experience is pretty incredible, getting to watch people year after year fight for something so much bigger than themselves is something special. If you’re on the fence and still a little unsure, looking for that extra motivation, we think we have some people that might be able to help. We talked to a few H4H alumni, asking them what the best part of their experience was and how Haymakers changed their life. They’ve all been in your shoes before and might just be who you need to hear from before clicking submit on your application.
What was the best part about your experience with Haymakers for Hope?
Haymakers For Hope was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Being a part of a cause bigger than yourself and working tirelessly towards something that will bring joy to those you love is what life is all about. My fundraising, training, and experience on fight night brought the strongest sense of purpose I have felt in my life. Cancer and the strength of those that are touched by it quickly bring a deep sense of perspective and gratitude for what you have in front of you. I can truly say that I have a rejuvenated appreciation for life, and for that, I am forever indebted to the Haymakers For Hope family.
Ryan Foley, Hope NYC 2017
Everything! From the experience of training to become a fighter, to the stronger, better person you become for it! The friends I made during the training, continue to be some of the closest people to me! It is truly a life-changing, empowering experience!
Paulina Kozak, Belles of the Brawl 2016
A few of the best part(s) of H4H for me (in no particular order):
#1 Meeting awesome people
#2 Getting in fire emoji shape
#3 Raising money for the fight against cancer
#4 When it was over and I could have a vodka soda water
#5 Feeling like I was (and still am!) part of something much bigger than myself.
Looking to change up your life, while improving the lives of others? If the answer is yes, then you should sign up for Haymakers for Hope.
Leigh Cassidy, Belles of the Brawl 2017
First and foremost, feeling like you are doing something in honor of those family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, ..., that have fought or are continuing to fight and hopefully giving them some inspiration as well. Second, getting in kick ass shape and confronting some serious individual challenges which push you to the brink and test your resolve but only builds a stronger more confident and appreciative mentality and outlook on life. And Third, getting to be a part of something and go through all the above with a team. You are not alone on this team whether it's the battle against cancer we are collectively trying to fight or in the ring. There is a bond created among Haymakers that is not something I've ever experienced elsewhere. It's humbling and raw and builds a camaraderie with fellow Haymakers whether you know them or not that will last long beyond the months of training and ultimate fight night. I consider this a lifetime membership and that feels incredible to be a part of.
Adam Chicoine, Rock ‘N Rumble 2017
Community. From being a part of the Haymakers event, having a team in your corner or at your gym, and being able to give back to a charity that makes a difference in the community and what surrounds you.
Allison Kemon, Belles of the Brawl 2015
Best part: Taco Bell! Ate it every week during training plus they acknowledged my existence by sending me free gift cards and gear. I thought outside of "the bun" for fundraising and was rewarded handsomely. The bruises were a badge of honor plus a great conversation starter with the ladies ????
Why people should sign up: Cancer sucks. It's a horrible disease that has impacted too many lives. Punching someone in the face was a nice added bonus.
Change for the better: Now in drunken bar fights I can throw legit punches instead of wild, crazy ones. I'm kidding. I love being able to tell new people my story of the hard work and see them getting excited about it. Passing on my experiences I feel has impacted people to do something to combat the disease.
Matt Grendal, Rock ‘N Rumble 2017
As a cancer survivor myself and approaching another routine PET scan, I ask myself, on a weekly basis, "what is you why?' That there is a reason that I am living and won my battle. Haymakers gave me the platform to share my story, to inspire others and with the help of such incredible generosity and support, to donate almost 25k to cancer research and awareness. My 'why' through this process was to acknowledge that no matter how hard the hit in the ring, cancer hit myself and my family harder. It was to continue to fight for those who had lost their battle to this unforgiving disease and to have my hand raised at the end of this new battle. I was assigned a mountain to show others it could be moved. Because of H4H I was able to touch many lives in sharing my story, I was able to raise awareness for the cancers that people know little about and I was able to build friendships with my fellow Belles that will last a lifetime. Belles of the Brawl 2017 still stands as the most special night of my life. As the next round of future alum take your walk up those stairs, ask yourself ... what is your "why." Keep swingin'!
Stephanie Jandrys, Belles of the Brawl 2017
Best part? Getting to know myself, love myself, becoming apart of a family of elite alumni who are the only ones to describe the feeling of being under those lights.
Why sign up? It’s a life-changing experience. Self-growth. Challenge unlike anything else. The smiles and genuine excitement/gratitude from the ring survivors. The feeling you get when you step into the ring and look out into the crowd was one thing I’ll never forget and the feeling is so hard to describe.
How did my life change? I’m a better person. decided to follow my heart and dreams to live a life of passion supporting others get the same feeling I️ got when I️ stepped into that ring. Quit corporate life 3 months after the fight and haven’t looked back.
Lauren Keenan, Belles of the Brawl 2016
1. The challenge. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and an experience I’ll never forget. 2. To be part of something bigger than themselves that will push them to also better themselves . 3. It made me mentally stronger.
Colleen Lawes, Belles of the Brawl 2017
1. Raising money 2. Getting in great shape 3. The feeling of making a real difference
Jess Jones, Belles of the Brawl 2016
Haymakers means so much to me as I have been there basically since the birth of it!! Having my son honored in the early years of haymakers was incredible! Being able to fight in his honor while sharing our story and spreading awareness was even more incredible!!!
Having my hand raised at the end was something I never imagined, however, it has set a pace for me to always try to accomplish the unaccomplishable! Haymakers got me into the best shape of my life where I’ve been able to even run a marathon!! It’s made me feel like there is nothing I cannot accomplish!!
Since joining Haymakers I’ve raised well over 30,000 for cancer awareness and treatments!!
Literally, that night fighting was the best night of my life!
Nicolette Deveau, Belles of the Brawl 2014
There was no better feeling then fight night. All the hard work, time spent worrying, time telling everyone about the cause and why you’re doing it... you know that you’re as ready as you’ll ever be and going to give a huge effort for something so big and rewarding. At the end, it was the biggest and best accomplishment and sense of success.
I met absolutely amazing people that I will have lifelong relationships with. I found some of the best parts of myself. I was humbled daily by the outpouring of support. And, I got to feel like I was making a difference.
Kim Lipman, Rock ‘N Rumble 2017
The best part of it besides raising money for cancer is being able to say you were a Haymakers for Hope fighter and part of a very special family.
Andy Zitoli, Rock ‘N Rumble 2011
What’s cooler than raising money to kick cancer’s ass, working harder than you’ve ever worked at anything in your life with the most amazing people you will ever meet and being able to tell people that you are a boxer!! Your hardest day of training is easier than having to face a diagnosis of cancer. H4H is an organization I am beyond proud to be a part of. I would do it all over again In a heartbeat!
Kristen Jorgensen-Perry, Belles of the Brawl 2014
It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Period. You get to honor someone you love, you get to raise money that saves lives, you get in shape, you meet new brothers and sisters, and you finally get to punch someone else without jail time.
It is a special opportunity. I will always have it. No one can take it away. And the love you feel on that night from the people who came to support you is something you just don't forget.
Ben Pease, Rock ‘N Rumble 2017
I don't think there's just one "best part"--the experience as a whole is tremendous. Coming out of your comfort zone of being apprehensive about being punched, to being comfortable getting punched --and feeling confident that you will punch back is exhilarating and empowering! Knowing that all of the body aches and pains, and the innate fear of facing another person in front of you who wants to knock you down-- is the very least that you can do, in an effort to help those who battle daily and go through so much more. It might start as a "personal best" for some, but I assure you that it's an honor and a privilege to stand alongside other people who are dedicated to facing fear in the face, in the name of fighting cancer. Boxing is a sport of character and intestinal fortitude --and is a choice. Cancer isn't a choice, and forces people to fight.
Winning or losing is secondary; making the decision to do something that requires dedication and sacrifice on behalf of others --is a rewarding experience. Why not do it- that to me, is the better question!
Haymakers didn't change me per se-- but it brought out a part of me that might've been hiding in the shadows. And being part of this community of really good people, is humbling and something I am very proud of. If I could do it again.... I would do it in a heartbeat.
Rebecca Beraldi, Belles of the Brawl 2017
In the Boston area and want to sign up? Sign Ups for Rock ‘N Rumble VIII are open until Wednesday, December 20th. In Denver and want to fight? Sign up for our newsletter and keep your eyes open for sign ups starting in January!