Monday, May 20 2019
Most Haymakers for Hope fighters document their journey with a few Instagram posts; Denver 2019 fighter Madison Garver is sharing her journey via the ‘gram, a dedicated Twitter account, and blog. The sheer volume of her updates isn’t even the remarkable thing about her posts; it’s her honesty.
“So I’m gonna be real honest. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I submitted my information on the Haymakers for Hope website.” - Excerpt from Madison’s Haymakers for Hope blog
Madison’s social channels cover everything from the pain of waking up at 5:00am to what it feels like to get punched in the face for the first time. She credits this transparency for getting her community engaged around her boxing journey.
“The blog was really helpful in the beginning because boxing is so emotional,” says Madison. “The process has been very exposed in a way that’s uncomfortable so it’s a good opportunity to use my voice to say ‘Here’s what is going on with training and sometimes it sucks but it’s worth it.’”
The story behind her fight has stayed on her mind throughout training. Program Manager by day, Madison was inspired to join the fight to KO cancer because of an event that rocked her community in Anne Arbor, Michigan.
“I was a student at U of M and of course we always had a big football presence. That’s where I was when I found out the grandson of a former coach, this little kid named Chad Carr, was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric brain cancer. It has a zero percent survival rate. It hit the community hard.” Chad was just five years old when he lost his battle with cancer, but his fighting spirit has resonated with Madison in the years since.
“It always really stuck with me how the community came together around it. When I got into Haymakers for Hope, I knew I had to allocate the money to the Chad Tough Fund because they do the research directly. This disease doesn’t get enough attention, so it’s nice to be able to some shed light.”
Madison’s community, both in Colorado and beyond, have responded with boundless support: She has received the most individual donation in this year’s Rumble in the Rockies. She says this support is crucial, because her training journey has been tough. “It’s harder than I anticipated and different than anything I’ve done before. I had no idea the mental component would be so hard.” Still, she’s thankful for the experience and notes that she loves her gym and the mentorship from her coaches. And true to her honest spirit, she’s not shy about the unexpected benefits that came with training.
“My arms look great! I was just in a wedding and everyone was complimenting them. But the best thing I’ve gained is the confidence. Being able to take a hit and know, ‘Oh cool, I should have ducked.’ I didn’t think I’d ever get good at it in the beginning, but now I know how to think in a fight.”
There are still a limited number of tickets available to watch Madison Garver and the other Haymakers for Hope Rumble in the Rockies fighters battle to KO cancer. Reserve yours here.