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I am a student, a scientist, a runner, but recently, I accidentally ended up a boxer. I’ve never had the desire to hit anyone, and I’ve most definitely never wanted to be hit by anyone. If it hadn’t been for my girlfriend who persuaded me last December to buy a Groupon to Redline Fight Sports, I never would have even set foot in a boxing gym. After one or two classes, though, I was hooked! It wasn’t easy. In spite of running 3 marathons and playing sports in college, I have never worked as hard as I do at Redline. On multiple occasions, I distinctly remember thinking, “Are you serious? How many burpees did you say?” But I am crazy about it.
In May, I tentatively signed up for Haymakers for Hope, assuming I wouldn’t get matched with another fighter. Who else would be crazy enough to embark on something like this with so little boxing experience? I was a little concerned about the $4,000 I would have to raise, but my biggest worry was the fact that I’d never fought anyone before. I’d spent the last 5 months training, but sparring is a different beast. I didn’t even think I’d like it. Much to my relief, Haymakers told me in June that they couldn’t find a match for me. Just a few weeks after I got the news, my instructor let me spar for the first time. As it turns out, getting pummeled over and over again is just my cup of tea. I loved it! Not a week later, Haymakers informed me that one of the boxers had dropped out, and now there was a spot for me. So of course I said “yes”—in part because I love boxing, but also because I despise cancer.
Like many of you, I have watched friends and family fight for their lives against this cruel, devastating disease. Incredibly, I have seen some win the fight, thanks to their courageous and tenacious spirits, capable doctors, and decades of research. And I have seen some lose the fight in spite of all of those things. In order to help those battling cancer and avoid such tragic loss of life, we need a better understanding of our opponent. We need to search for its weaknesses—the tiny vulnerabilities that will allow us to make the final blow. Unfortunately, this information comes at a high price. Having spent a year researching melanoma myself, I know how costly research is and how much work it takes to gain the smallest nugget of information. But that nugget could be the key that leads to a new treatment that means one more person beats cancer. That is priceless. Please join with me today in this fight to take out cancer.