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I've been following Haymaker's for Hope from the beginning. I was at their first event at the Castle in 2011 and had a great experience. Unfortunately, I missed last year's event because my Women's Lacrosse team was in the NCAA championships. I always wanted to be a part of Haymaker's, I just haven't had the opportunity until now. I have helped my lacrosse team, the Northwestern Wildcats, win 3 national titles, but training for a boxing match is a whole new experience. And to make things even more exciting...my fiancé, Judd Smith, is fighting too…ONE MONTH before our wedding!
Judd and I both have family members that have been affected by cancer.. Judd's father was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in the spring of 2010, but with the help of an experimental treatment was able to win his fight. And my future sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. After some tough months, she has had a full response to treatment and will hopefully be cancer free in the next 5 years.
In 2001, when I was in the fifth grade, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. After battling breast cancer she was diagnosed the melanoma a few years later. Today, after all her treatments and surgeries she is now been cancer free for over ten years! Her strength and determination to beat cancer has given me the confidence and drive I have needed throughout my life and especially to step into the ring on May 16th.
It is our first time in the boxing ring and training at Quietman gym in Medford has been an extraordinary experience to workout with such great coaches and mentors. Our family and friends are shocked that we would put our faces in harms way so close to such an important day for us. Let's just hope any black eyes or broken noses can heal before the wedding day. If not-- thank God for cover up!
Please come watch our fights on May 16th at the House of Blues! And thank you for all your generous donations to such a great cause! Help us to literally fight cancer!
To check out all of Maria's training photos: Click Here