BOSTON, MA- Transformed to a boxing ring within the heart of Boston, MGM Grand welcomed nearly 2,000 fans of a very different type of sporting experience than one would usually expect just steps away from Fenway Park’s home plate.
32 amateur boxers trained for just over 4 months, enduring rigorous training to prepare for a boxing career debut in support of loved ones who have fought the ultimate fight: cancer. “On the surface people think of it as like a brut sport, but really it is a very strategic sport and so I think for a lot of the people that are doing this, there’s the dual hurdle of getting over the mental aspect but also the physical aspect as well,” explains Haymakers for Hope co-founder Andrew Myerson.
Celebrating its tenth year, Myerson and his team at Haymakers for Hope boasted several unique levels of VIP experiences for fans on fight night, from ringside dining to second floor seating with a bird’s eye view of every blow – and they weren’t hard to sell. Every dollar raised went to support some form of cancer-based funding. “We believe that if someone is getting punched in the face for this they should have a say for where the money goes – anything that is focused on cancer research, care and survivorships,” says Myerson.
What’s the vibe?: The fierce energy level didn’t drop for a moment, with waves of cheers coming from every corner of MGM in support of their champion. #KOcancer
For the fighters, perhaps the most important question wasn’t if they won their match, but why they chose to jump in the ring in the first place. According to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, 1 in 4 elementary schools have a child with cancer, which remains the leading cause of death by disease for kids under 19 – and somehow, only 4% of federal funding for cancer research goes their way. The impact means treatment is left to children following decades old treatment protocols carrying life-lasting negative side effects. PCRF is an organization dedicated to eliminating cancer via powering cures where none exist and giving rise to less toxic regimens that have fewer side effects.
For Brian Curtis, the answer was his daughter. Raegan Curtis just finished her battle with leukemia in October 2022 following 820 days of treatment since her diagnosis with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in July of 2020 – just after her third birthday. Through Haymakers for Hope, Curtis was able to not only raise nearly $17,000 for PCRF, but also went home with a win as Raegan cheered him on in support “There’s no words to really put into it other than thank you.”
To learn more about or make a donation to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, visit https://pcrf-kids.org/.
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