During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Belles of the Brawl V in Boston on October 5th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether they've had first hand experience, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Payal Patel, fighting out of EverybodyFights in South Boston, MA.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised a NJ/NY girl!!!

Where did you go to college?
Saint John’s University School of Pharmacy

Did you play any sports growing up?
No, but I learned and taught years of classical dancing

What do you do for work?
I head up the US advertising and promotions team at a start-up biotech company called Bioverativ Inc. We are rare disease company committed to research and development for patients with unmet needs.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
Hek no! Growing up, I think people always saw me as that girl that wasn’t going to make it. It felt like every day I was giving up piece of who Payal was just to prove people I was going to. I allowed people to do that to me. And the reality is we all go through tough situations in life that are never going to go away. But what remains is our ability to control how we let that impact us and what we do with those experiences. The only thing that taught me that was Boxing. Boxing has given me the one thing I learned very late in life and that is my Freedom. Freedom to follow my heart and intuition. Freedom to love, live, connect, influence and help. Freedom to be Payal.

Why on Earth did you sign up to fight??
To be someone’s hero. To remind myself and others that it’s not who we are underneath but what we do that defines us. I signed up to take a hit, get up, move and breathe. Because that’s what heroes do to influence, help, change the world. That’s what I will be doing until that last bell rings to knock out cancer!

You’re stepping into the ring to literally fight for a cure. Where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has Cancer affected you?
My grandfather who lost his fight but was one unstoppable man and my hero. And my aunt who is still in the fight, but a bad ass survivor, I am fighting for them!

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (Beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching tv?)
Tacos and Pinkberry!!!!

When you’re not throwing punches and training – what other hobbies/interests do you have?
NASA/Space, Harry Potter and anything DC/Marvel comics!

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Hopefully no one, lol. But probably my big brother Manoj. He already told me if I don’t punch back he’s going to punch me after. I was like, “Yup this defines our relationship to the tee.” It’s probably the marine in him.

Be sure to check out her fundraising page here and wish her luck! Best of luck, Payal!