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 Mary Kate Champagne, fighting out of Union Street Boxing in Woburn, MA.

Where are you from?
Plattsburgh, NY- I grew up on a beef farm 20 minutes south of Canada and graduated with 35 people in my high school class.

Where did you go to college?
Providence College- I was an English major and a scholarship athlete on the women’s cross-country and track and field teams.

Did you play any sports growing up?
Track and cross-country- I was a multiple-time All-American in distance events and ran my way to a college scholarship. After college, I competed semi-professionally, made a few US teams, and traveled internationally for running.

What do you do for work?
I work in sales for Black Duck Software, a cybersecurity company that helps organizations manage risks associated with the use of open source.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I’ve always wanted to box, but I haven’t always wanted to fight. I took up boxing for fitness earlier this year after a low period in my life and fell in love with the culture and positivity it instilled in me. My friend encouraged me to sign up for H4H when he saw how much I was enjoying it. Having a meaningful goal has made it so much more fulfilling.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight?
I really wanted to be able to see if I could positively impact others’ lives and give back using something that was able to vastly increase my quality of life. Everyone I’m surrounded by when training is humble, supportive, and strong. It’s awesome that I’m able to celebrate my newfound passion and give back at the same time.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure – where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
Yes, cancer has affected me and countless people I know, both friends and family—namely my grandparents.

What’s is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training?
I’m not an all-or-nothing kind of person, so I’ll have to say sleep. Training before and after work most days can leave little room for rest, but I try to sneak naps in whenever I can.

When you’re not throwing punches and training, what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I guess before this I would have said boxing was my hobby. I’m interested in comedy, mental health advocacy, playing darts, doing elaborate hair and beauty routines, and just doing my thing, whatever that happens to be at the moment. I am pretty restless and don’t like having too much downtime. My personal motto is STAY HYDRATED AND SUFFER NO FOOLS—as long as I’m doing that, I’m good.

Whow do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face?
The last guy I knocked out.

Be sure to check out her fundraising page he re and wish her luck! Best of luck, Mary Kate!