Wednesday, May 16 2018
Haymakers for Hope boxers are all doing their part to KO cancer, and this year’s Boston fighter Chip Rives is no exception. Chip’s a marketing CEO whose Haymakers donations will go to Family Reach, a non-profit that helps families with the financial burden of cancer. Through the organization, he met Grant, a three-year-old in treatment for leukemia. Read on to hear from Chip and Grant’s mom Lori on how they inspire each other to keep fighting.
Chip, when did you first cross paths with Family Reach?
Chip: The Executive Director at Family Reach has been a friend for a long time. I know a ton about the organization through her. One of the cool things about Haymakers for Hope is that they let you direct the funding. I knew I wanted to support Family Reach because they supply financial and other support for families whose kids are going through cancer treatment. It's horrible for the child but it also really impacts whole families. Family Reach makes sure its not debilitating.
Lori, what was your first impression of Chip?
Lori: I heard about Chip from Family Reach when they asked us if we would be interested in Grant being an inspiration for an amateur boxer. We set up a time to meet Chip at Mass General Hospital after one of Grant's visits. We were there to take pictures of Chip and Grant together. Chip seemed like a genuine, caring person, who truly cared about Grant from the moment he met him.
What does it mean to fight in honor of Grant? How has that showed up in your training?
Chip: It's hard to see a three-year-old going through that. I've gotten to know his family a bit... They're actually going to stay with us when he goes through some treatment this summer. It's pretty easy to get up and go to the gym when you know there's a three-year-old who is fighting and and still joyful and still hopeful. What the Haymakers boxers are doing is hard, but not life hard.
How has it affected your family to have Chip fighting for Grant?
Lori: It’s inspiring to us and to Grant, especially hearing how hard Chip is training. It has helped restore faith in humanity. It shows how many kind people are out there.
What do you expect Fight Night to look like?
Chip: I'll try to hold my emotions in check and focus on the task at hand. I feel confident that with training I couldn't have done any more than I've done.
Will your family be cheering Chip on?
Lori: We’re excited! Neither of us have seen a boxing match in person before, so there will be a lot of energy. We hope to be there to represent Grant.
What does fighting mean to you now?
Chip: I think there is a spiritual piece to this. Grant and his family going through what they are going through have to have a lot of faith and trust in the process and the people around them. It is a long, hard journey and you need support, the kindness of others, shoulders to lean on, and sometimes organizations like Haymakers and Family Reach. I think Haymakers has also been a spiritual journey. From my trainer, to my co-fighters, to my gym team members, family, friends, donors I have not heard from in years... I have made amazing connections to people that I did not know before this started and reconnected with dozens of friends that I have missed. It’s not just my fight – everyone involved in my life has engaged, helped and supported. And I think we have all been moved and touched by the experience.
Going through Grant's treatment and being around the Haymakers for Hope program, does fighting mean something different to you and your family these days?
Lori: Fighting now means something positive like never giving up and giving all that you have.
Do you think Grant will try boxing when he's older?
Lori: We are not sure but he is definitely a fighter.