With 32 different women stepping in the ring for the first time on October 10th you can imagine there must be a lot of nerves and emotions swirling around. Excitement, fear, anticipation, hope, dread, the list goes on. They all have someone their fighting for, they all have individual things driving them. They’re lives have all been touched by cancer in some way. As fight night is approaching get an inside look as to what motivates these brave men and women who are stepping in the ring to literally knock out cancer.

Many of my family members have been affected by cancer. My cousin fought lymphoma, my grandfather passed away less than 3 months from being diagnosed with leukemia (AML), his wife, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly thereafter. Both of my dogs just passed from gastrointestinal lymphoma and mast cell tumor. My father in law is fighting currently with cancer as well. I keep all these people I love in my thoughts and also keep the patients I see daily with me as motivation.
-Natalie Moore

Too many people, unfortunately. Fighting in the ring in peanuts to fighting cancer but it's something I can do to help. To my grandmother, my grandfather, Isobel Martin, Marybeth Russell and the many more who are battling, this is for you - keep kicking ass and I will do the same! If you aren't able to see me fight on October 10th because cancer took you from us too soon know that every punch is for you and I hope you're watching from a better place. Love you all!
-Alyssa Cote

My mom. In 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and this June she was able to celebrate her tenth-year cancer free. To be able to raise awareness for this awful disease and hopefully raise enough money to maybe prevent just one person from having to go through what my mom did, that would be a success to me. She’s the strongest person I know and I’m inspired to find that strength within myself during this journey.
-Kayla Shea

Cancer has had a horrible presence in my life for as long as I can remember. At 5yrs old I lost my grandmother, had my own scare with stage 2 melanoma, went on to lose my Dad, my grandfather and a boyfriend, along with many others. It feels good to fight in their memory.
-Tracy Deforge

I'm constantly drawing inspiration from my family. We all know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, some of my family members included. Some were able to pull through, while others could not. This is for them, so that hopefully one day cancer is a thing of the past.
-Brianna Savard

Everyone knows someone who has battled cancer. This year, in particular, has been a crushing year for several close friends and family friends who are struggling with or who have lost the struggle with the disease. This event is a small way of showing support and doing something positive in the face of negativity, set backs, and crushing news in the lives of people with cancer.
-Grace Bloodwell

My mom is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed early on so we consider her one of the lucky ones, but as a teenager watching her go through treatment was tough. 15+ years later I still see how her body was affected by the disease. She's only incredibly strong woman! I'm fighting for women like her and anyone else tackling this disease.
-Stephanie Rokitowski

I am fighting to honor my mom, Trish Courant, and my teammate, Judy Layzer, who lost their battles with cancer.
-Allie Lawler

I’ve seen what cancer does to a person, a family, a life. It’s different when you are living it day in and day out. The world doesn’t stop for you; you have to call on your inner strength to get through another day. That is what my husband, children and I have had to do.
-Stacy MacQuarrie

I’m sick of watching the people I love and the people I surround myself with struggle with this terrible disease. Whether it’s you, someone you love or someone you just met, everyone has had some experience with cancer and it’s just got to stop.
-Kiley Horne

My grandfather Tom Sullivan passed away from cancer. My grandmother Faye Sullivan is a cancer survivor. My best friend and college roommate lost her mom to cancer. I volunteer at Camp Sunshine and have seen too many children lose their fight to this terrible disease.
-Jane Annis

My inspiration is Sonny Tropeano a 10 yr old boy who never had the chance to enjoy his life because cancer took that opportunity from him way too soon! It's not fair! & it certainly does not discriminate!
-Denise Lavino

Cancer has hit my family though and through- mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins... Moving in to friends the stories grow and grow. I can't think of a time where I didn't know someone fighting cancer. I'm using this fight as a platform to share their stories and bring awareness to how prevalent this disease is. Each one of them told me their story is "boring" and to me that just makes them more badass and inspiring. Here they are raising kids, going to work, running companies, driving to soccer practice, cleaning the house doing all those things we all whine about and kicking cancer's butt in their free time. And then telling me they're boring. If that's not humbling, and inspiring, I don't know what is.
-Molly Falconer

I’m 47 years old. My childhood sweetheart was recently taken by this horrible disease leaving his wife and kids. When my best friend was diagnosed, my heart broke again. I’m fighting for them.
-Paula Sullivan

Seeing what this disease can do and doing what I can to help find a cure. In my own family both my Dad and my Cousin Danielle are cancer survivors, my Uncle Roy and Aunt Phillis lost their lives to this disease. Seeing what they went through and their immediate families is what is driving me.

During my time at BC I met two people that changed my life. Judith and Larry Theriault, twins born with Pediatric brain Tumors. They were paired with sports teams at Boston College through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. Judith is in remission and was part of our team (BC women lacrosse) and is now a teacher. Larry was part of the baseball team and has become a close friend. Larry is battling a tumor and working with Dana Farber to get on the newest trial available to fight this.

My family and friends affected by this disease are my inspiration. Knowing that outside my own world this disease affects the lives of so many will drive me every day.
-Brittany Wilton

I’m currently drawing my inspiration from “Mighty Max” Mendez—an eight-year-old boy from my hometown in NH. Max has not only been fighting leukemia, making frequent trips to Boston for grueling treatments, but also doing a crazy amount of fundraising for Dana Farber/Jimmy Fund so eventually, there might be a cure and no more kids have to deal with cancer. I am so impressed by how relentless he is in the face of something really scary, that I couldn’t NOT do my part.
In terms of a personal connection to the awfulness of cancer, I've had friends and classmates fight cancer, sometimes unsuccessfully, and it is never a fair fight. I had a front-row seat watching my Grampa get slowly devoured by prostate cancer a few years ago—going from a healthy mainstay of our family to a progressively smaller, less coherent shade of himself before an untimely death. It was awful to stand by helplessly and watch his demise in progress, and I wish no one else had to go through that.
-Kim Holman

Cancer is all around us, unfortunately. Everyone can tell a story about a time that cancer has affected their lives. I know that I'll experience setbacks and doubts throughout this experience. These challenges are nothing compared to the battle that cancer patients, survivors/(or thrivers as I like to think of them), and families go through on a daily basis. I have power and control over my journey, and I will continue forward knowing that with each punch thrown and taken, I am literally fighting for a cure.
-Claudia Rosenblatt

It is still a shocker to say that I'm "stepping into the ring." When training days get hard and there are days I get frustrated, I keep reminding myself that this is all for my Nana. My Nana was the foundation for our family - she held everything together. After losing her battle with breast cancer about 10 years ago, our family fell apart. She was such a hard working woman and if I can be half of what she was, I will have succeeded.
-Michele Wescott

My Grandfather, Ken Taylor. That man worked his 9-5 job up until the day before cancer took him... he REFUSED to let the disease break his spirit. He literally fought until the very end and he NEVER gave up. That mental and physical strength, combined with every positive life lesson that he taught me as a child, is inspiration in itself. I'm a Taylor - regardless of the outcome, we fight.
-Jenna Taylor

My inspiration: Susan Harney, Honorable Judge Sam Zoll, Danny Jacobs, Mason Silva, Dior Stavros.... There are so many reasons why I am stepping into the ring to knock out cancer. I knew when I first heard of Haymakers for Hope, having family, friends, co-works, clients, former students and my friends children battle cancer; some who have lost their battles was reason enough. This past December I was asked by my friend to come and photograph his children for their Christmas card. His daughter was in Boston Children’s battling Leukemia and getting the kids into a studio was not going to be an option so we transformed her room into a studio and the pictures were spectacular. While I was at the hospital I saw how many children were in this enormous building fighting cancer. This experience alone was reason enough to want to fight!
-Emily Harney

I, like everyone else, have friends and family who have been directly affected by cancer. This disease affects everyone regardless of age, race, and gender, and is one of the leading causes of death- with the right treatment, a lot of these tragedies can be avoided. Fundraising and stepping into the ring is the least I can do to raise awareness, and fight for those close to me who fought without a choice.
-Alex Kelleher

I'm inspired by all of the people who have faced and fought cancer, including my aunt, uncle and grandfather who have passed away in the last three years after battling cancer.
-Carolyn Malloy

I'm drawing my inspiration from my patients that are so close to my heart. You haven't seen resiliency until you've seen a kid and their family endure cancer treatment. They are constantly battling the fear of the unknown while trying to focus on 24 hours by 24 hours. They have more mental toughness than they're even aware of and show up day after day ready to get after it. I'm so lucky to be a part of their journeys. I learn something big from them every single day. I'm also fighting for my grandma Bev Siagel who beat cancer twice and Poppa Julius Gundersheim, who continues to live with cancer to this day. They are unbelievable and take care of themselves impeccably to make sure that they are here for us. I love them so much. You'll find them in the front row of HOB possibly with their eyes closed, but regardless ready to watch me perform.
-Jillian Gundersheim

Cancer and loosing people I love to this disease has taught me to cherish life, time, to make time for loved ones, to live a happy life, and to not give up on the things/people in my life that mean the most to me. Life is hard. I am grateful to have this opportunity to give back and raise awareness.
-Lauren Weishaar

One of my closest family friends was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and her diagnosis made all of the cancer-related statistics we’ve all heard more than just a number. She and countless others wake up daily to fight a battle they didn’t sign up for. Dedicating just four months to raise money for cancer awareness and research is the least I can do.
-Sophie Morgan