During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Belles of the Brawl VII on October 9th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, 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 Rachel Gianatasio, fighting out of EverybodyFights.

Where are you from?
Marblehead, MA. Little sailing town on the North Shore. About 16 miles north of Boston.

Where’d you go to college?
Northeastern University in Boston. Go Huskies!

Did you play any sports growing up?
I danced my whole life up until a few years ago. I also played basket ball, tennis and I ice skated.

What do you do for work?
I'm a photographer and photo editor! I work part time in a studio where I am the editor and then I freelance part time as well.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I was one of the least aggressive human beings on the planet before I started boxing. I started to box for fun and just fitness purposes on and off in 2015. I started to become super into it about a year later and it became part of my day-to-day life. It gave me a sense of mental and physical strength and satisfaction that I never really found in any other sport. I still never really saw myself actually fighting though until probably a little over a year ago. And even now it's hard to believe!

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
I've been lucky enough to follow along through my photography as many of the alumni have participated in this incredible event. Inspiring doesn't even begin to cover it. I want to do my part to help fight cancer. I also wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone in honor of those who don't get the choice.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
My grandmother passed away from skin cancer when I was very young. She was a wonderful woman who I did not get a chance to know very well aside from distant memories and stories from my mother. My aunt is a breast cancer survivor. My cousin is currently battling multiple myeloma. These are just a few examples.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Oh boy. All the above? Probably just over-indulging in food. I love food.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I'm either taking/editing photos or playing with my dogs. I have 3 dogs and I absolutely love taking them for walks and taking them to the park.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Well not my mom, I can promise you that! Maybe my fiancé?

Check out her fundraising page and be sure to wish her luck! Best of luck, Rachel!