During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Hope NYC VIII in NYC on November 14th. 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 Dan Silver, fighting out of Mendez Boxing.

Where are you from?
Dix Hills, NY originally...now NYC

Where’d you go to college?
University of Michigan

Did you play any sports growing up?
Baseball and soccer

What do you do for work?
An unusual answer- I'm the founder and CEO of Clothes On, a custom apparel company that primarily serves college organizations and events on over 100 campuses nationally. I also am the assistant director of Sunrise Day Camp, the world's only full summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, completely free of charge. Before these things, I was a tax and technology consultant for Deloitte (my degrees from Michigan are a Bachelors in industrial engineering and Masters in accounting) but happily gave the CPA life up to grow my business and run Sunrise.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I love competing, and I love challenges. I compete in anything and everything, which bothers the hell out of everyone I know. By all accounts, there is no sport more difficult and challenging to train for and progress in than boxing. I've never been in a real fight in my life, and I wanted to try something completely out of my comfort zone. The idea of competing 1 on 1 knowing that whoever worked harder up to that point has the advantage to win is exactly what I'm looking for in my next challenge.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
Like I said, I wanted to try something out of my usual comfort zone. If not now, then when? I'm getting married in December, so my fiance is not thrilled with the idea of me getting my nose broken 5 weeks before our wedding, but that's even more inspiration to avoid getting a clean shot to the face. But winning this fight would be another great achievement in a special year for me. I attended the 2017 Haymakers event and was so impressed by the atmosphere and the production, that I've wanted to be a part of it ever since.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
I've been a part of Sunrise for 10 years, serving as the assistant camp director for the last 5. We have 700+ kids, from ages 3 to 18, who have been affected by cancer, whether it was a cancer diagnosis for them or their sibling. Over the last 10 years, I have seen it all. We have hundreds and hundreds of kids who have survived their fight with cancer. We have dozens of kids who have unfortunately passed away. We have kids who have lost their hair, their ability to walk, or their ability to see. We have seen triumphs, tragedies, and milestones. And through it all, I have been beyond blessed to be inspired by their bravery and their resiliency. Cancer is incredibly personal to me. I have relationships with hundreds of families who have had their lives turned upside down by their child's cancer diagnosis. I love these kids and their families more than anything. And Haymakers is giving me another opportunity to make a difference for them- whether it's by the money I raise to support an amazing and crucially important camp for them, or by inspiring them through my training.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Outside of camp season, I am completely unable to wake up early...but I'm going to have to wake up early for training. So giving up a late wakeup time will probably be my biggest sacrifice.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I'm incredibly lucky that my job(s) are also my hobbies. Continuing to grow and build my business after 8 years is still a ton of fun, and building our camp each summer (I hire 200+ staff members, we have year-round events, etc) is also a thrill for me. Beyond that, I have a dog that I love, I love the NY Yankees, NY Giants, and Michigan Football/Basketball, and I love weightlifting.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
There's a whole group of people who work for/with me at Sunrise that will pay any amount of money to watch me get punched in the face. I am a very demanding camp director during camp season (need it to be great for the kids), so they'll be rooting for me to get knocked out for sure.

Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Dan!