Monday, February 24 2020
During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rumble in the Rockies III in Denver on June 11th. 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 Jeff Brown, fighting out of Touch of Sleep.
Where are you from?
Where’d you go to college?
Texas A&M University
Did you play any sports growing up?
Football, Swimming, Track & Field and Collegiate Triathlete
What do you do for work?
I work in Oil & Gas. Specifically in the mineral & royalty business
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
Despite how terrifying the notion of stepping in a ring with an opponent that wants to hit you in the face may be, it is hard not to romanticize the vulnerability & honesty that comes with stepping into the ring. There is no where to hide, and no where to run. In between bells, you are totally and utterly exposed. Alone. Staring down an opponent. I've always been fascinated with, and drawn to, the sport of boxing. Though actually stepping in the ring is entirely different to simply daydreaming about it!
Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
In 2018, I watched my brother, Mike Brown, commit himself for four months in training & fundraising & then step in the ring under the lights of the Fillmore, before all his friends & family. After witnessing him go on this journey, I decided this year that living vicariously through my big brother was no longer enough.
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
On March 15th, 2017, I found myself sitting alongside my mom & dad in a sterile examination room of M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas; awaiting the Doctor to come & deliver the diagnosis. Several days earlier, my dad, Bill Brown (I refer to him exclusively as Pops) went to the ER as a result of a dangerous spike in his heart rate. He learned there was a growth in his kidney & needed to get to M.D. Anderson for further diagnosis as fast as possible. Outwardly, we all tried to remain optimistic & hopeful, but I can recall the collective, unspoken dread that the news awaiting us in Houston would mark only the beginning of a long, insurmountably difficult journey. As the Doctor entered, he could feel the tension & anxiety hovering around the room; knowing there was no sense in attempting to exchange pleasantries - he wasted no time in delivering the news. "It's cancerous." My stomach dropped. I was watching my worst fear unfold before my eyes, and there was nothing I could do. This can't be real. This couldn't happen to my dad. Pops. The Doctor continued in delivering his diagnosis, informing us of the immediate next steps, but frankly, I don't recall any of that. I was fixated on my dad's face. Staring at the man who provided for 5 children, raised us all to be high achieving, confident human beings, and taught me what it is to be a man. Pops. I can't imagine the overwhelming combination of emotions he was experiencing in that moment-- Fear, sadness, confusion & anger. It was unbearable. Just as I felt tears well up in my eyes, the Doctor paused for a moment, as if to give my dad a chance to interject with any questions. His chin began to quiver as he searched for the courage to speak & through tears, he simply said, "Well as of today, I'm a cancer survivor." It's been said that there are but a few moments in our lives that define us, for better or worse. I knew that I was standing in one of those moments; For both Pops and myself. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. In that moment, my dad showed me what it means to be a fighter. In that moment, Pops went from simply being my dad & became my hero. In the face of unconscionable circumstances, against the most daunting of opponents, he chose not to wallow in self-pity, nor relinquish himself to his situation. He chose to step in to the ring, assert dominion over his fears & emotions, and give this wretched disease the fight of his life. Two and a half years later, on October 30th, 2019, my father celebrated his last treatment. He's been cancer free for more than 18 months. I am fighting because my dad fought. I am fighting because he taught me that the most courageous thing you can do is to step in the arena, no matter how terrifying an opponent you may find before you, and give em hell. "...And if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” I'm fighting for you, Pops.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Whiskey. Definitely Whiskey. Though after just a week of training, I can already tell my body rejecting anything that will dehydrate me.
When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I am an aspiring stand-up comedian, and have been pursuing that endeavor over the past few months... Beyond that, anything that gets me outdoors with my girlfriend and our dogs. Hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, etc.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
It's probably a tie between my girlfriend, Deanna, and my college roommate and one of my best friends, Ben. In fact, Ben already expressed how much he's looking forward to me getting clocked. I just hope I won't disappoint.
Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Jeff!