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 Matthew Hamstra, fighting out of Touch of Sleep.

Where are you from?
Minneapolis, MN

Where’d you go to college?
Southern Adventist University - BBA
Andrews University - MBA

Did you play any sports growing up?
Most sports, but particularly basketball and hockey

What do you do for work?
Real estate developer and appraiser

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I have pictured myself fighting, but not necessarily boxing, and I don't think I have any particular talent for it. I feel like boxing chose me because it is the challenge that was put in front of me.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
My friend Kyle Chiasson fought in last year's event, and I sponsored him. I was really impressed with his training story and with the event, and ever since then it was something I wanted to experience for myself.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
2019 was a tough year for me. My grandmother passed away in March. I flew to her funeral, carried her casket, and flew back to finalize my divorce in April. The week after that, my other grandmother passed away as well. Beginning of May, while I was at her funeral, my great uncle passed away - he was my grandfather's twin brother and a D-Day veteran. In June a good friend of mine from college died while SCUBA diving in the Caribbean, and in July another college friend lost his daughter in a car accident that also left his wife paralyzed. After going through these losses and seeing the losses happening to people around me, I spent a lot of time processing, and trying to handle the negativity I was experiencing. As I worked through that pain, I came to accept that life will always have negativity to throw our way, and we can either choose to accept it, and dwell on it, succumb to that pressure, and become a negative person, or we can start trying to create good in the world around us and find ways to give back, and become a positive person. Having gone through these experiences, fighting for a cause like H4H took on a lot of meaning for me. I'm fighting on behalf of several friends and family members whose lives have been affected, or ended, by cancer. I'm also fighting for people out there who are fighting their own battles against cancer, and for those people who are trying to find ways to be an emotional support, financial support, or trying to find cures for this disease. I would also like to believe that I am fighting on behalf of people trying to process the losses life has thrown there way, or trying to heal from things that they don't talk about.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
I already keep a pretty busy schedule, and working my training in with everything else eats up a lot of the flexibility that I have left, so I would say the time commitment is the biggest sacrifice for me.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Powerlifting, hunting, fishing, reading, spending time with my kids

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Probably my brothers, or several of my college buddies.

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