Dear Future Fighters,
It has been one full year since I stepped into the ring on the most terrifyingly, electric night of my life and not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I did.
I do get to walk into work every day at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and see a large mural of myself with blood dripping down my face on the wall, but it doesn’t stop there. I have SO many beautiful memories. I have the memory of 10 scared and brave individuals, starting a journey and not knowing where exactly it would take us. These 10 individuals, plus numerous other people that helped us get to where we ended up, have become a huge part of my life… an entirely new family. A special bond that no one else can share. They helped me and continue to help me grow and teach me things, both physically and mentally. They pushed me to work harder every time I trained and I also had to find it within, to push myself to the limit for eight months. I was at Kingsway Boxing Club more in those eight long months than I was at home and I don’t regret a single second. You HAVE to put in the work. I say long because it does seem like a long time, but trust me when I say: IT GOES BY TOO FAST.
My advice to you would be to please take it all in, get to the gym and train your butt off (you’ll be both sad and slightly relieved when you’re done and not training for anything later) and get on your social media and raise some MONEY! Set a goal for yourself, a goal that scares you and REACH IT. I promise you can do it. Send out a link of your fundraising page to every one you know and make the ‘ask’ personal. There is a much larger chance someone will donate to you if you’re asking them personally and directly. All anyone can say is no! Oh well, you tried! It’s definitely an intimidating task and even working in the nonprofit, fundraising world, it scared me. But really, what do you have to lose? I posted so much about #FTEC on social media that I am sure I lost a few cyber friends or followers, but who needs them? I’d much rather raise money for cancer research, plus the outpouring of support (through donations and well wishes) I received from people I didn’t even know or who I hadn’t spoken to in years evoked an indescribable feeling.
Choosing to try out and being part of Fight To End Cancer was the best possible decision I have ever made. So many factors in my life led me to Kingsway and into that ring and because of Fight To End Cancer, my life has changed in the most wonderful ways. I am SO grateful for the opportunities it has opened up for me, the people I have met along the way and, an added personal bonus, of forming the best relationship with one of my fellow fighters.
If I could turn back time and do it again, I would be back at the gym, every day (sometimes twice a day) in a heartbeat. I wish I could have stopped time and taken in certain moments for a little bit longer or saved them forever. I do however have the memories in my head, heart and, of course, a lot of pictures. I also have the feeling that I did something and was part of something that was so much bigger than I could have ever imagined.
I am so proud to be part of the FTEC family and alumni. It seriously is such an honour and a privilege. If you are given the opportunity to fight, TAKE IT and don’t take this lightly. This is one experience I PROMISE you will never forget. Give it your all! Remember who you’re fighting for.
TRAIN. FIGHT. END.
About Paige Cunningham:
Paige Cunningham is a Special Events Coordinator at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. She attended Fight to End Cancer in 2014 as a guest and she was intrigued. That fall, Paige came to try outs, made the FTEC2015 Fight Team and fought as the Co-Main event. Having lost many loved ones to the disease and having a dad as a cancer survivor, cancer is personal for Paige.
Check Out Paige’s Blog: