by Jillian Bullock
September and October are two months dedicated to National Childhood Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Month, Prostate Cancer Month, and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. However, many members of the mixed martial arts community understand that when these months end the disease will still be present. To help knock out cancer MMA organizations and fighters are on a mission is to raise awareness about this horrible disease that affects millions of people each year by holding fight events and other promotions to raise money for research, education, medical treatment, and financial aid for cancer patients and their families.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 12,400 U.S. children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year.
- It was also reported by the National Cancer Institute that roughly 217,730 men were diagnosed with and 32,050 men died of cancer of the prostate in 2010.
- An estimated 62,930 new cases of primary brain tumors were diagnosed in 2010, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.
- About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in women in the U.S. There were also more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors (men and women) in the U.S. in 2010. (Breastcancer.org)
- The American Cancer Society stated that about 221,130 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed (115,060 among men and 106,070 among women) in 2011. There will be an estimated 156,940 deaths from lung cancer (85,600 among men and 71,340 among women), accounting for about 27% of all cancer deaths.
Most people in the world have been touched by cancer in some way. Either they are cancer survivors or they know of a friend or family member who has battled this disease. This is why several people in the MMA community have gotten involved to help raise money for this cause.
Title Boxing, one of the biggest boxing and martial arts apparel and equipment company in the United States, has joined the fight against breast cancer by producing their new line of Knockout Breast Cancer products. They are donating 5% of every Knockout purchase to the Young Survival Coalition, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and education younger women about breast cancer.
To purchase any of the Knockout Breast Cancer productions go to www. titleboxing. com. To donate directly to the Young Survival Coalition check out their website at www.youngsurvival.org.
On Saturday, October 1, 2011, BlackEye Promotions held the Breast Cancer Beatdown at the WNC AC Center in North Carolina. Several females fought on the fight card to not only promote women’s mixed martial arts, but to help raise money for cancer.
One of the fighters for the Breast Cancer Beatdown was Patricia Vidonic, whose mother died of breast cancer on October 28, 1994; she was 36 years old.
“My training’s been going super. My husband, Jason, is my trainer, and he helps me tremendously on my cardio and conditioning. I’m going to give it all I’ve got for this fight, and hopefully we can earn a lot of money in this fight against cancer,” she said.
Vidonic, who is 32 and lives in Billings, Montana, noted that a few of her aunts also had breast cancer, so this event was near and dear to her heart.
Partial proceeds from the event were donated to It Ain’t Chemo, a charity organization that raises funds for breast cancer awareness. As a side note, Vidonic defeated Chelsea Colarelli via rear naked choke in the second round.
To donate to It Ain’t Chemo go to www.itaintchemo.com.
To watch the Breast Cancer Beatdown event you can order it through GFL Combat Sports Network at GFT.tv.
Alpha Fights will hold a cancer benefit in honor of Gabriel Rajman who passed away earlier this year from cancer. Aaron Rajman, son of Gabriel, and a 145 pound Intercontinental WFO Champion training with American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, helped organized this fight event.
One of the biggest MMA competitions that will take place to raise money for cancer is the upcoming Round II: Knockout Cancer for Candlelighters Kids, which will take place on Friday, October 14, 2011. The event will take place at Xtreme Couture gym in Nevada.
Xtreme Couture, which is owned by MMA legend Randy Couture, goes beyond holding fight events for cancer. Couture and his trainers actually invite fighters, boys and girls, men and women, who are battling cancer, into their facility to train with MMA instructors. This is a wonderful treat for cancer warriors such as Ethan Mendenhall who recently visited Xtreme Couture gym and got to train with Strikeforce’s Pro MMA fighter, Ryan Couture. With his hands wrapped and ready to go Couture instructed Mendenhall in MMA striking, technique and grappling.
Here’s the information if you want to attend this event:
When: FRIDAY – OCTOBER 14th, 2011
Time: 6pm – 11:30pm
Where: Xtreme Couture MMA
4055 West Sunset
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Fights: 10+ Full Contact MMA Bouts
Free Stuff: Free Appetizers, Drinks and Entertainment
Auction: Silent Auction, Raffle & Event T-Shirts
Tickets: $25 Per Person.
For tickets or to donate go to -www.xtremecouture.tv or call 702-616-1022. For more information or make a donation go to Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation - www.candlelightersnv.org
A Fighter In and Out the Cage
Despite being tough, strong and physically fit cancer affects MMA fighters just like any other average Joe or Josephine. However, one female fighter, Mia “Mighty Hayes” is one of the most inspirational fighters in mixed martial arts.
In 2008, Hayes was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, which is the last stage and not curable. However, since that time, Hayes has fought back to beat this disease even though there seems to be little hope. Most of the treatments given during this stage are only designed to maximize the quality of a patient’s life.
Still, Hayes refuses to let negativity into her life. In fact, she fought for Tuff-n-uff MMA in 2010. During this time when she was facing breast cancer treatment, Hayes unselfishly opened her home when she adopted three girls; now she and her husband are the parents of seven children.
In July, Hayes was awarded the “Inspirational Fighter of the Year” by Tuff-n-uff. Also, the Blackeye Promotion event “Breast Cancer Beatdown” was named in her honor.
Blackeye Promotions believes in Hayes fighting spirit so much that they have scheduled her to fight in her first pro MMA event in 2012.
As a mixed martial arts fighter, who began her career five years ago, Hayes, mother, wife, friend, daughter, and hero, continues to fight her most important fight each day. She is determined not to let breast cancer defeat her. Despite how grave her situation may seem and her endless fight to remain physically healthy, Hayes is a role model and inspiration for cancer victims who refuse to let this disease take over their lives or stop them from doing what they love.
To help Mia Hayes with her mounting medical bills make a donation through Paypal to Mighty Mia Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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