On average, 96,400 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer and 37,000 women will die from cancer.
Every year, the Fight To End Cancer Gala features at least one female bout that proves to be the ‘Fight Of The Night’.
Join us, as we celebrate International Women’s Day by reflecting on all of the hard work that our past, and present, female fighters have put into training to step into our ring and the tens of thousands of dollars that have been raised (collectively between them), in support of cancer research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
Take a look at some of their stories…
JANAYA KHAN – FTEC2012 Janaya Khan, known as “the future in the Black Lives Matter movement”, Janaya is a Black, queer, gender non-conforming activist, staunch Afro-futurist, social justice educator and boxer based in Toronto, Canada. As the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, they are committed to Black liberation, transformative justice and indigenous sovereignty and operate through a Black trans-feminist lens. She strongly believes that the focus and determination that boxing requires can be used, as a tool of empowerment.
KASSANDRA O’REILLY – FTEC2012
Kassandra O’Reilly holds the 48kg Provincial title. She trains with the Steeltown Boxing Club under head coach, Bob Wilcox. Known for her nasty left hook, Kassandra was honoured to be part of the Fight To End Cancer. She dedicated her performance to the memory of her coach’s son, Robbie, and both of her grandparents, who all lost their courageous battles with cancer.
KATE HILLIER – FTEC2013
It’s hard to “throw a stone” these days and not touch someone who has been affected in some way by cancer. Personally, cancer is a reality that I have faced with my immediate family, my extended family, my friends and my community. For all who have lost, have won and continue fighting, I was happy to throw on my gloves to fight for those in need. I dedicated my fight in memory of my Tante Monique, who survived breast cancer, and to my partner in crime Marilyn. “You never know how strong you are… Until being strong is the only choice you have”
SHIREEN FABING – FTEC2013
Working in the corporate world, I always feel like I have my boxing gloves on but on June 15th, 2013 I proudly “put ‘em up” to support cancer research through, what I believe, is a noble cause. Jennifer Huggins and Kingsway Boxing is proof that we can all help in the Fight To End Cancer, so I am honored to be a fighter. Like many, I’ve been robbed of loved ones and lived through the pain and suffering with victims, friends and colleagues who have experienced the same. I dedicated my three rounds to loved ones lost, survivors and those still fighting this ruthless disease.
JANE WATSON – FTEC2014
One very small effort to advance the fight to find a cure for cancer in our lifetime –the Fight To End Cancer was a chance to do just that, and I am honoured to have had this opportunity. I have watched too many people I dearly love fight cancer. They have faced it head on with grace and courage. They are the true fighters. As I trained, and the challenge got tougher, those who have battled cancer – family, friends and colleagues – were in my thoughts. It is their strength, as they endure each step of their journey, that truly inspired me to push on. So, for all those I care so deeply about, who have looked cancer in the eye, those who continue to fight – you were my inspiration. The Fight To End Cancer is an amazing opportunity to contribute to finding a cure for cancer in our lifetime.
DAWN RAMSAY-BROWN – FTEC2014
The Fight To End Cancer means a chance to fight for all the memories that still need to be made. My daughter will never be able to look into her grandmother’s eyes and see her own, as cancer stole Judith Ramsay from us, before they could ever meet. As we watch a close friend battling this disease today, I realize how hard we all must fight to protect the memories that are still to come. It is such a privilege to wake up with a healthy body every day that I wanted to put it to good use for a great cause.
LESLIE EHM – FTEC2015
Everyone has a fight in life. Some fight to be heard, some to go unnoticed, some to shine and some just to survive. On May 30th, 2015, at 51 years of age, I got into the ring to fight. For me, it was a bucket list thing. Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve been a fighter all of my life. I always refer to it as “the good fight” – the relentless pursuit of goodness and what’s ‘right’. I try to fight that good fight every day. But for one incredible night, I got to fight not just the ‘good fight’, but a super badass one as well. Not only did I get to take on an opponent and go three rounds in a real amateur bout, (which is beyond cool), I also got to raise my fists against the evil that is cancer. Because every drop of sweat, and every punch thrown and taken was in solidarity with those who have faced the disease and won or lost and for everyone who loved those fighters. For my Uncle Stevie, for my cousin Elli, for the grandmother I never met, for my friend Philip, for my friends (especially Dayna who is battling breast cancer today), family and a better future – this fight was for all of you.
GEORGIA CURTIS – FTEC2015
I am excited and proud to have participated in the Fight To End Cancer 2015! Over the years I have paddled, run, and golfed in various fundraising efforts for cancer-related causes. I know way too many people who have fought, or are fighting cancer…my guess is that you do too. For five months, I trained and fundraised in preparation of my match on May 30th, 2015, I stepped into the ring and fought like hell for an important cause. This fight was for my pal Cindy Weeks. She battled breast cancer and was cancer-free for years. In 2008, cancer returned and since then, Cindy has lived with metastatic disease. Her brave tenacity is both heroic and inspiring – she is the toughest fighter I know. She believes that breakthroughs will come, and that cancer can be beaten.
PAIGE CUNNINGHAM – FTEC2015
I participated in the 4th Annual Fight To End Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. For those of you who know me, I am sure you could NOT have pictured me stepping into the ring, in front of hundreds of people, punching someone…. but I did it! I, physically and figuratively, fought for those that can’t. Working at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, I am overwhelmed with the number of stories I hear everyday about CANCER. Some are terrible and devastating and make me want to work that much harder everyday, so I don’t have to hear anything like them again. On the other hand, I hear so many success stories and stories of joy and happiness that cancer has been BEATEN. These ALSO make me want to work harder, so I can continue to hear those stories. I fought to give those fighting cancer a chance, and I fought so we can decrease the number of people that hear the words “you have cancer.” Everyone, in one way or another, has, been, or will be affected by cancer. Personally, I have lost aunts and both of my grandfathers to this terrible disease. I have many loved ones who continue to fight with cancer as we speak and some who went through the cancer journey and came out on top. Every fight is different. My grandpa died of prostate cancer in 2000. In 2005, I found out that my dad also had prostate cancer. With little knowledge of cancer as a whole – I immediately thought the worst. My dad had a prostatectomy and THANKFULLY is coming up on his 10th year, CANCER FREE. I feel so blessed and VERY lucky. My hope for the future is that enough preventative measures will be in place so that NO ONE will have to face up against cancer EVER again. The fight to end cancer is an uphill battle for everyone involved. It is a group effort and without funds raised, so researchers can work their magic, there would be no advancements made.
ERICA MCMASTER – FTEC2015
Last spring, my other half expressed his desire to apply to be one of the fighters for FTEC 2015 – naturally I was supportive and pretty quickly decided I wanted to go down the road together. Several months later, I had no doubt that this journey would be one of the most physically and emotionally demanding to date, but also the most rewarding. Cancer has affected most of us in some shape or form. Personally, I lost my mother to the disease when I was just shy of my twelfth birthday; it goes without saying that her absence has had an enormous impact on my life. I miss her every day. Two of my grandparents have died from cancer and, just last year, a childhood friend at the age of 34. Add to that the friends who have lost parents and loved ones – it’s too much. Being a fighter in this incredible event gave me the chance to make a difference and punch cancer in the face on behalf of all those we’ve lost, and those who continue to fight it every day. We are so fortunate to have the resources available to us that we do. The Princess Margaret is one of the top 5 Cancer Research Centres in the world and an international leader in the delivery of Personalized Cancer Medicine. I have been on the receiving end of this care, as part of the High Risk Breast Clinic, where I go for annual screenings and check ups . By pledging your support to this cause, you will be helping ensure that these programs, as well as, ground breaking research, can continue.
SAMANTHA KRYSTANTOS – FTEC2016
To all of my friends, family and supporters…
I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to read my page. For those of you who don’t know me personally, my name is Samantha Krystantos and on June 4th, 2016 I will be stepping in the ring participating in the “Fight To End Cancer”. Within the next seven months I will push my self harder than I ever have before, both mentally and physically. I, personally have been touched by this terrible disease, as I’m sure most of you reading this have as well.
I am participating in the 5th Annual Fight To End Cancer in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. I am raising research dollars – with a vision of reaching the ultimate goal – To Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime! The Princess Margaret is one of the top 5 Cancer Research Centres in the world and an international leader in the delivery of Personalized Cancer Medicine. My Father, Mitch, fought in the 2014 event. My Uncle, Ryan, fought last year in 2015. Now, here I am walking in their footsteps with the same exact goal in mind… to kick cancer’s butt!
My current goal is to raise $10,000, but I will not be able to get there on my own. Please help support me on my journey. You are not only helping me personally, but you are helping those who cannot fight for themselves.
With your help, I hope to reach my fundraising goal and make a difference in many peoples lives.
Thank you in advance for all of your support, I truly appreciate it!
NATASA JAMNIK-SOUSA – FTEC2016
Dear Friends and Family,
I am participating in the 5th Annual Fight To End Cancer, in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. I am raising research dollars – with a vision of reaching the ultimate goal – To Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime!
Fighting to end cancer is of interest to me because I have lost too many family members to it. Most recently, my aunt passed away from breast cancer, and prior to that I lost my sister, just over 12 years ago. She had the same type of cancer as Terry Fox. I want to be able to do my part to make a difference and generate funds, so that fewer and fewer families will have to suffer the same losses I have.