Fight to End Cancer 2019 – Meet the Female Fighters!
Fight to End Cancer is an organisation and event founded by Canadian Boxing Coach and Referee Jennifer Huggins. ?Founded in 2011, the Fight To End Cancer has donated over $1,000,000.00 CAD?in support of cancer research, with proceeds going directly to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
Each year, in support of the event, FCN have featured the female fighters and Jennifer herself on our. website.
This year, we welcome?Ceilagh MacDonald,?Talia Joundi,?Renata Reynolds, Lisa Ventura?and wish them all the best of?luck for their up & coming fights!
About the Fighters:
Ceilagh MacDonald works with clients every day who are struggling to come back from injury.? She sees first-hand how hard they try, the good days and the not so good days.? She has seen this same fight in family and friends who have faced a cancer diagnosis.? Not one to step back from a challenge, FTEC2019 provides Ceilagh with the opportunity to punch cancer in the face and show what she?s made of.
As an Immigration & refugee lawyer, Talia Joundi is used to taking on tough challenges, but as an FTEC2019 fighter she?s taking on the biggest one yet.? Not one to take her health for granted, Talia is stepping into the ring to use her good fortune to help raise funds to support the vital research of the doctors, chemists, and volunteers of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
Renata Reynolds is committed to the success of her clients, helping them build winning sales teams and strategies that result in real success.? She is also committed to taking a punch in the face to move one step closer to finding a cure for cancer.? Good news Renata, your opponent is committed to helping you with that challenge.
As a CEO, Lisa Ventura is responsible for all aspects of her company; definitely a person comfortable being in charge, getting things done and making stuff happen.? Lisa is not comfortable feeling helpless, like she has when friends and loved ones have been diagnosed with cancer.? True to form, she has decided to do something about it by becoming a member of the FTEC 2019 fight team, raising funds and awareness on behalf of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
Why have you decided to take on this challenge? ?It’s a pretty tough one with the end result being a punch in the face!?
RENATA: I choose this challenge to stand up to Cancer. It?s ugly, mean and has no mercy on us. ?I want to make a difference and stand in the way of it touching another loved one even if it means getting punched in the face. The punch will hurt for a bit. Cancer can hurt a lifetime.
CEILAGH: It?s a pretty exciting thing to be able to say that you took part in an Olympic-style boxing match, but really the cause was the clincher for me. My background is in research, so I understand the challenges that scientists face when trying to find answers to tough research questions. The chance to make this a little easier on researchers who are trying to end cancer, arguably one of the most wide-reaching diseases out there today, was too good to pass up.
What are you hoping to achieve by taking part in FTEC?
LISA: Ultimately, I want a cure to be found. For me, FTEC is a way of joining forces with every other person who has raised money and awareness for the cause.? I never looked at this from a ?me? standpoint but rather a ?we?. Together WE can find a cure.
RENATA: I?m hoping to reach as many people as possible to?create awareness and finding a cure. In addition to showcasing the sport of boxing and to make our coaches proud who give up so much if their time.
What has been the hardest thing so far on this journey in becoming a boxer?
TALIA: From the get-go, our coaches reminded us that boxing is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Yes, push-ups are hard, but staying focused, strategic, and calm in the ring is even harder. If I am being honest, I can say that the hardest part of this journey has been the mental training – overcoming feelings of “imposter syndrome” or self-doubt, but also, learning to box SMART. Finding mental clarity through the exhaustion or frustration; a welcome challenge!
LISA: The hardest part of this experience wasn?t just one thing; it was a series of things that came at different stages.? Right at the beginning, the hardest part was getting used to being hit in the face, which by the way I am still not use to. Then three months into training, along with being physically tired and injured, it was the mental fortitude needed to drive out the doubts. Now that there is only 2 weeks before the fight, it?s the reality of knowing I am going to hit one of the loveliest people in the world, my opponent Renata Reynolds.
What are you most looking forward to during the fight? / What are you most nervous about during the fight?
LISA: The goal of the fight is to showcase boxing and that is what I am most excited about.? I have been training since last October and I have three, ninety second matches to put everything I learned on display. ?The reality of fighting in front of people is setting in and that makes me a little nervous.
CEILAGH: The best part of the fight is going to be putting the skills and techniques we?ve learned over the past 6 months to the test! We?ve done all the practicing and learning we can, and now we get to show off a little in front of our friends and family!
Even though we hope for as much support as possible, I think the most nerve-wracking part will be the huge crowd. No matter how many people are cheering in the audience, the stage fright may (definitely) creep in!
Has this process / journey changed anything about you personally? ?
RENATA: This journey has taught me to be more resilient. ?When faced with adversity in life this process has taught be to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and to never give up.
TALIA: Besides my new found muscles? Yes, in many ways. I was not raised to believe that I belong in these spaces; specifically, in a boxing gym or ring. Being part of this journey has allowed me to make it my own. On a personal level, being part of a charity?event has meant taking what I would usually keep private, to the public sphere. I consider myself a relatively private person, so this was a major change. I’ve learned that sharing – both the positive and difficult aspects of any journey – can enhance it by allowing?other people to take part. These changes among other injected my everyday life with a new confidence that I will hold onto.
What piece of advice would you give to other women who are also facing a big challenge?
TALIA: You know?yourself better than anybody else. At the same time, you are probably stronger than you think. The deeper you dig, the more strength you’ll find. While we are each our own force, it’s important to have encouraging voices who believe in us! Find those voices and let them?overpower any negativity. What I did throughout this journey was every time anyone said anything helpful or encouraging, I’d write it down, screenshot it, print it, whatever. So, when I could not manage to motivate myself, those words were there, waiting to be re-read. Remind yourself of your own power. Keep that positive energy close.
CEILAGH: My advice would be to face the challenge head on, trust your gut, and commit to what you want. There will be days when you feel like you?re doing everything wrong and you went down the completely wrong path, but never forget what the big picture goal is. There?s nothing wrong with switching directions, but don?t let the tough times distract you from your dreams; go after what you want with tenacity and nerve.