The query, coming as it did through a facebook.com message, was simple.
“Hey man. I’m participating in the DeVos Children’s Hospital boxing fundraiser event. Was wondering if ya wanna get in the ring with me?”
That message came from my friend Cory Olsen, former photographer for The Holland Sentinel and current writer/photographer for The Grand Rapids Press and mLive.com. The event is “Put Cancer on the Ropes,” touted by organizers as “a family friendly event taking place on June 13, 2014 at The DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids.
My question is, friendly for which family? Certainly not mine, now that I’ve had time to think about it.
After I accepted Cory’s offer, I started asking him about the Power90 (or something similar) program he had been on several months ago and the healthy eating that had been part of his daily facebook.com posts for a while.
I wrote: “Are you in shape? I’m not. Will these be air-filled gloves and sumo suits?”
He replied: “Nope, I’m not. Been off my routine for a few months. It’s pretty tame, like 20-ounce gloves and headgear with nose protectors.”
So, that’s supposed to make me feel better?
Then I remembered. Gosh, Cory always was a little bit bigger than me. So I asked another question. And I got the answer I was dreading.
“I’m 6-2, 290,” Cory informed me.
And I’m like 5-11 and, at my latest doctor’s appointment, a measly 258 pounds. But I was 262 so at least the weight-loss thing is working. Kind of.
Then the trash talking began.
“Look out for the low blows,” I suggested. “With your height, I will have to go to the body. I can’t reach that high.”
“LAMBERTS GOES DOWN! LAMBERTS GOES DOWN!” he shouted in cyber talk. I suggested he wear some protection since I’m short and he’s not.
But seriously, it’s all for a wonderful cause. All proceeds will support the pediatric cancer program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
In one way or another, cancer has affected all of us. The daughter of a former church member had issues with cancer for years. Olsen, in his bio on the Put Cancer On the Ropes facebook page (look it up), reports that “the family developed a special connection with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital earlier this year when Gabriella (his daughter) was diagnosed with ITP (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). She’s currently doing wonderfully.”
I lost a sister to cancer at age 61 in 2002.
What about you?
Why don’t you join us? And others? Sports anchor Dan Harland from Channel 13 and sports reporter Casey Jones from Channel 8 are in the card. Some lady named Schmitty from 104.5 WSNX-FM is getting in the ring, too. Maybe I’d have a better chance with her.
Also, Grand Rapids native and Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening will be one of the judges. (Maybe I’ll wear one of my Red Wings’ hats to bribe him.)
Cory and I have been promised celebrities in our corners to encourage us. I’m hoping to have Johnny Garcia on my side.
I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it should be fun.
Join us, please. Several ticket and/or sponsorship packages are available by visiting http://give.helendevoschildrens.org/celebrityboxing. Prices start at $15 for general admission season.
I would say “I’ll see you there,” but I’ll have to take my glasses off to fight so I might not see much of anything. Not even my 290-pound opponent.