On Saturday night the fifth annual Fight for the Cure took place at the Hampton Inn in Ottawa and the headliners were Canadian Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau. There has been much written about the event both in the lead up and in its aftermath, and really that is what it was all about … visibility for the charity event that raises money to fight cancer!
Some of the pundits have been critical, suggesting it was all a “show” for publicity by the two politicians. There were also critics who believe that boxing is barbaric and not suitable for 21st century consumption. There were the people who thought Trudeau would get “smoked” and many of these writers ignored the primary reason for the event … to fight cancer.
I have a pretty good perspective on this because I took part in the event last year (that is me in the picture). The previous October I started my five month journey from reticent participant with no boxing experience (and blogged about that) to the big night when I climbed into that ring in front of a packed house. To get to that point all of the participants have gone through months of grueling workouts, many many sparring sessions and have likely spilled a little blood along the way. I had several bloodied noses and a black eye at various points during the training … as I’m sure did Trudeau and Brazeau. I did not lose sight of why I was doing it, and nor did they … it was about fighting cancer!
I can tell you that on Saturday night I found some new role models to add to my growing list … and it is no small irony that the person I highlighted in my blog about role models was a politician who died of cancer last year (Jack Layton). I add Trudeau and Brazeau to my list because I know what it took for them to step up, and they had the added pressure of being public figures. It is tough to perform in front of so many and with the armchair critics taking their lumps. They will however go back to work this week and remember they did it to fight cancer!
On Saturday night the two politicians had a battle, and both can stand proud that their personal sacrifices resulted in a very classy event that raised a lot of money to fight cancer. Justin Trudeau won the bout but both fighters won in the battle to fight cancer and perhaps even restore a little honor to a profession that does not always present itself so well. I particularly enjoyed this Ottawa Citizen article about Truly Honourable Members!
Last year I gave blood in addition to my usual contributions of money and time, this year Trudeau and Brazeau joined the ranks of Fight for the Cure alumni who have done the same. So two things …
1. Can you step up and give back to a great cause? There are lots of great causes that need your help and you don’t even have to give blood! What is most important is that you Get in the Game and Give Back!
2. If you want to pass comment about the participants, question their integrity in this event or even their performance I suggest you try making the same kind of commitment. I can tell you first hand that it is tough, it hurts and it takes guts!
A BIG congratulations to Matt Whitteker, Rob Imbeault and all involved in organizing FFTC 2012 on Saturday!