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Ready to Come Out Swinging for Cancer Research

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's John Quackenbush is heading into the ring tomorrow as part of Haymakers for Hope. He and 29 others will face off to raise funds for cancer research — according to the Boston Globe, the charity has raised some $3.5 million in four years, or 125 bouts.

The Globe adds that Quackenbush got into boxing as a means of staying fit, and his coach, who'd trained previous charity combatants, mentioned that he should do Haymakers for Hope. He's been training for four months to build strength and endurance — and to avoid being the one who gets knocked out.

At his fundraising page, Quackenbush writes that cancer research is struggling for support as budgets at the US National Institute of Health and other government agencies are being cut. "I am not fighting for myself, but for everyone touched by cancer — past, present, and future — knowing that today's research will lead to tomorrow's cures," he writes. "I am fighting for young scientists who are committed to applying their talents and abilities in the search for cures, but who struggle for financial support."

The money he raises is being targeted toward supporting early career cancer researchers. (In interest of full disclosure, GenomeWeb has donated to Quackenbush's cause.)

As for the big day tomorrow, Quackenbush tells the Globe that "I think we'll have a big crowd there from Dana-Farber. I just can't tell whether they'll go because they love me — or if they want to see me get punched in the face."