When I first found out about a young boy in my area having cancer my first thought were of my own children and thanking God for their well being. Immediately after that I began to think about all of the pain that the parents are having to deal with. Being a father myself I can’t begin to imagine having to watch my son deal with this dreaded disease. We live in a small town but it is a community that has a huge heart and so many people have banded together to help this family during such a difficult time. I became aware of Christian Koehler and his fight with cancer when my 7 year old daughter Rylee brought home a flyer from school one day in March. There were two papers one being an outline of a child’s hand and the other telling the story of Christian’s battle with cancer and asking for just $1 to help the family defray the medical bills associated with battling this disease.
I wanted to do more, I am a firm believer in karma and I truly believe that God forbid something happened to one of my children others would be there to help me. That is not the only reason I wanted to help, I truly hate to see children suffer. I myself spent the first three years of my life in and out of hospitals having surgery after surgery to battle a heart condition I was born with. To this day I do not know how my parents dealt with all the stress of having to raise four other children while spending the majority of their time in the hospital with me. Anyway, being a journalist has given me the ability to reach so many people that I normally would never have the opportunity to reach. Writing for FiveOuncesOfPain.com allows me so much exposure to a great community of MMA fans, fighters, trainers and other writers.
Richie Guerriero is the general manager at the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. He has been very generous to me setting up interviews with such fighters as WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown and UFC middleweight Denis Kang. Richie has been awesome and all I did was send an email asking for an interview. I decided to contact him and tell him about Christian’s plight. Without a moment’s hesitation he asked what he could do to help and sometime this week I will be receiving signed gloves from Mike Brown and Thiago Alves that I will be able to auction off and then donate the money to the Koehler family. Another man I have to give credit to is Eddie “Primo” Miranda who has gotten everything together and offered up some kind words for the family.
Both Richie Guerriero and Eddie Miranda have both expressed a sincere desire to help and have made it known that it was their pleasure and that if there was anything else they could do to please let them know. When I asked Richie to make a brief statement here is what he had to say: “We were all saddened to hear about this boys story. I hope in some small way we were able to help out. Our prayers and thoughts are with the young boy and his family during this trying time.” Eddie Miranda said “Please let the family know that we are hoping for the best and that if there is anything else we can do please let us know.” While it may not seem like a lot to some people I find it amazing that these fighters and trainers have gone out of their way to help someone they have never met. The two fighters that signed the gloves to be auctioned off are training for the biggest fights of their careers as Alves will be fighting Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100 in July for the UFC welterweight title and Brown will be defending his title from the man he took it from, Urijah Faber on June 7th.
I reached out to people locally and that I used to work with and most people never responded to my request for help, but these guys did, they did it without hesitation, without asking questions and they did it for unselfish reasons. They didn’t know I would be writing this story, all they wanted to do was help this family. I hope this story reaches other people who may have sick child or maybe it will reach someone looking to help out. One thing I am hoping is that it finds its way into the hands of some NY politicians who have repeatedly shot down legislation calling for MMA to be sanctioned in NY. Maybe they are still of the belief that these fighters are animals and that the sport is to gruesome. Take another look please and you will realize that these athletes are some of the most respectful, caring human beings that are alive today. They have hearts and souls and most of all humility. It seems to me that they are willing to do more for a family they have never met than most other people would even dream of doing.
To bid on the autographed gloves from two of mixed martial arts biggest stars for an extremely worthy cause you can visit the following links:
Thiago Alves Signed Glove:
Mike Brown Signed Glove: