New York, NY (September 24, 2015) – WBC-USNBC junior middleweight champion Boyd Melson and Christan Zaccagnino, Founders of Team Fight to Walk, will host the organization’s third annual “Fighting for the Cure” benefit gala Thursday, October 15 at 6:15 pm at the Beckwith Pointe in New Rochelle, NY.
Tickets and sponsorship packages to “Fighting for the Cure” are available by going to teamfighttowalk.com/gala or calling 914-497-5727. All donations are deductible per IRS regulations.
New York Knicks great John Starks will serve as the Honorary Chairman for this special evening and a number of other guests will be available to mingle with ticket holders. The current guest list includes former world champion and pound for pound superstar Paul Williams, Super Bowl XXV Champion Stephen Baker of the New York Giants, middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, former champions Junior Jones and Chris Algieri along with former New York Knicks Herb Williams and John Wallace. More guests will be announced shortly. This outstanding evening of entertainment and awareness includes cocktails & appetizers, a formal dinner, silent auction, blackjack tables, live music, open bar, DJ and guest speakers.
During the last two years, Team Fight to Walk hosted successful Galas in New York featuring comedy acts from Artie Lange and Damon Rozier accompanied by emotional speeches from Melson, Zaccagnino, Major Max Brewer, world renowned Dr. Wise Young, Eric LeGrand and cancer survivor turned world champion boxer Danny Jacobs.
In June, Melson, Dr. Young and Dr. Patricia Morton met with Congress in Washington, DC to present evidence from successful Spinal Cord Injury trials in China. The Chinese trials saw 15 out of the 20 patients regain the ability to walk again and 10 patients have their bladder and bowel function return. This is the exact same procedure that would be used in America and an official answer from the FDA on the trial is expected to come before this year’s end.
If the trials are to take place, the cost for surgery and therapy is $150,000 per patient and 100% of those costs are being raised through public donations. The trial will be held at University Hospital in Newark, NJ and will involved 12 patients. Currently, the federal government is not offering financial assistance, even though thousands of soldiers are returning from war with Spinal Cord Injuries.
From the time they met at a dance club during his junior year at West Point in 2002, the most important thing in Melson’s life has been to see Zaccagnino walk again. Christan broke her neck at the age of 10 after a diving accident and been confined to a wheelchair ever since. To spearhead the funding efforts for the aforementioned trial, Melson’s donated 100% of his purses from 16 of his 17 professional to Team Fight to Walk, a 501(c)(3) with one of his purses going to a childhood friend whose son was battling brain cancer. Between the two Galas and his professional bouts, Melson’s helped raise more than $330,000.
“We are close as ever to making a significant difference in America,” said Melson. “Team Fight to Walk has been working extremely hard for this and our fundraising efforts have been nonstop. Still, there’s a long way to go, even if we get approval from the FDA. Our last two galas have been outstanding, and we’re aiming to raise even more money this year towards the cause. We need the assistance from everybody out there. We need to wake up and live each day with the fact that we share this planet leading our active consciousness. Our Galas have emotionally moved many attendees that heard the stories and struggles from those suffering from Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries who are can’t have the surgery in America that could enable them to walk again. If you’re unable to attend the Gala, please consider donating to Teamfighttowalk.com. Every dollar makes a difference!”