When I was invited to Atlanta, Ga’s Buckhead Fight Club to meet a boxer who’s fighting on the behalf of two amazing charities, Wounded Warrior’s Project and Sophie’s Voice Foundation, I couldnt pass it up. I walked in and met a pumped up Cameron Alkhazraji, she was dressed in black with her Fight Club T-shirt with a contagious laugh. Cameron Alkhazrahi, is a woman who has dedicated her life to helping people, not only represents as a board of director for Sophie’s Voice Foundation but she also sits on the board for Reece’s Rainbow which advocates and finds families for orphans with Down Syndrome and Special Needs and lastly, she does fundraising for Autism Speaks. Cameron who was born with Spina Bifida, didn’t exactly find out she had it at birth. She shared her story:
“Growing up I was a competitive gymnast. I remember I was 10 years old and i was at the gym. I was on the bars and I slipped and fell and dislocated my back. I went to the doctor and found out I had it. Soon after my family members were tested and my brother and father found out they had it as well”
Looking at Cameron you would never know she has a split spine. Cameron actually did a handstand to perfection! Even though she sees a therapist every 5 weeks, she says that she’s as strong as an ox and doesn’t allow that to hold her back. Spinia Bifida is a hereditary disease and while Cameron carries it, her two children don’t.
Corporate Fight Night, which takes place at Buckhead Fight Club, takes boxing to a whole new level. Per their mission statement:
The Challenge – We take corporate America out of their comfort zone and provide them with an intense physical and emotional challenge in a safe environment that is life changing on a multitude of levels. Corporate Fight Night boxers go through a selective audition process and an intensive ten week training program for their big night in the squared circle. Additionally, they each campaign to raise funds to support their selected charity and then fight for them in the ring as the winner gets the prize for their charity. Balancing careers, family, training, confidence issues, and philanthropy becomes an incredible character building experience as they put themselves through one of the greatest challenges of their life with all of the pressures of a real prize fighter.
And this guys is what Cameron, or her boxing name “Kamikaze”, signed up for. Cameron also teamed up with another great charity Wounded Warrior’s Project that pairs a boxer with a “Warrior” or former military personnel, and helps train them. Cameron’s partner is Sandra Boyd. Cameron has trained three months, once and even sometimes twice a day, for her boxing event next Thursday, May 22. Being a competitive gymnast, boxing shouldn’t have been too hard for Cameron… Right?
“Actually, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Sometimes I even felt like falling out! But this is something I definitely will continue doing recreationally, even after the event.”
In support of her match, Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe stopped by to wish her well. As said before, Cameron sits on their board of directors of their foundation, Sophie’s Voice. Boris and Nicole can’t make the fight next week so they decided to see her in action today and give her their support.
“Boris and I are so happy to be here. Cameron is an inspiration to us and we’re lucky enough to have her on our board. She’s an adult living with Spina Bifidia, she has a generous heart and a big loving spirit. This boxing match is not only stress relief and strength training for her, but its also an opportunity to give back to another great charity, The Wounded Warrior Project. We’re just grateful we got a chance to see her in action before her big match!”
Sophie’s Voice Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by celebrity couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. Sophie’s Voice, which is named after their daughter, is a foundation that brings awareness to a birth defect known as Spina Bifida. Spinia Bifida is a birth defect that happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. There are four types of Spina Bifida that can effect an infant and while everyday eight babies are born with the defect, scientist dont know what causes it. When Hollywood couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker’s daughter was born with the condition they decided to raise awareness with a charity etched with their daughters name, Sophie.
When it was time for people to part ways I asked Cameron one more important question: How proud is she of herself of the strides she’s made?
“Im really surprised at myself. Boxing is really hard, but Im glad I had the opportunity to learn something new and also support a great cause close to my heart. Im proud to bring awareness to Spina Bifida and to also have a great time doing it!”
If you’re in Buckhead or any of the surrounding Atlanta areas, please go and support these great and worthy causes. For any information or questions please contact the facility by visiting their website at CorporateFightNight.com. The fight is Thursday Night, May 22nd, at 7pm. Evander Holyfield son, Evan Holyfield, will also be boxing at this event.
Another fun fact, I met Herb Mesa, from the Food Network, who was helping train Cameron. He gave me a great recipe for oatmeal pancakes and I will make sure to let you guys know how that turns out!