Friends help boxer in fight of his life – The London Free Press
There’s one thing that will never change about Tyler Warren.
He was a fighter, is a fighter and will always be a fighter. What he’s fighting may change, but what won’t change is the will to defeat whoever or whatever is in his way.
Now Warren is in the fight of his life. The 28-year-old former boxer has been battling glioblastoma the same kind of brain cancer that ended the life of The Tragically Hip’s front man Gord Downie.
Warren was diagnosed when he was 24. Since then he’s had three operations, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and more than 60 MRIs.
It was hard some days struggling to stay active and it’s financially draining.
It would be easy for Warren to give in to the despair, but he doesn’t. And friends and families continue to rally around the young man to do what they can to help him.
It’s all about doing what they can to help ease the financial strain on Warren of not being able to work and of having to pay thousands of dollars for drugs not covered by insurance plans.
It’s appropriate that one of the fundraisers for Warren will be held by Boomerz Warriors Boxing and Training Centre in London.
They’ll be donating a portion of their funds from their next card to the Tyler Warren Fund.
Warren is a former member of Ring London. He started boxing when he was 18 because he loved the sport and staying active.
He continued to box until he was diagnosed when he was 24.
Warren had had a couple of bouts and would have loved a lot more, but his opponents had a slight problem with him.
“The last year I was able to box, I had 10 bouts scheduled and they were all cancelled on me,” Warren said. “People would find out my size and back out of the fights.”
Warren was 6-foot-7 and weighed 265 pounds when he was boxing.
“I had a big reach advantage and you needed a lot of work to get into me,” he said.
Despite the reticence of some competitors to fight against him, Warren would like to have continued in the sport.
After his diagnosis he continued to training as a boxer, but the cancer treatment eventually prevented him from going on with the sport or his job as a conductor with Canadian Pacific Railway.
It is four years this month that he was told about the cancer.
“At first it was hard to accept the fact that I had it,” he said. “It was hard some days struggling to stay active and it’s financially draining.”
Warren says he now focuses on the positive. He reads a lot of books on positive thinking and it’s helped him. He gets a lot of support not only from his family but also from others who are fighting the disease.
“A lot of people who have cancer reach out to Tyler,” said Amanda Kelly, Warren’s fiancée. “If you see him and when you first meet him you would have no idea he is going through all this. They like it that he stays so positive. Even when he was going through chemo he would still do sports and go out with people.”
Kelly said Warren and those around him aren’t going to let the cancer determine how they live their lives.
“I was still boxing when I was going through chemo,” Warren said. “I wasn’t sparring or anything like that, but I was training like a boxer.”
Warren has gone through three operations, two clinical trials and is again on chemotherapy. He continues to look for other ways to fight the cancer. He can’t work and insurance covers only a portion of the cost of the drugs. Some pills cost Warren as much as $4,000 a week.
There are a number of fundraisers for him.
“I found out about Tyler through a friend of a friend and I thought since he was an amateur boxer our club would really like to help,” said Rob Caron of the Warriors.
Caron is staging an amateur boxing card on Saturday with the doors opening at 6 p.m. and the card starting at 7. Boomerz is at 30 Adelaide St. N. in London.
Another fundraiser for Warren is Striking Out Cancer, to be held Aug. 25 in Belmont. The day will include a co-ed softball tournament, live entertainment and silent auction. The entertainment at the evening dance includes Eric Ethridge and Chad Price.
The money helps, but no one should underestimate how much strength and hope the emotional support of so many people means to Warren.
As it says on one of his social media outlets, “no one fights alone.”