Daughters Ready to 'Fight' Cancer One Kick at a Time
After their mom passed away from breast cancer, these two daughters kicked off a new organization to 'fight' the disease... and they're getting some help from the pros!
Twelve-year-old Laklynn Maietta and her ten-year-old sister Jocelyn , both avid enthusiasts of Muay Thai, karate, kickboxing, combat sports and MMA boxing, are determined to crush cancer through their recently devised non-profit organization, Kick Cancer. The organization, still in its infancy, is determined to raise funds for cancer research, shares the girls’ father, Frank Maietta.
In 2013, Frank lost his wife and the girls lost their mom, Christine Mowbray Maietta, to metastatic breast cancer. Christine was just 30 years old. “The girls don’t want other kids to go through what they went through. It’s a heck of a thing for kids to lose their mom. They both came up with the idea for Kick Cancer to help others avoid what they have experienced,” explains Frank.
The seed for Kick Cancer was planted about a year and a half ago when the girls began watching lesser known amateur as well as professional female fighters on YouTube. The strength of the female fighters had a positive impact on the girls and watching their fight videos became an enjoyable pastime for them. “They would research the fighters, watch their fight videos and send them fan letters,” Frank recalls.
Since then, the girls have developed great rapport with many fighters, including professional Muay Thai fighter Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow, who fights for Team Assassins based in England, Australian Muay Thai fighter Natasha Sky, Rashell Cook, and others after sending them fan letters. “The girls developed a correspondence with many of the female fighters they wrote to, sharing their story about losing their mom to cancer. They continue to receive a great deal of support from them. Many began sending the girls autographed pictures, posters and fight clothing. The girls decided they could auction the items the fighters sent them and donate the proceeds from those auctions to cancer research. That’s how Kick Cancer began.”
The word about Kick Cancer spread, thanks to the fighters’ numerous posts about the organization on their Facebook pages and other social media outlets and the caring outreach from the female combat sports community. In the meantime, the girls continued receiving weekly calls and letters from fighters located all around the world, offering encouragement and support, as well as many packages containing fight memorabilia, coloring books, and uplifting notes on a daily basis.
“Many fighters have shared they’ve also lost family members to breast cancer and one fighter who writes to them regularly is a breast cancer survivor herself. It’s a life-changing situation for all involved,” explains Frank.
Kick Cancer has its own Facebook page which both girls helped design and the organization is looking to work with the MMA to plan a fight with proceeds earmarked to benefit Kick Cancer’s efforts supporting cancer research. Family friend Tess Miller devised the organization’s logo, which incorporates an anime girl fighter character and Muay Thai symbol. The girls have also designed shirts which they have sold to raise money for the organization and are working on offering hoodies as an additional way to raise funds. An introductory video and organizational website are also in the works. “We’re looking at many avenues to spread the word,” shares Frank. “The important thing is to spread the word about Kick Cancer and increase awareness.”
Frank explains Kick Cancer was the girls’ brainchild and establishing the non-profit organization has helped them through their loss. “Their focus is to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. If they raise one dollar, they’re happy because that dollar is more money than cancer research had before. There’s always a goal to reach. Anything they raise is a victory.”
For details about Kick Cancer, go to the organization’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Kick-Cancer-for-a-cause-245106882512040