WESTMONT – For its annual fundraiser for the fight against breast cancer, Westmont's Knockout Women's Boxing Club decided to dedicate this year's event to a Downers Grove North alumni and friend.
Jessica Storch, owner of Knockout Women's Boxing Club, has hosted the fundraiser every October since she opened in 2011, and this year she'll be donating the funds to Lyndsie Blythe.
"In July, I found out she'd been diagnosed," Storch said. "And rather than doing it for an organization, I though I'd feel better knowing we could directly help someone I knew."
Blythe, 32, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer this past summer. She said it's "incredible" what Storch is doing for her.
"It means everything to me," Blythe said. "It's showing me so much support and helping me push on."
The event, Round 3 For Lyndsie, was held Oct. 18-19 at the gym, 95 W. 61st St., and included a workout where members could bring a family member or friend. Tickets were $20 per person and raffle prizes were also available.
Afterward on Oct. 18, the fundraiser move over to the Neutral Zone, 1115 Fairview Ave., where a portion of the night's revenue went to Blythe as well.
"I feel honored that I can help her however big or little," Storch said. "It's great to give [money] to an organization but to help someone I know has a different significance."
Storch, Blythe and Blythe's older sister ran track together at Downers Grove North High School.
"My sister was better friends with her but we were all like a big family," said Lyndsie Blythe, who now resides in St. Charles, Mo. with her husband, 2-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.
Although Blythe wasn't allowed to travel to the Chicago suburb for the fundraiser due to doctor's orders, her mom, dad, sister and grandmother were able to make an appearance.
Blythe said she's horribly jealous she wasn't at the event.
"It breaks my heart that I can't be there and show my support for her support," Blythe said. "So the next best people to represent me are my family."
Knockout Women's Boxing Club tries to have about three fundraisers a year, according to Storch. The Downers Grove resident said there's a pay-it-forward kind of mentality at the Westmont business.
"It's about empowering people and giving back," Storch said. "It's a huge part of my business and when something happens, I want to give back. That's worth a million dollars to me – knowing I'm making an impact on someone else."
Blythe said she has about three more chemo treatments, a double mastectomy and more radiation before she will be on the road to recovery.
"I've never felt more alive in my life," Blythe said. "You don't realize how wonderful the world is. The amount of support I've received from people like Jess... it's helping save my life and keep chugging forward."