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Inspired by his wife’s battle with cancer, Wellesley man steps into the ring to fight for a cure

WELLESLEY — There were some pregame nerves in the Heller household Wednesday night. There’s a big game in less than a day, but this family of five is used to fighting.

Ben and Amanda Heller have been married for years. The couple faced one of their biggest trials yet in 2021 when Amanda was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I have 15 percent breast cancer that no one really wants to have,” Amanda said. She is currently battling triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and is in her ninth month of chemotherapy.

“Sometimes she’s so strong and so active and so energetic that you forget she’s going through this,” Ben said.

Ben and Amanda Heller

CBS Boston


It was this example that led him to want to do more. Ben started boxing several months ago, then took his training seriously when he signed up to compete in the Boston Haymakers for Hope boxing match.

Ben raises nearly $250,000 for cancer research

The organization helps raise funds for cancer research through different sporting events. Ben set a fundraising goal of $50,000, but he quickly exceeded it. To date, he has raised nearly $250,000, all of which will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“There were times when I thought I couldn’t keep doing this. I’m too old. But for Amanda, there’s no bell to go take a minute off. She has to go fight, whether she wants to or not,” Ben said. “A lot of people have supported me and us, and I want to do well. I want to make Amanda proud.”

Amanda said she, their three children and several friends would attend the amateur boxing match. It is scheduled for Thursday evening at 7:30 at MGM Music Hall at Fenway.

“Win or lose, I know he’ll be a winner in my mind,” she said. “He worked so hard for this.”

On why Ben said: “This doesn’t change Amanda’s journey. We hope it changes other people’s journeys in the future.”