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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Toledo: Retired boxer faces a fight outside ring

Henry Moore, left, is a trainer in the Police Athletic League boxing program.
Henry Moore, left, is a trainer in the Police Athletic League boxing program.

Henry Moore was a boxer in his younger days in Toledo gyms, and today he is assisting other young people as a trainer in the Police Athletic League boxing program.

Mr. Moore, though, is fighting a more serious battle outside the ring: with lung cancer.

The retired Sun Oil employee and longtime community activist with Organized Neighbors Yielding eXcellence, will be honored by the Victory Center during its Fight For Victory amateur boxing event, 6 p.m. today at The Pinnacle, in Maumee.

The Victory Center is a non-profit organization that provides free, nonmedical support services to people living with cancer and educational services on the disease.

"I feel very honored to be recognized by the Victory Center," Mr. Moore said.

"It's not too often in a person's life that they get to be honored in this way, so I'm very happy about it."

Mr. Moore, who is the husband of Toledo branch NAACP president WilliAnn Moore, has been fighting lung cancer for several years.

Through the chemotherapy treatments, he has worked to maintain his involvement with youth and within the neighborhood he has lived for many years.

"You want to give back because you're part of the neighborhood," Mr. Moore said. "Of course, my wife is Mrs. Neighborhood."

Deborah Younger, executive director of ONYX, said Mr. Moore has shown a determination that many people can look up to.

"We're proud and excited for his honor," Ms. Younger said. "Mr. Moore has been a long-serving member of the ONYX board."

Robin Isenberg, executive director of the Victory Center, said Mr. Moore was selected tobe honored at the event because of his passion for helping others while fighting his own battle with cancer.

She said Mr. Moore has been a participant at the Victory Center for several years.

"He's quite a fighter," Ms. Isenberg said. "He's always here with a smile on his face and with a positive attitude. He brings a lot of happiness to us. He has a connection with boxing and he's committed to young people. He's just an all around great guy."

Mr. Moore and Ms. Isenberg said that they hope that Mr. Moore's story will also serve as a way to reach other African-Americans suffering from cancer and encourage them to seek help.

African-Americans often have a lower survival rate of cancer than other races.

Experts have said that earlier diagnoses and treatment can help turn those numbers around.

"When I go to [the Victory Center], I don't see too many [African-Americans] there," Mr. Moore said. "I think we still look at cancer differently. I don't know if we like to let a lot of people know how we're handling it. The people at the Victory Center have been wonderful and have made me feel great."

Ms. Isenberg said the Victory Center would like to reach more people who are not familiar with its services."We're one of the best kept secrets here," Ms. Isenberg said.

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