After graduating college, Joe Kapur picked up boxing to stay healthy while working full-time in investment banking. What started out as a hobby became a way to fight in support of cancer care. This summer, Joe participated in a charitable boxing event through Haymakers for Hope, an organization that hosts amateur boxing events in support of cancer research, care, and awareness. He was inspired to step into the ring by his grandmother, Ani Kapur, who courageously underwent pancreatic cancer treatment—and today is a survivor. Grateful for the care she received, Joe raised more than $26,000 for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Institute for Pancreatic Diseases and won his contest at the event.  

Ani was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014. “At the time, there was a slim chance that she would recover,” says Joe. Even though she faced a long journey, Ani always kept a positive attitude. Working together with Mark Callery, MD, Chief of General Surgery and Co-director of the Institute for Pancreatic Diseases, and his team, she underwent treatment and eventually went into remission. “I received excellent care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The team was remarkable, and they were so attentive to me over the time I was being treated,” says Ani. Her strength throughout her treatment journey is not the only reason why Joe is so inspired by his grandmother. She was born in Turkey, fled to Argentina, and then moved to the United States for high school. After she graduated, she met Amar, Joe’s grandfather, and together, they started a business that they still own and operate to this day.         

The lifesaving care that Ani received from BIDMC means the world to Joe and his family. “I want other people to have the same kind of treatment experience that my grandmother did,” says Joe, recounting that presenting the check for the money he raised to BIDMC was one of the proudest moments in his life. “It’s important that others have the opportunity to have the support and care that BIDMC provides as they face pancreatic cancer.” This pivotal moment for Joe was the culmination of his hard work training in the gym and raising money through social media and his professional network. “Haymakers for Hope is an amazing organization and what they do is so important,” says Ani. “I am so proud of Joe and all the participants for training so hard for the event. It was great to see all the training videos and pictures of Joe leading up to the fight—everyone worked so hard.” 

The BIDMC Institute for Pancreatic Diseases, co-directed by Callery and Steven Freedman, MD, PhD, has been named a Center of Excellence by the National Pancreas Foundation and contains a team of world-renowned surgeons, physicians, and researchers who are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreas and liver conditions. Philanthropy is vital to funding research opportunities for new procedures and treatments that can one day save lives. It allows individuals like Ani to enjoy life after treatment. “Now I work part-time and spend the colder months down in Florida,” says Ani. “I look forward to having my family come and visit me, and we have made new friends down here. I am grateful for the incredible care I received at BIDMC, which enables me to focus on the important things in life—spending time with my loved ones.”


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