UFC fighter and Ohio native Matt Brown is hosting a pig-roast fundraiser in Jamestown, Ohio, on Saturday for the James Brown Medical Fund.
James Brown, Matt's father, is struggling with acute myeloid leukemia, complicated by diabetes and heart failure from a recent chemotherapy session. His health insurance ended last year.
Saturday's event, which is open to the public, includes a full slate of activities as well as an auction with UFC-related items, including some autographed by Brown and fellow UFC fighter Forrest Griffin.
The event takes place from noon to 10 p.m. at Morris' Pond on Cottonwood Road in Jamestown with food (two pigs will be roasted), six live bands, kids games, pony rides, a cornhole tournament, bikini carwash and other activities. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided, so the event is BYOB. Attendees don't need to bring anything, though everyone is welcome to bring a favorite dish to share with fellow partygoers.
Brown simply hopes the small-town event can bring some much-needed help to the family.
"It's been tough," said Brown, who learned his father was seriously ill just a week after a scheduled June bout with Anthony Johnson fell through. "It worked out well that the fight didn't take place."
Brown said his dad has always been proud of his fighting career, which included a successful stint on "The Ultimate Fighter 7" and a 3-1 record in the UFC.
"He was really happy I was doing something with my life besides going to jail and getting drunk everyday," Brown said. "He was supportive ... and saw the positive impact it had (on me)."
He's now hoping the fight community can rally around his father, a former machine-shop owner who initially was told he had only two weeks to live. Now slowly doing better, though, the medical bills are starting to mount.
Donations can be made at the event or at any area Security National Bank or Huntington Bank. (Ask for the "James Brown Medical Fund.) Paypal donations can also be made to firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.paypal.com.
Brown, who recently returned from his new home in Las Vegas to be with his father, said he continues to train and anticipates a return to the octagon this fall.