WASHINGTON -- Wrestling doesn't always get the most publicity, but it's getting its due for coming to the aid of one of its own.
Grapplethon is a 12-hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu event to benefit Jeff Stoike who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer normally found in children.
Some of the country's best wrestlers lent their name to the fundraiser, including team USA's first female Olympic gold medal wrestler and Rockville's own, Helen Maroulis.
She says watching Stoike puts her eight month brain injury in perspective.
"He's not only recovering after fighting the toughest battle there is, which is for your life, but he's fighting this other battle for others, as well."
Stoike is a jiu jitsu fighter is familiar with battling, but now it's for his life instead of a match. He says that both jiu jitsu and cancer are "extremely excruciating" and "test your physical limits."
But he says the "psychological battle is almost more intense." He says he's grateful to be the beneficiary of the fundraiser and can't wait to pay it forward.
The event is sponsored by Wrestle Like a Girl, Inc. Its Ambassadors, including Maroulis, Adeline Gray, 2016 Olympian and 4X World Champion, and Tecia Torres, #6 ranked UFC Straw weight, were all on hand at BETA Academy in Washington, D.C. for the fundraiser.
They raised $17,500.