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Jacksonville Marine raising money for cancer through competition
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Jacksonville Marine raising money for cancer through competition

  • PublishedJune 14, 2024



A local Marine is putting his strength to the test. He hopes to take home the “Mr. Health and Fitness” title to give back to people in need.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After watching two of his family members battle cancer, a Jacksonville Marine is using the “Mr. Health and Fitness” competition as a way to not only help and honor his two uncles while they fight their battles with cancer, but also help other families who watch their loved one live through the disease.

Following seven years of active-duty service in the Marine Corps, Sergeant Mathew Rice is now in the reserves to chase after his new calling – professional wrestling.

While training on the wrestling mat, Rice discovered the competition put on by Muscle and Fitness magazine, which is dedicated to raising money for the B+ Foundation that is an organization committed to children cancer research.

With a love to serve and give back, Rice is representing Jacksonville, saying the best prize is knowing he’s giving back to the community and in more ways than one. He’s making it a tribute to those family members he watched fight cancer.

“My uncle passed away from cancer,” Rice told First Coast News. “My uncle right now is actually dealing with colon cancer as well, so I have a few family members who have been affected by this disease. We keep fighting, we keep pushing and we be positive like the organization.”

Rice opened up about how his family encouraged him to join the Marine Corps seven years ago. A group that changed not only his life, but taught him the importance of giving back.

“Once you’ve been a part of something for so long, it becomes who you are and you start to really hone in on the culture,” Rice said. “You know, being apart of something bigger than yourself ultimately, it does something to you.”

What determines who wins the title of “Mr. Health and Fitness” is based on the amount of votes from the public. To make sure Rice makes it to the final round, you can support him here.

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