Two North Island boxing coaches will get in the ring for more than six hours and spar 100 rounds each, in a fundraising bid for a terminally ill Feilding girl.
When Feilding boxer Ricky Bushell heard about seven-year-old Brennagh McKay’s battle with Edwards Syndrome, he just knew he had to try to help – the only way he knew how.
"My plan is to do 100 three-minute rounds with one minute rests in between. I’ve got 10 boxers who will each do 10 rounds, but they’ll have nine rounds’ rest in between each go, to keep them fresh for me.
"And I’ve got some really heavy boys in there that really like to rark it up."
The 49-year-old Englishman is a former professional lightweight boxer, who now runs Jab Promotions boxing club in Feilding, as well as being a top boxing referee.
He said he gave the feat a brief test run this week and has an appreciation for how difficult the test will be.
"I just pulled the number out of a hat: 100. Back in the 1800s when it was bare-knuckle fights, they used to last 100 rounds, so i thought let’s give it a go.
"I done 30 rounds this Thursday and I was in a bad way Friday. All I could think about was, I’ve got another 70 to do on top."
But it would be worth it to support Brennagh, he said.
Edwards Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18, is a a genetic disorder caused an abnormality in the eighteenth chromosome.
Brennagh’s mother Kathleen McKay said she was told her daughter would be lucky to live to her first birthday.
At seven, she is very small for her age, Mrs McKay said, at just 15kg, and has only ever eaten through a tube.
Seven weeks ago, she was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery that doctors predicted she would not survive.
"The doctors didn’t expect her to survive the night. When they opened her up, three-quarters of her bowel had died and quite a portion of her small intestine had died.
"She was on life support through the night. I was crying and begging her to survive the night and kick on.I promised her that if you make it ... I’ll take you to Rarotonga like I promised. Although it could be months before she’s actually well enough to travel."
Brennagh, the youngest of six children and the only girl, had also been born three months premature, Mrs McKay said.
"She had all the odds against her from the outset.
"But my main focus was to not focus on her condition being terminal and wait around for her to die. I thought, we’re just going to live."
The money raised by the boxers will go towards ongoing medical costs for the family, and towards giving Brennagh her dream Pacific holiday, Mrs McKay said.
"I’m blown away. These are amazing guys, these two," she said of the boxers.
Robbie Martin, 47, at Petone Sports and Boxing Club, said it was an easy decision to help out when approached by his Mr Bushell.
On October 12, at Jab Promotions in Feilding and Petone Sports and Boxing Club in the Hutt Valley, Ricky Bushell and Robbie Martin will open their gym doors so people can watch their marathon efforts. Donations for Brennagh will be collected at the doors.
Donations can also be made online at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/BrennaghMckay
- © Fairfax NZ News
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