Boot camp to beat battle against neuroblastoma

Filipo Fifita, 28, is a personal trainer and wants to use fitness as a fundraiser to help a little girl with neuroblastoma.
KELLEY TANTAU/FAIRFAX NZ

Filipo Fifita, 28, is a personal trainer and wants to use fitness as a fundraiser to help a little girl with neuroblastoma.

For Filipo​ Fifita​, a random act of kindness was what it took to realise a true passion.

The Hamilton personal trainer has been running boot camps for years and has decided to "up the ante" by turning fitness into a fundraiser this Saturday.

Two-year-old Ka'iulani​ Forbes has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a solid cancerous tumour that begins in the nerve cells outside the brain of infants and young children.

Neuroblasts are immature nerve cells found in unborn babies. Normal neuroblasts mature into nerve cells or adrenal medulla cells, which are cells found in the centre of the adrenal gland. Neuroblastoma forms when neuroblasts don't mature properly.

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This has caused a tumour that is wrapped around Ka'iulani's​ spine. She is currently receiving the best care available at Starship Hospital in Auckland.  

Fifita​ wants to raise funds with an hour of exercise to help Ka'iulani​ and her family. 

The boot camp will include push ups, squats and an ab-workout. 

"This is the most organised I've been in my whole life," he said.

"I am the cheesiest person when it comes to classes. When it comes to work, I am very diligent."

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Fifita​ has been in the industry for five years and has been a personal trainer for two.

He said for some the industry has become a money-making scheme. But he doesn't want people to see him as being that way inclined.

Instead, he would rather give back to people in need.

"The more you give apparently, the more you get back. It's an idea I've been pretty obsessed with the past couple of weeks.

"I love it, I definitely want to do this again," he said. "I should have done this sooner."

Fifita​ has run weekly boot camps and said this was a good opportunity not only to raise funds, but to get motivated before the winter months.

"Opportunities always arise when you commit to something," he said.

The event will be held at Innes Common, Hamilton Lake on March 4 at 8am and is open to everyone. 

The cost is $15 per person and if you bring a friend, your friend can work out for free, Fifita​ said.

There will also be food available and good tunes to work out to.

"People are more motivated in a group," he said.

"This is where my heart lies. People in the masses."

For further information, find Fitness with Filly on Facebook.

  • To donate, visit: givealittle.co.nz/cause/kaiulani

 - Stuff

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