A Clitheroe man is taking to the boxing ring to raise funds for Cancer Research UK having been inspired close friend's son's cancer diagnosis.
Jonathon 'Jonny' Devine (30) will be strapping on his gloves for a charity boxing match to raise money for Cancer Research UK in aid of Rhys Whatmore, the nine-year-old son of Amanda Whatmore, a close friend of his.
Diagnosed with Medullablastoma, a type of malignant cancerous brain tumour that starts in or near the cerebellum and can spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord, last year, Rhys has since fought the cancer, which is now "under control" according to Jonny, with doctors testing him regularly.
Potentially causing headaches, sickness, problems with balance and coordination, dizziness, and problems with vision, between 250 and 500 children are diagnosed with medulloblastoma each year.
"If he can fight, then I can get in the ring," said Jonny, who weighed in at 15 stone, eight pounds ahead of his fight against Larry Connor. "A friend did a charity fight a few months ago, so I thought I'd do the same. I've been training for seven weeks now, and it's been hard work."
Working alongside 27 other people involved in charity boxing, Jonny has been preparing himself for his bout - which takes place at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa on Sunday, September 3rd - by training at Ramsey's ACE Kickboxing Gym in Blackburn.
"We are all doing it for the same cause so it's spurring me on; we've got to know each other," explained Jonny. "There's 28 of us all training together and we've been matched up with people of a similar ability."
Having managed to raise £442 already, Jonny has been channeling his charitable exploits outside the ring too as he took part in a sponsored back-pack in Clitheroe to raise additional funds ahead of the fight.
"I'm do proud to be doing this not only to raise awareness but also to show how proud I am to know him," Jonny added. "He is an inspiration to not only children but to all who go through this terrible ordeal.
"I'm looking forward to it."
Jonny’s JustGiving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jonathon-devine