A father whose son was born with a heart condition got in the boxing ring Saturday to raise money for a new charity that helps fund medical expenses for Cayman residents who have to spend a long time overseas in medical emergencies.

James Burch, a partner at Walkers, laced up his gloves to fight Logan Chinoy of the Cayman Fight Factory in the opening bout of the Island Rumble on Saturday, with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in attendance. The white-collar bout was declared a tie.

Mr. Burch helped raise $10,000 for Hart for Hearts. which helps families with expenses associated with getting overseas medical care.

“It is a little gesture,” he said, “a drop in the ocean really, but it is something I’m really pleased with.”

Mr. Burch said the cause is close to his heart.

“My first son was born in Cayman. He had a heart problem and had to be evacuated as soon as he was born. We had insurance issues and ran out of money, and a couple of charities stepped in [and] helped us.

“We were lucky. Our son had open heart surgery and pulled through.”

Hart for Hearts founder Ben Hart, second from right, with Lester Purvis, Ryan Charles and Logan Chinoy at Saturday’s event. – PHOTOS: TANEOS RAMSAY

He said he had been looking for a chance to give back, and fighting on the Island Rumble card to raise money for Hart for Hearts seemed like the ideal opportunity.

Ben Hart set up the charity in November 2015 to raise money to help Cayman Islands families with financial expenses, outside of medical treatment, associated with medical emergencies.

“My wife and I had a child born with a rare congenital heart defect and we were off island for three months and suffered significant financial losses as a result,” he said. “We knew there were a number of Cayman families in similar situations that weren’t as fortunate as us.

RELATED STORY: Boxing legend Pacquiao touches down in Cayman 

RELATED STORY: Cayman’s boxers enjoy spotlight in front of Manny Pacquiao 

RELATED STORY: ‘I’ll be back,’ Pacquiao tells 3,000-plus Island Rumble spectators 

“The idea of the charity is for us to acknowledge there is a problem and to raise awareness and funding and help those families.”

He said the Island Rumble, which attracted more than 3,000 spectators, helped raise the profile of the charity.

Mr. Burch said he had fought at a couple of previous boxing nights, but nothing on the scale of Saturday’s event.

“It was a good fight and the perfect result. We both fought as hard as we could and got a draw at the end, shook hands and raised some money for charity. For two guys like us to fight at a show like this is a life-changing experience.

“I’m retired now, I’ll take the draw, go home and thank you very much,” Mr. Burch said.

Mr. Chinoy said he too enjoyed the fight and thanked his opponent for the opportunity to be involved.

“His story is very inspiring to me,” he added.

7
0

NO COMMENTS