Belfast Telegraph

Belfast siblings fight for TinyLife charity

Brothers Michael and Barry Anderson and sister Gillian Breen are swapping their usual work attire for boxing gloves as they each step into the ring to raise much needed funds for premature baby charity, TinyLife.

The siblings from Belfast are undergoing an intensive training and conditioning programme at Monkstown Boxing Club along with 19 other opponents.

The trio took on the mammoth challenge following the premature birth of their niece, Joanna, who is now aged four.

Born at just 28 weeks and weighing under 3lbs, Joanna spent the first seven weeks of her life in neonatal intensive care.

Diane, Joanna’s mum, received much needed support from TinyLife during a very difficult and traumatic time and the care and support she received from the charity prompted the family to fundraise and get involved in the white collar boxing event.

The TinyLife Big Fight Night which is aimed at professionals from across Northern Ireland and takes place on Tuesday, November 5 in La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Belfast.   

Gillian said: "Before Joanna’s early arrival, we knew very little about TinyLife but after the support Diane received during her time in hospital, we felt that it was time to give something back. It started with an abseil then I began volunteering at fundraising events then when a job with the fundraising team was advertised, I jumped at the chance to join the team’.

"Getting involved in the TinyLife Big Fight has been a real family affair. The training is intense but the facilities are excellent and we have such a laugh.  It’s a bonus that my brothers can be part of it and we can spend time together doing something we all enjoy. On the night, the entire family will be there cheering us on."

Samara Prentice, TinyLife’s events and PR officer, said: "All of our competitors are really psyched up for the night itself and the event has potential over £15,000 for premature and sick babies born in Northern Ireland’.

TinyLife, formerly NIMBA, is Northern Ireland’s only premature and sick baby charity and is based in Carryduff.

The next TinyLife Big Fight is due to take place in March 2014, to take part contact Samara on 02890 815050 or email samara@tinylife.org.uk

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