Boxer Chris Hobbs weighs in to help toddler James Mills

Chris Hobbs with toddler James Mills

Chris Hobbs with toddler James Mills, Vicki Mills and Adam Sullivan

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter, New Forest

BOXER Chris Hobbs is aiming to land a knock-out blow for charity – by swapping his gloves for a bike and climbing boots.

The Southampton light heavyweight has vowed to help a Hythe toddler, who is unable to walk and needs an operation costing £50,000.

Chris and his brother- in-law Adam Sullivan will cycle from Southampton to Scotland and then scale 4,409ft Ben Nevis, hoping to raise as much as £10,000 for little James Mills.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the 23- month-old has cerebral palsy and is unable to take a single step without help. He requires the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure, which can improve mobility by cutting the faulty nerves responsible for muscle rigidity.

His mum Vicki Mills, 28, was devastated to discover that the life-changing surgery is not available on the NHS.

Chris got involved after Southampton golfer Stephanie Westbrook told him about the fundraising appeal.

The 26-year-old fighter from Sholing, Southampton, said: “I like helping children’s charities and James is a good little kid.

“It will take Adam and I three days to cycle the 350 miles to Scotland. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles but I’ve climbed it before, so I know it’s do-able.”

James’s family has already raised more than £4,000 and are organising a long list of fundraising events to swell the total. A three-mile buggy walk from Hythe ferry to the Fountain Court Hotel and back is due to take place on May 28.

Kieran Lewis, of Thornhill, Southampton, is planning to do a sponsored skydive at Old Sarum, near Salisbury, on July 13. Vicki’s sister, Katie Thompson, of Southampton, is staging a charity bike ride around the Isle of Wight and their mum, Alex Thompson, of Hythe, has already completed two of five triathlons in aid of the appeal.

Vicki said: “We have been overwhelmed by all the support and donations we have received – people are so kind.

“One of the biggest donations we have had so far is from the Fallen Tree restaurant in Brockenhurst, which donated £800.

• To support Chris Hobbs visit justgiving.com/Chris-HobbsJWTW or text JWTW92 £? (replacing “?” with donation) to 70070.

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