A brave schoolboy who is battling a rare form of children’s bone cancer had a special treat when he was given the chance to meet top Sheffield boxers.
Ethan Maull, aged eight, visited trainer Brendan Ingle’s gym in Wincobank and spent an afternoon with Kid Galahad, Kell Brook and Junior Witter.
He was given a tour of the gym, shown the belts, and even given a signed boxing glove to sell at auction.
Ethan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma last year, and is currently undergoing a tough regime of treatment.
Before he was told he had the disease, he had already started fundraising for charities after learning a family friend had breast cancer, and together with his dad Darren had raised more than £4,000 towards research.
Now Ethan wants to help fund a house where parents can stay while their children are being treated.
Kell said he was impressed with the schoolboy’s bravery after meeting him.
“He really is a special young man and it was an absolute pleasure to meet him and I can only hope he beats this terrible illness,” he said.
“It was heartbreaking looking at him at his age, it was really upsetting.
“It made me think about my life and how lucky I am.
“I was really impressed with him.
“At one point he stood up and he had a big smile on his face and I know he was in pain, but he was so happy to see us all training.”
Kid Galahad said: “Seeing someone at such a young age dealing with what he is having to is really inspiring.
“The way he just gets on with life and doesn’t let it faze him shows how strong he is.”
Ethan, from Torksey in Lincolnshire, is being treated in Nottingham, where a facility called Billy’s House is located close to the hospital, providing accommodation for parents.
But spaces in the house are limited, and Ethan’s goal is to fund another, new, house through a foundation called ‘Up Yours To Cancer’.
Events already scheduled include a fishing match, sky-dive, 50-mile bike ride, casino evening, golf day and coffee mornings.
Ethan’s aunt, Shakira Young, set up the Sheffield gym visit.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at the gym,” she said.
“I imagine they must be inundated with such requests but nothing was too much trouble for them.
“He got to meet Kell, Kid and Junior and see the belts which was fantastic.
“They’ve also given him a shirt that only Kell’s corner wear, and a signed glove for us to auction for the foundation. It was brilliant.”
Ethan’s mum, Sam Maull, added: “I’m very proud of him. “He takes everything in his stride.”