'He fought for life': Boxing match to help disabled five-year-old continue his passion

George and his dad, Stephen Poch

George and his dad, Stephen - Credit: Poch family

A Romford painter and decorator is to take to the ring for a "white collar" boxing match to raise funds for his disabled son.

Five-year-old George Poch has Kabuki syndrome, a rare disorder which means he cannot walk far, is tube fed and has visual impairments, a heart defect, development delays and additional learning disabilities.

The first sign George's parents had of the condition was on the day George was born, when he stopped breathing several times.

At just five months old he had to have open-heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital to repair a hole in his heart.

Despite his disabilities, George enjoys spending time with his two brothers and horse riding at the Riding for the Disabled Association Centre in Chigwell.

George Poch (l) with his brothers Charles, 9, and Harry, 7

George Poch (l) with his brothers Charles, 9, and Harry, 7 - Credit: Poch family

George's mum Kate said: “He looks forward to his riding sessions every week.

"Not only are they good for his muscle tone, especially his core, but also his communication and confidence. He gives the horse, Buster, instructions and chats with the volunteers who say he’s really coming on.

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"He loves it.”

George Poch horse riding at the Riding for the Disabled Association Centre in Chigwell

George enjoys horse riding at the Riding for the Disabled Association Centre in Chigwell - Credit: Poch family

His dad Stephen, 36, is fighting the boxing match against other white-collar fighters to raise money for the £19 sessions with the association.

Stephen said: “I’m so excited to be doing this boxing match.

"George has been a fighter himself starting off in the intensive care unit struggling to breathe - he was fighting for his life.

"Just seeing all the resilience in George inspires me to go forward into this battle knowing it’s raising money for his horse-riding therapy - it gives me extra inspiration when I’m training. I’m so looking forward to the fight.”

George's parents, Kate and Stephen Poch

George's parents, Kate and Stephen - Credit: Poch family

The event is a "white-collar" boxing match, which means the fighters are amateurs - office workers or those who work in other professional environments - who take on the challenge after training.

Tree of Hope is a children’s charity which supports the family to ensure George gets the healthcare he requires. 

Kate, Stephen, George, Charles and Harry Poch

The Poch family - Credit: Poch family

Chief executive of the charity, Gill Gibb, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Poch family in their fundraising efforts and wish Stephen the best of luck in his brave endeavour!”

Donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fightforgeorge2022

The boxing match will take place on May 28 at The Circus Tavern in Purfleet in Essex.