BLACKPOOL boxing champion Brian Rose has joined forces with Dancing On Ice star Daniel Whiston to support a two-year-old boy from Cleveleys with a critical heart condition.
The local celebrity duo are taking part in a charity rowing event at the FX Leisure gym in Poulton, where English light-middleweight champion Rose is based.
The pair and FX staff members plan to cover a staggering one million metres on rowing machines in just two months to raise as much money as possible for Yuto Rice, who has restrictive cardiomyopathy, which puts him at risk of heart failure.
Rose said: “I’m more than willing to take part in anything that helps the community. When it’s a local lad it’s closer to your heart.
“I think it makes people stand up and notice. More people will get involved because we are doing our bit.”
Whiston said: “What an amazing cause to bring this money to the table for Yuto and his family to make his life a little bit better .
“We all want to help him as much as we can and it’s an absolute honour that I can do something with my celebrity status.”
Yuto’s dad Daz said: “We are just praying that Yuto is one of those cases where they only give you six months to live, but 20 years down the line you are still alive.
“He needs a heart and a lung transplant, but because he is so young he probably wouldn’t come out the other end alive.
“When he gets to 16, maybe he will make his own mind up. We just hope he does get to that age to make that decision.”
Daz and his wife Maki, who have two other children, are hoping to raise £20,000 in order to fund the construction of two ground-level rooms for Yuto.
Daz added: “We have so far raised £8,500, but we have applied for a grant and hopefully that will cover the cost for the rooms. If anything is left over, Yuto can go to Disneyland, Paris.”
Rose will defend his title against Londoner Erick Ochieng in Bolton on October 22 and is raring to go.
“I’m really confident,” he said. “Training is going according to plan, and I can’t wait to get it out of the way and fight for the British title in January.”