Johannesburg (South Africa) – At EFC AFRICA 23 Sors ‘Guru’ Grobbelaar will not only be challenging the toughest man on the African continent, Andrew ‘One Gear’ van Zyl, for the EFC AFRICA heavyweight title, he will also be battling for cancer awareness as part of the global Child Cancer Awareness Month, and putting his weight behind the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.
“I got involved in cancer awareness in 2011,” said Grobbelaar. “I was busy preparing for a Muay Thai fight when I heard that a friend of my daughter’s, at her school, had been diagnosed with brain cancer. I decided to use my fight to raise money to help pay for his medical bills. His parents were unable to work because they were supporting him, they needed help.”
Estian Nel, the five year old boy that had been diagnosed, deteriorated during the lead up to Grobbelaar’s bout, to take place in Cape Town on 19 May of that year.
“I had planned to spend some time with Estian on the morning of my fight,” related Grobbelaar. “Unfortunately Estian passed away on the afternoon of the day before. We missed each other by hours. The experience affected me deeply. Now I want to use whatever means I have to support the cause.”
At EFC AFRICA 23 Team Guru have decided to show their support by manufacturing 1000 gold arm bands which will be given out free of charge to fight fans wishing to show their support.
“Gold is the colour of International Child Cancer Awareness month,” said Grobbelaar. “We thought this would be a good way to help raise the profile of child cancer. The more that are aware, the more support that can be shown, and ultimately, the more help those suffering can receive.”
Grobbelaar is directly aligned with the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, putting his weight behind the organization as a Childhood Cancer Awareness advocate.
The Trust was started in 2010 with the express purpose of providing support to children with cancer and their families. It currently supports 58 individual childhood cancer affected families, offers support to seven pediatric oncology hospital wards as well as two places of safety where an additional 80 children with cancer are housed annually.
LFCT also offers help with the little things; providing monthly groceries, clothing, beds to sleep on, transport to and from hospital, even organising birthday parties. During 2012 the trust reached close to 800 children with cancer with some form of support.
After experiencing the tragic passing away of Estian Nel, Grobbelaar had his name and the date of his passing tattooed on his right wrist, something rarely seen as it’s always hidden beneath his glove. Today he admits that he fights for Estian every time he enters the Hexagon, and other children like him.
“I’ve been given this talent,” said Grobbelaar. “I want to use to do something worthwhile. I hope others will feel the same.”
“This isn’t about me,” he adds. “I hope any other athletes will also feel they can get behind the cause. The armbands are about making a difference, for everyone.”
The gold armbands will be available for collection at the EFC AFRICA stand at the EFC AFRICA 23 event. A donation box will also be close by where fans can make a donation if they wish.
More information on the Little Fighter Cancer Trust can be found at http://www.littlefighters.org.za/.
Any queries can be forwarded to Mandie Erasmus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should anyone like to make a donation of clothes, food or financial aid to the Little Fighter Cancer Trust, simply visit their donation page at http://www.littlefighters.org.za/donate.html.
EFC AFRICA 23, presented by MusclePharm, takes place at the Carnival City Big Top Arena on 12 September 2013. Tickets on sale now at www.computicket.com. Tickets for the live broadcast to Nu Metro Cinemas available soon at www.numetro.com.
Broadcast information and full fight card available at efcafrica.com