FORMER world champion boxer Ricky Hatton has given his support to a Wirral charity dedicated to helping children affected by a rare genetic disorder.
Hatton has praised the work of the Children with Tumours charity as he prepares for his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena this Saturday, November 24.
CWT – the UK's first virtual charity – is run by accountant Kevin Powell, who lives in Upton, together with his sister Christine de Winter.
The charity is chaired by Chris's husband Professor Gareth Evans, a consultant in medical genetics at St Mary's Hospital and Christie Hospital in Manchester.
The charity raises funds to provide respite to children and their carers affected by the condition Neurofibromatosis and contribute towards vital research.
Neurofibromatosis, which has two main types – NF1 and NF2, affects the skin and nervous system including the brain. Soft, non-cancerous tumours develop on the skin and along the nerve tissue throughout the body.
A tell-tale sign of the condition is often the presence of cafe-au-lait spots on the body.
More than 25,000 people in the UK are affected by NF and every day a baby is born with the condition.
NF is more prevalent than Duchenne muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and Huntington's Disease combined, but as yet there is no cure.
Other supporters of the charity include Princess Beatrice, while Dr Chris Steele – resident doctor on ITV’s This Morning – recently agreed to become a patron.
Speaking ahead of his fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko, Manchester-born Ricky Hatton said: "Life can be full of hurdles and how we choose to overcome them depends on many things.
"As I prepare for my next fight, I want to wish all my new friends at CWT the very best. Every single one of you can help make a difference in the fight to make NF a household name."
The trustees believe CWT is the first virtual charity in the UK. There is no office to fund and instead the charity functions entirely through its website – www.childrenwithtumours.org
In addition to raising funds to pay for children and their carers to attend respite camps and to carry out research into NF, the organisation intends to create an online community giving people in the UK and abroad the chance to share experiences and fundraising ideas.
Kevin Powell said: "It is great to have added Ricky Hatton to our Well Wishers Wall on the CWT website.
"Ricky has fought many battles in his life and his support for the work we are doing to raise the profile of people with NF is a fantastic boost for everyone involved with our charity."