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Friends set for white collar boxing battle for cancer charity

Cancer Research UK boxing challenge in memory of Julie Dargue.'From left Chrissy Bell, Harry Cox and Julie's sister Claire Hardy
Cancer Research UK boxing challenge in memory of Julie Dargue.'From left Chrissy Bell, Harry Cox and Julie's sister Claire Hardy

Three friends will do their bit to fight cancer as they battle for victory in the ring.

Claire Hardy, Chrissy Bell and Harry Cox will take part in the Ultra White Collar Boxing event at Rainton Meadows Area tonight.

The training has been hard, but I’ve enjoyed it and it’s been a good experience.

Claire Hardy

They have been training hard at the Unity Gym in Gilesgate, Durham, ahead of their fights, with the night to feature 31 fights as competitors and their supporters raise funds for Cancer Research.

The cause is especially close to their hearts.

Claire lost her sister Julie Dargue to cervical cancer 16 years ago when she was aged just 24, while their mum Julie Dargue is undergoing treatment for leukaemia, which is funded through the charity.

The barber, who runs Empire Barbers in their home village of Blackhall Colliery, was also moved to take part as her husband Keith, 48, had testicular cancer and was declared free of the disease 12 years ago.

Chrissy, who runs his CBM Waste Removal and Property Management, was pushed to take part as he and 12 members of his family were found to have a gene which caused thyroid cancer, with the 26-year-old found to have five tumours in his neck and shoulders, which were then removed.

The fault was found three years ago when his cousins John Bell and Nicola Gammon, who are siblings, were diagnosed within a short time of each other when they both found lumps in their necks.

The pair, along with Harry, 25, who works for the NHS as a care assistant and out-of-ours carer, hope to raise as much as they can for the charity, with around 50 supporters due to be in the crowd.

They will include Claire’s mum and her dad, Billy.

Claire said: “When I said I was doing it my parents were a bit dubious about it, but everyone’s been amazing, and if my sister was here, I think she’d be doing it with me.

“The training has been hard, but I’ve enjoyed it and it’s been a good experience.”

She added her thanks to best friend Kelly Peacock, who has offered her support over the years.

Chrissy said: “This will be my second time of doing it.

“It’s going to be good, it’s a very enjoyable event and we all really want to do it to help Cancer Research.”

More details about the event, which costs £20 to attend, can be found via https://www.ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/locations/durham/.