The family of a Sunderland boy who has been helped to hear are to thank their supporters with a fundraising fight night.
Joseph Gibson, from Thorney Close, was born 24 weeks early, leaving the five-year-old with moderate to severe hearing loss.
Tests are ongoing by Sunderland Royal neurologists as they look to pinpoint the wider impact of his premature birth on his health.
He attends Grindon Infants, which paid out £650 for a new set of hearing aids to help him thrive in classes.
Now his family are looking to reimburse the school and raise cash for Spartan Fighting Arts Academy, which has supported his family to help Joseph, with additional money to help the Hylton Castle club as it makes plans to take its junior members to a kickboxing championship.
The combat sports event will be hosted at Pennywell Comrades Club tomorrow from 7.30pm and will feature martial arts demonstration by fighters including Zack Marshall and Liam Hardy and a pad demonstration by the gym’s junior squad.
The school is so good with him, he’s even been asking to go during the holidays, he loves it.Paul Gibson
An auction will include gloves signed by the city’s pro boxer Glenn Foot and a signed Sunderland AFC top.
Joseph’s dad Paul, 34, who attends the gym, will also take part in 20 kumite freestyling fights in 20 minutes.
Paul, who is married to Gemma, 33, and is also dad to Alfie, nine, said: “This is us and Joseph’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for helping us. “It can be a real struggle for him in a class of 40 kids, but he’s had the new aids three weeks and you can just see the difference in him, it’s fantastic.
“The school paid out for them, but we really want to be able to raise the money to give back to them so they’re not missing out.
“The school is so good with him, he’s even been asking to go during the holidays, he loves it.”
Joseph also uses Makaton signs and attends a sound session at Thorney Close Juniors on a regular basis.
Entry into tomorrow night’s event, which is sponsored by Sprint Print UK, is £10.