St Albans pub boosts boy’s cancer battle with sale of Steve Collins’ boxing glove
PUBLISHED: 07:11 18 February 2012
THE GLOVES were off at a recent fundraiser for a 12-year-old cancer sufferer in St Albans when boxing memorabilia helped boost funds for the boy’s overseas medical treatment by £2,000.
The White Swan in Upper Dagnall Street, showed they had plenty of clout auctioning a glove used by ‘The Celtic Warrior’ Steve Collins, former WBO middleweight and super middleweight champion.
Bar manager Kayleigh Kavanagh said the pub was prompted to help raise funds to help Bailey Sarwa, a Year 8 pupil at Marlborough School, after reading of his plight in the Herts Advertiser.
Bailey is battling a rare cancer, neuroblastoma, for the second time. His original symptoms of severe stomach pain at the age of four were originally dismissed as constipation.
He was examined by doctors eight times in as many weeks, all of whom failed to notice a tumour.
His grapefruit-sized tumour was eventually diagnosed by a paediatrician, who had offered a second opinion after a colleague suggested Bailey’s stomach pains were imaginary.
Bailey, the son of Becki Jones and Chris Sarwa, was in remission for nearly seven years when the cancer, which attacks nerve cells, returned late last year.
While he is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), he has been refused potentially life-saving antibody treatment in the UK, forcing friends and family to fundraise for that care in either Germany or the United States.
Kayleigh said: “We had seen it in the paper, and people have been outraged about the lack of medical care, so when a few locals suggested a fundraiser, we organised one.”
A wide range of businesses and sports organisations in the city centre, including eateries and hairdressing salons, backed the event by donating goods for a raffle and prize-giving.
Kayleigh praised the generosity of those attending and providing items for the fundraiser, particularly those braving snowfall at the time of the event.
Pub landlord John McGuinness, who struck up a friendship with Steve Collins when they were neighbours in Dublin, was given a signed photo and glove to auction at The White Swan.
John ended up successfully bidding £500 for the glove.