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Guildford Cancer Sufferer Fights to Raise Funds

Published on: 23 May, 2019
Updated on: 23 May, 2019

Lizzy Harris (in blue) in action at the Ultra event.  Photo: UWCB/Ultra White Collar Boxing

By Tom Jackson

of Solent News

A brave Guildford woman who lost both of her parents to cancer and was then diagnosed with it herself has raised over £5,000 by taking part in two charity boxing matches.

Lizzy Harris, 42, even took part in the Ultra White Collar Boxing events while she was still in recovery after an operation to remove a tumour on her face. Her doctor gave Lizzy the go-ahead to take part in the event, telling her, “your face couldn’t get any more damaged”.

Lizzy Harris’ mother Claudine, who lost her battle to breast cancer aged 48.

Miss Harris had tragically lost her mother, Claudine Harris, to breast cancer aged 48 when she was just eight years old. Her father, Malcolm, passed away at the age of 79 in 2014 after battling lung cancer.

Then, in March 2018 Miss Harris, who works in the HR department for The Economist in London, was herself diagnosed with skin cancer. Despite initially being told it would be a long-term process to remove the tumour, after only one operation Miss Harris was given the all-clear a month later, on April 6.

Determined to make the most of her fortune, just three months later in July, she took part in her first Ultra White Collar Boxing [UWCB] event, fighting at The Best Western in Ipswich after training at the nearby Kickboxing Academy.

Lizzy Harris’ father Malcolm, who passed away in 2014 after a battle with lung cancer.

Participants are given the opportunity to take part in eight weeks of free professional boxing training before a showcase event in front of hundreds of spectators.

Those taking part are asked to sell tickets for the show and raise at least £50 for Cancer Research UK. So far, Ultra Events – the company behind the event – has raised a staggering £17 million for Cancer Research UK.

Miss Harris, who was living in Ipswich but has now moved to Stoughton in Guildford, trained alongside 50 others and won her first fight, raising £3,215 in the process.

She said: “I was still recovering from my tumour and I saw the advert for Ultra White Collar Boxing online.

“I had to check with my doctor I was okay to do it and he gave me the all clear. The training was so difficult to begin with.

Lizzy Harris a year after her operation to remove a tumour on her face.

“After the first few sessions I couldn’t walk the next day.

“The training was great and I really bonded with the others doing the event – we became a little family.

“On fight night I didn’t think about the crowd until I walked out and it was terrifying.

“My walkout song was ‘Trouble’ by Pink because I really like the song and it is about having strength.

“When I got into the ring I was fine and I managed to win the fight.

Lizzy Harris (in blue) in action.

“It was amazing. It meant so much to me to win in front of my siblings Steve Harris and Emma Masters, my partner Richard Carey and my best friend Sian Barr.

“They were very worried about me getting hurt before I took part.

Lizzy with her partner Richard Carey.

“Richard has been so supportive and encouraging of me during the boxing through all of the pain and tiredness.”

After the success of her first UWCB experience, Miss Hughes took part in a second fight, this time in London closer to her new Guildford home.

On April 6 this year (2019), The Troxy in Bethnal Green, London was packed with 2,000 people to see the Ultra participants who trained for eight weeks at KO Gym, also in Bethnal Green.

Miss Hughes fought her way to an impressive draw, maintaining her unbeaten record and raising a further £2,285 for Cancer Research UK.

She added: “I was a lot more nervous the second time around because I had experienced the walkout before.

“I went for the same song by Pink as I won my first fight after walking out to that song.

“The fight was tougher this time and we both had to settle for a draw.

“I took part again to mark the one year anniversary since I was cleared of cancer.

“My family have been affected by cancer so much through our lives so being able to raise money for Cancer Research UK makes me emotional – I’m very proud.

“If you are thinking about taking part, you absolutely should.

“It’s a brilliant way of getting into shape while raising money for a fantastic cause.”

People from Guildford looking to take part in a UWCB event can visit https://www.ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/

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