THOUSANDS of pounds are expected to be raised at a boxing match to allow little Jayden-Vito Mazzotta-Drapper to take his very first steps unaided.
Neilson Promotions will host an action-packed 14-bouts event at the Oasis tomorrow, headlined by ex-professional Phil Day and Shawn Grant.
It is hoped £2,000 will be donated by spectators on the night and through generous bids at the game’s auction.
Three-year-old Jayden, of Walcot, was diagnosed with spastic diplegia at the age of one, a muscle-stiffness which prevents him from standing on his legs or walking without the support of a frame.
His parents Charlene Mazzotta and Jason Drapper have set out to secure £35,000 to cover the cost of a life-changing operation which would enable him to recover full use of his legs and the subsequent months of physiotherapy.
So far £4,500 has been raised for Jayden.
As his condition deteriorated over the past few weeks, Charlene, 30, is more determined than ever to reach the £35,000 mark for her young son.
“He is struggling at the moment but it was always going to be like that,” said the mother-of-two. “He is having a bit more physiotherapy but there is nothing else we can do until the operation.
“Now we are just desperate to help him. We know the operation is an opportunity for him and what’s best for his future.
“He deserves to be able to walk.
“He turns four in January and we are looking at having the operation shortly after. We are hoping to raise half of the money we need by the end of the year but if we don’t we will have to keep going until we can fund it.”
She added: “Neilson Promotions have been brilliant and Jayden is very excited – he is boxing-mad. He might not be able to walk but he is able to throw a shot.
“If they were able to raise £2,000 it would be amazing.”
The surgery, known as selective dorsal rhizotomy, involves cutting nerves in the lower spine responsible for muscle rigidity and lasts between four and five hours. He will have to wait until he turns four to start the testing process and find out whether he is eligible for the operation.
Tony Neilson, promoter at Neilson Promotions, explained that supporting Jayden was ‘a no-brainer’.
“We are hoping to attract in excess of 1,500 people to this weekend’s show, together with the support from our main sponsor Gibbs Greenphalt Ltd and we are hoping to raise around £2,000 and raise awareness of little Jayden’s appeal,” said the 40 year old.
“He is a great little boy but his disability doesn’t allow him to be as normal as other children. He needs this life-changing operation and for us supporting him was a no-brainer.”
To make a donation visit the The Jayden-Vito Fund Facebook group or go to www.justgiving.com/Charlene-Mazzotta.
Tickets to the boxing match are available from Neilson Promotions on 01793 833 468. Alternatively visit www.neilsonpromotions. co.uk/tickets