Fund-raiser a hit in Ivy's cancer fight

SOME big hits were taken at Warrnambool’s Flying Horse Bar and Brewery yesterday, but they were nothing like those already endured by Hamilton youngster Ivy Steel.

Boxing champion Sam Soliman took to the ring in Warrnambool yesterday as part of a fund-raiser for Ivy Steel, who is battling a rare form of leukaemia. 140810AM21 Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Boxing champion Sam Soliman took to the ring in Warrnambool yesterday as part of a fund-raiser for Ivy Steel, who is battling a rare form of leukaemia. 140810AM21 Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Ivy, who will be four next week, is suffering from a rare form of leukaemia and undergoing prolonged treatment.

District boxers jumped into the ring to try to land a few blows on IBF middleweight world champion Sam Soliman and to raise funds to help Ivy’s parents, Craig and Jenna, with her treatment and care.

The Fight 4 Ivy sparring event packed the venue with donors and well-wishers.

Ivy was diagnosed in June last year with Philadelphia positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

“She was sick for a long time before that but it was finally diagnosed in June,” Mrs Steel said.

Ivy has been undergoing chemotherapy since then and has another 13 months of treatment to go.

“After that we just have to wait and see whether it comes back.”

Mrs Steel said Ivy is being treated with a trial drug which holds new hope against the disease, which often defies other treatments.

“It’s a worldwide trial — it’s so rare that they had to go all over the world to get the 75 people they needed for trial. We only know of one other case in Australia.”

Ivy was at yesterday’s event with her parents and younger brother Van, enjoying all the attention if not understanding what all the fuss was about.

“She is a very brave little girl,” Mrs Steel said.

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