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Heavyweight Boxing Champ Joseph Parker Helps Born Fighters

Heavyweight Boxing Champ Joseph Parker Helps Born Fighters

New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker has helped raise more than $43,000 for the charity Heart Kids NZ.

Parker took the plunge in the 360Heart Stopper Challenge in Auckland, sitting in an icy tub for 360 seconds, with a group of Heart Kids supporters and big fans of the boxer.
Dozens of people competed to raise funds for the charity and get the opportunity to “Plunge with Parker”.

12 babies are born every week in New Zealand with a heart defect. Heart Kids is the only organisation that supports those children and their families through life.

Dressed in a Heart Kids T Shirt and boxing shorts, Parker laughed as he jumped into the 10 degree tub, "Getting in the ring with Dillian (Whyte) was nothing compared to this!.” Parker became aware of the charity several years ago when good friend’s baby was born with a congenital heart defect.

12 babies are born every week in New Zealand with a heart defect. Heart Kids is the only organisation that supports those children and their families through life. Heart Kids CEO Rob Lutter says it was a privilege to have Parker fighting in the corner of the ‘born fighters’.

“To have Joseph’s support means a lot, and also heightens awareness of Heart Kids and the work we do, especially in the Maori and Pasifika communities. New Zealand has a shameful rate of Rheumatic Heart disease, and Maori and Pacific Island children and young adults aged 4-19 have the highest rates of Rheumatic Fever. We see the affects first hand. We’re left to pick up the pieces and it is heart breaking, especially when you know it didn’t have to happen, it could’ve been prevented,” said Mr Lutter.

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is the most common serious birth abnormality in New Zealand, it’s also the number 1 cause of death in babies and infants. Every year in New Zealand, over 600 major heart surgeries are performed on children or babies (sometimes in their first few hours of life). For many this won’t be their last and they will continue to face the day-to-day challenges associated with their heart condition and many people don’t realise.

Act Party Leader David Seymour also took the plunge, along with Marama Fox, Suzy Cato & Matt Tatton-Brown and Roger Farrelly; a reunion of Dancing With The Stars contestants.

The Auckland Central Heart Stopper Challenge launches the beginning of the 360Heart Stopper Challenge season, with events taking place around the country. To find out about a Heart Stopper Challenge in your area www.heartstopper.co.nz, www.heartkids.org.nz

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