Ben Alexander – A Cause Worth Fighting For

Brumbies and Wallabies legend Ben Alexander will be stepping into the ring on May 1 for a charity boxing match against former Raiders captain Terry Campese to raise money for Capital Region Muscular Dystrophy and The Terry Campese Foundation, held at the Hellenic Club.

If you’d like to come or book a table, please call Rob on 0429 382 502.

“Hello you’ve called the Dock. This is Ben speaking.”

“Benny! It’s Campo! Mate… you keen to fight me for charity?”

“Did you pick me cos you think you can flog me?”

“Hahaha… Yes!”

“Yeah righto. I’m in.”

And that was as much thought that went into agreeing to the boxing match against Raider’s legend and former captain Terry Campese.

To be held on May 1, the fight will be at the Hellenic Club with all the funds raised going to Capital Region Muscular Dystrophy and to The Terry Campese Foundation, that supports disadvantaged people living in Queanbeyan and Southern NSW.

“The Q-town Brawler vs the soft North-Shore private schoolboy 😂

The fight’s promoter, Rob Oakley, is a terrific bloke who sadly has Muscular Dystrophy (MD).

Before meeting Rob, I didn’t know anyone who had MD, so to say that I was fighting for a personal cause would have been a stretch.

But just before the pandemic hit, Rob invited Campo and I to watch some kids with MD play Powerchair Football and to see how the money we’re raising will be spent.

Powerchairs aren’t cheap, but with some luck and your support we’re hoping to raise enough money to buy a few more, so more kids with MD can join in on the fun.

Professor Ian Alexander heads up the Gene Therapy Research Unit, a joint initiative of the Children’s Medical Research Institute and Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Ian is also my Dad.

Dad is one of the pioneers of the research that lead to the diagnosis and cure (ZOLGENSMA) for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a similar disease to MD which use to be a death sentence for young children.

My favourite photo of Dad and me

And as I watched the kids zip around in the high-speed wheelchairs, it hit home how important my father’s work is and how there’s still more to do.

I can’t imagine the pain if one of my girls were diagnosed with a condition like SMA or MD, and I believe anyone who is working hard so families don’t have to experience that pain, deserves more recognition and support.

Here is a video explaining how ZOLGENSMA® (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi) works

I’m so proud of him for saving so many young lives and I see the fight vs Campo as an opportunity to shed some light on him and his team’s amazing work.

Before the era of vaccines, about a third of all children died from various infectious diseases and never reach adulthood.

But thanks to incredible people like my father, this no longer the case and to a point where many of us can’t even imagine how bad life was without vaccines and various cures.

Dr Leszek Lisowski and Dad at their lab at Westmead Children’s Hospital

I hope that when the Covid-19 pandemic is in our rear view mirror, the medical researchers who worked around the clock to produce a vaccine in record time are praised as heroes.

Their tireless work will save millions of lives and enable the rest of us to get on with ours.

And while the pandemic will be an overwhelming sad chapter in human history, I think there’s a silver lining in the knowledge that there isn’t much our medical researchers can’t tackle, should they be given enough resources to tackle it.

Resources that can now be directed back towards cancer, mental health, and other unfair childhood diseases.

I’m happy to report that training is going well under the watchful eye of Garry Hamilton at the Stockade in Fyshwick

Garry is one tough old bugger!

Even though I’ve kept active in retirement, the fitness sessions have been tough and I’ve left the gym many times with my tail between my legs!

But at the end of the day, it’s all for a good cause as there’s many people fighting far more important battles.

Battles where the consequences are far greater than what Campo and I will face on May 1.

If you’d like to come or book a table, please call Rob on on 0429 382 502.


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