Edgar Belranga on fight this weekend

Professional boxer takes up fight against brain tumours in children

A boxer has taken up the battle of helping children fight against Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

Edgar Berlanga is a board member at the Cristian Rivera Foundation, a charity helping children impacted by the condition.

The undefeated American boxer recently defeated Irish boxer Padraig McCrory at Caribe Royal in Orlando, Florida, for the WBO super middleweight title.

As important as this was, he believes it does not compare to the work being done at the foundation.

He said: “Being involved with the Cristian Rivera Foundation is something different and amazing. I know I’m the only boxer to be involved in a foundation that is helping kids fight for their lives.

“I want to help and motivate these kids and for them to understand, especially the kids, that they are the real warriors. What I do is nothing to what they are fighting, and I will never truly understand their situation.”

DIPG can devastate an individual’s ability to live their life more often than not, with DIPG being a diagnosis of death as the illness has a 5-year survival rate of 2%.

Berlanga has sought to help this foundation after seeing the work medical professionals did to help save his son.

He said: “I’ve seen the worst of it with my son, and it was bad when he was two days old. He turned blue and was right there about to die, and the doctors saved him, thanks to our Lord and Saviour.

“My son was diagnosed with something, as there is something wrong with his pituitary gland, and he almost died two days after he was born. We didn’t know what was going on, but it was something to do with his brain, and to this day, we still have to medicate him three or four times a day.

“If he doesn’t take the medication, his sugar levels will drop, and if worse came to worst by not taking the medication, he could die, as sad as it sounds.

“I want to be able to help those children suffering with brain tumours, similar to how people helped my son.”

As he prepares for his next bout, Berlanga will remain an ideal and hero to the children within the Cristian Rivera Foundation as the boxer of Puerto Rican heritage continues to fight against DIPG.

Featured image credit: Brendan McGilligan

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