Teenager with rare form of cancer gets boxing experience thanks to Corby business

While Lee from Kettering is waiting to have two operations, his family are trying to make as many of his dreams come true as possible

By Stephanie Weaver
Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 6:00 am
Lee Blissett and his family with Garry at Viral Entertainment in Corby
Lee Blissett and his family with Garry at Viral Entertainment in Corby

A teenager with a rare cancer of the spine has had a wish come true thanks to a virtual reality entertainment centre in Corby.

Lee Blissett, of Kettering, whose right leg was amputated due to his condition, is currently waiting to have two operations.

In the meantime, his family are working from a list to make as many of Lee’s dreams come true as possible but have been struggling because of lockdown.

They were having difficulties arranging a trip out to a boxing ring when they were approached by Viral Entertainment in Corby.

The venue gave Lee and his family the chance to play the virtual reality boxing game Creed on the teenager’s 19th birthday.

Lee’s mum Charlotte Sallabanks said: “Lee used to box when he was younger and he loves the sport and boxers like Tyson Fury and Mike Tyson.

“Viral Entertainment heard we were trying to arrange something for Lee and invited us to come down for his birthday.

Lee from Kettering said it was the best birthday present he has had in years

"We had to isolate all the way through lockdown so to take him there on his birthday made such a difference to him.

“We had the entire venue to ourselves and as much time as we wanted – they were just amazing to us.

"Lee said it was the best birthday present he had had in years.”

Lynnette Ballantyne, who owns Viral Entertainment with husband Garry, said: “When we heard about Lee and his love of boxing, we knew we could provide a solution and we were

thrilled to welcome Lee and his family to Viral on Lee’s birthday.

"We had the best two hours of fun with them and to see Lee smile and laugh was the best.”

Before lockdown, Lee went skydiving in Switzerland with one of his heroes, Bear Grylls, but other events have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Viral Entertainment re-opened to the public in July and has strict Covid-19 measures in place, including each user being provided with vacuum-packed inserts for their headsets, which go

into a bin after use.

Pods are cleaned down between each booking and during the holidays they ran a School’s Out for Summer Offer, to allow families to hire out all four pods for the price of three and receive a free hot dog.

This enabled households full use of the centre with no worries about mixing with other members of the public.

The summer offer proved so popular the venue is continuing to run it in September from Mondays to Fridays.

Socially distanced birthday parties are also available.

Garry added: “Like many businesses, we had to close due to the pandemic.

"This was especially hard for us as we had only opened as a new business in November.

"Thankfully, we have welcomed lots of customers since we re-opened and last weekend we were at full capacity again for the first time.

"People are recognising that our centre is clean and, because of how far apart our four pods are, it is a safe, socially distanced activity to do for all ages.”

Other wishes that Lee’s family would like to make come true for him include a drive in a fast car, zip wire experience, a photo shoot with family and friends, a trip to Amsterdam and he

would also like to get an assistance dog.

Anyone who would like to help make these come true, can contact Charlotte on [email protected] or 07952 902410.

To find out more about Viral Entertainment visit https://viralentertainment.co.uk or call 07944 531243.

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