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US Army and local boxers fighting for Grayson's Ladder and a cure for Alexander Disease

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6-year-old Grayson Ledbetter, who has Alexander Disease, plays in the ring with pro boxer Roger "The Hitman" Hilley. The US Army and Hilley are fighting in a fund raiser to find a cure. PHTO;WTVC SPORTS.

Grayson Ledbetter is a six-year-old boy with the heart of a lion who is fighting an extremely rare disease with no cure.

NewsChannel 9 has introduced you to this young man before.

Now, the US Army boxing team has jumped on board to fight for Grayson's Ladder, which is a component fund of Chattanooga Community Foundation dedicated to finding a cure for Alexander Disease.

In January of 2017, Ledbetter had a sever seizure.

That's when doctors knew he had Alexander Disease, which is a regressive disease that destroys white brain matter. It causes the loss of ability to walk, talk and eat.

Ledbetter's family relies on their faith, but knows the heavy hand this disease has dealt. The delightful six-year-old's mother Laura Ledbetter said, "You know you think your child is going to grow up healthy and live a normal live and then you get a diagnosis like this that is going to strip him of all of his abilities and make this happy child not be able to do things anymore and honestly not survive."

But Grayson, who was all smiles during our short visit, and his family stay positive and live one day at a time. "Today is a good day. And Grayson as you can see here is smiling and happy and excited. We try to model after him," Laura Ledbetter said.

On Friday afternoon, Ledbetter, his parents, Y-Cap boxing club founder and director Joe Smith, and pro boxer Roger "The Hitman" Hilley all met at the Y-Cap boxing ring off Central Avenue.

Smith was instrumental in organizing the upcoming Gloves Up For Grayson boxing benefit.

He and the US Army boxing coach worked together in the 2008 Olympics. Smith said, "I called him and told him about Grayson and he said, 'Joe, we're there.'"

Six fighters on the US Army boxing team will make their way to Chattanooga to fight local boxers.

The title fight features Chattanooga's own professional boxer Roger "The Hitman" Hilley. "

The "Hitman" knew he had to join the fight. "My dad always told me you can't hold on to what you have unless you give it away," Hilley said.

Smith, Hilley and certainly the Ledbetter family are excited about the Gloves Up For Grayson benefit. Ledbetter said, "This is our second year doing Gloves Up for Grayson. I think this is going to be even more fun than last year."

Grayson seems to inspire everyone he meets. Count Hilley as a believer. "I believe that he's much stronger than I am. He has an incredible will."

Smith is determined to land a big punch against this cruel disease, "We want to climb Grayson's Ladder and we want to fight for a cure for Alexander Disease."

To find out more about the April 6th event at the Chattanooga Convention Center, CLICK HERE.




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