CHANG­ING LIVES

EADT Suffolk - - Editor's Letter - ED­I­TOR jayne.lindill@eadt.co.uk

IT’S a cruel world some­times, so it’s al­ways good to hear a heart­warm­ing story. This au­tumn hun­dreds of chil­dren in class­rooms through­out the county are get­ting their first taste of school life. It’s a mile­stone for any young­ster, but for four-year-old Ge­orge Wood­ward, from Ip­swich, it’s an es­pe­cially proud mo­ment.

Ge­orge has a rare and de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion, Type 2 spinal mus­cu­lar at­ro­phy, a hered­i­tary dis­ease that causes mus­cle weak­ness and breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. He was di­ag­nosed at just 21 months and since that time, fam­ily and friends have ral­lied to sup­port him and raise funds for the treat­ment, care and equip­ment he needs to help him cope with life. By all ac­counts, Ge­orge has never let his con­di­tion hold him back and his first day at Whitehouse Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School was no dif­fer­ent, as he played with his fel­low classmates. Hope­fully, it’s the next stage in what will be a ful­fill­ing life for Ge­orge. I cer­tainly wish him all the best.

Life for Ge­orge is made eas­ier than it might other­wise be be­cause he has a new pow­ered wheel­chair, which helps him get around in­de­pen­dently. The money for it was raised in De­cem­ber last year through the Sir Bobby Rob­son On­line Auc­tion, run by Suf­folk fundraiser Gina Long. Ge­orge is just one of many Suf­folk peo­ple who have ben­e­fited from the tire­less ef­forts of this veteran fundraiser and now Gina has launched a new char­ity called GeeWizz, which aims to raise money for peo­ple, chil­dren and their fam­i­lies af­fected by dis­abil­ity and can­cer. Peo­ple like Ge­orge. She’s do­ing it be­cause she be­lieves in the pos­i­tive af­fects char­ity can have on peo­ple’s lives, and be­cause she wants to be sure ev­ery penny raised goes di­rectly to those who need it.

This month, we’re proud and ex­cited to sup­port Gina in her first ma­jor GeeWizz event, a char­ity ball at The Hangar, Mil­soms Kes­grave Hall on Oc­to­ber 14. It will be a fab­u­lous oc­ca­sion, well sup­ported by many Suf­folk busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als, and thanks to their gen­eros­ity we con­fi­dently ex­pect to raise a lot of money. You can read more about it fur­ther on in the mag­a­zine. Mean­while, if you’d like to find out more about Ge­orge visit www.george­wood­ward­fund.wee­bly.com. You can also take part in Gina’s Ul­ti­mate Char­ity Auc­tion, Oc­to­ber 22-Novem­ber 6, by go­ing on­line at www.ul­ti­mat­e­char­ityauc­tion.com. Have a great Oc­to­ber!

Four year old Ge­orge Wood­ward, from Ip­swich, who has spinal mus­cu­lar at­ro­phy, in his new spe­cial­ist wheel­chair.

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