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Weekly’s campaign brings in £20k for sick toddler

A toddler suffering a debilitating form of cerebral palsy will get life-changing treatment after a local weekly paper threw its weight behind a fundraising campaign.

Readers of the Bromsgrove Standard helped raise a total of £20,000 was raised in just 12 weeks for the Hope for Georgia project, in support of young sufferer Georgia Almquest.

Two-year-old Georgia has spasticity in all four of her limbs and cannot hold her head up, sit or crawl, and campaigners had expected the fund-raising drive to take at least a year.

Now she will be able to go to America for revolutionary stem cell treatment which may provide her with her only chance of being able to walk.

Georgia Almquest and her mother Natalie celebrate after campaigners raised £20,000 for life-changing stem cell treatment

Bromsgrove Standard editor Tristan Harris said reporters had written at least one story every week encouraging people to get involved.

“I saw the campaign being promoted on Facebook and, although £20,000 seemed like a lot of cash to collect, I felt we as Georgia’s local paper had to get involved and do what we could,” he said.

“We managed to run stories every week to keep it in readers’ minds and the funds came flooding in.

“It has really caught the imagination of residents who have been fantastic, putting on all manner of events to raise the money.

“It was great to be part of this campaign and, like Georgia’s mum Natalie, we can’t believe how quickly the cash was collected.”

He said the paper would continue to support future fundraising events, which would help pay for follow-up treatment such as physiotherapy.

Readers staged a series of events including charity auctions, bag-packing, and discos, with some friends of the family even taking part in a sponsored sky dive.

Georgia’s mother Natalie thanked the paper for its support, saying the cash was the “best present ever”.