A PENSIONER has handed over £1,000 from his own pocket to help send a Hartlepool student abroad for clinical trials to combat a rare condition she suffers with.
Georgia Hart was diagnosed with the potentially life-threatening condition Freidreich’s Ataxia (FA) when she was 15, sparking her family to launch a fundraising drive – with a target of £30,000 – to send her for clinical trials abroad as there is no known cure for the illness.
But despite her condition, which has left brave Georgia with painful curvature of the spine, severe fatigue, and on daily medication to prevent heart disease, the A-level student still manages to dedicate her time to others and helped out for the last two years with a Christmas Day lunch for the needy.
It was at this festive occasion that volunteer Georgia worked alongside 71-year-old Colin Robinson serving out the food to the hungry diners.
And he was so impressed and moved by her dedication and willingness to help others, despite her personal battle, that Colin contacted the Mail to say he wanted to withdraw £1,000 from his own savings and donate it to the Save a Hart Campaign.
With Colin’s generous gesture, the fund has now reached a staggering £28,000 and the Hartlepool Sixth Form College student and her family could not be more grateful. Georgia’s delighted mum Bev Hart, 50, from Naisberry Park, Hartlepool, said: “It’s just amazing what Colin has done.
“People have never ceased to amaze me throughout this whole process and Colin has done it once again.”
She added: “We are so close now to the target. I think we’re at £27,000 and that’s without Colin’s £1,000, so we are well set up for when the right clinical trial becomes available.”
Former pub landlord Colin, who is now a volunteer, said he was just happy that he could help.
“I was with Georgia at the Christmas Day lunch that’s held every year and I could tell that Georgia was over the moon to be able to help someone else,” said the dad-of-two and grandad-of-three from Crimdon.
“She’s a lovely girl and I’ve been struck with the articles that have been written about her. I wanted to do something to help her. When you see a genuinely lovely young person like that, you want to do your best to help.
“I’ve got this £1,000 and I want to give it to her. If I had £10,000, I’d give it.”
Bev, head of business development at New College Durham, is now trying to find the most appropriate clinical trial for her daughter, with one in Philadelphia attracting her attention.
Georgia had lived a relatively normal and healthy life until routine checks revealed she was suffering with the condition, which is a progressive, inherited disease that attacks and damages the central nervous system resulting in co-ordination and balance problems affecting just one in 50,000 people.
Anyone who would like to donate towards the cause should visit the Hart family’s secure online page where pledges can be made at http://www.shareagift.com/giftpageforgeorgiahart.