Nine-year-old George Reed from Harrow is believed to be the only person in the world with his particular genetic disorder that is so rare it doesn’t have a name.
His partial duplication of chromosomes 2 and 9 has resulted in severe learning disability, low muscle tone, autism and epilepsy. He is non-verbal and has a gastric tube to help him eat and drink. Despite this he is a happy little boy, always smiling and giggling and is making progress, starting to walk a few steps.
George’s development is approximately akin to that of a one-year-old baby so, as he gets bigger, it becomes more difficult for his parents Anita and Ian to help him move around the house and carry out care tasks such as bathing.
They are hoping to raise £75,000 to make changes to their house so that George can join in everyday things with the rest of the family and have more freedom, as well as help fund respite care. Planned adaptations include making the front of the house level so they don’t have to lift his heavy wheelchair over the doorstep and making all the downstairs rooms level so that George doesn’t have to spend all his time in one room. They would also like to install a wet room with specialist equipment and create space for an overnight carer.
The fundraising has got off to a flying start thanks to J2, the Bushey and London based design agency which specialises in property where Anita works as a creative planning director
The two offices held a virtual 200km cycle race on exercise bikes with each employee doing 15-minute stints and following each other’s progress on social media, raising over £30,000 from clients and supporters. MD Julian West has pledged to match any funds raised up to the first £3,000 – exceeded ten times over in their first event. More events are planned throughout the year.
Anita said: ‘It means such a lot to me that my colleagues and clients have thrown themselves behind our fundraising in this way. The more George grows, the more urgent the adaptations to the house become and it is amazing to feel supported in this way.’
Julian West, Managing Director at J2 said: ‘George is a very special, unique boy in so many ways and we all felt very strongly that we should do something to help him, Anita and her whole family. To have raised over £30,000 in our first event is amazing and I’d like to thank our friends, clientsand partners for their incredibly generous support. It doesn’t stop there for J2 though, we’re going to do our very best to reach the magic £75,000 with a series of other events in the coming months.’
The family is being supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope which helps families fundraise for children like George with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.
Gill Gibb, Tree of Hope CEO said: ‘It’s great to see J2 throwing themselves into fundraising for George in this way and what a fantastic result for their very first event!’
To donate to George’s fund, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/j2forgeorge
For more information about J2 visit https://www.j2.net/