A local teenager has inspired three enthusiastic cyclists to embark on a 90 mile challenge in an attempt to raise £10,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Georgia Brentnall, 15, from Bury St Edmunds, became seriously ill two years ago with suspected Crohn’s disease which resulted in major surgery to remove her colon. Since then, Georgia has been in and out of hospital, and last October on her 15th birthday she was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, for lifesaving surgery.
During this time her family – parents Lucy and Allan and sister Alex – were supported with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation just minutes from her hospital bedside which meant that Georgia was never alone. Georgia’s bravery and the support her family received from The Sick Children’s Trust have inspired Lucy’s colleagues at local car dealership firm Cecil and Larter to mark the company’s 90th birthday with a 90 mile cycle on 20 July from Bury St Edmunds to Felixstowe and back. Lucy, Warranty and Service Administrator at Cecil and Larter, says:
“Throughout these recent difficult months, my employers have been very supportive and understanding. So much so that they have chosen The Sick Children’s Trust’s Acorn House, where we were given free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, to be the recipient of their current fundraising.
“In celebration of 90 years in business, three of my colleagues are doing a 90 mile bike ride to raise awareness and money for The Sick Children’s Trust. It means so much to me that they are doing this, and helping me give something back to the charity that has helped to keep my family together when we needed to be with each other the most.
“Acorn House enabled us to keep some sort of routine so that we could be there for Georgia. The accommodation was an absolute godsend. Georgia became unwell again in March this year and required more major surgery, and The Sick Children’s Trust came to our rescue for a second time. We had the security of knowing that we could be by Georgia’s bedside when she woke up – and it was a great comfort for her to know that we were always just a few minutes’ walk away.
“We never knew about Acorn House until we needed it. It was a true lifeline and there’s not enough awareness of the work The Sick Children’s Trust does. It is so important to have a place to stay which is clean, comfortable and homely when you are living your life in hospital.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten free ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, supporting families with children undergoing treatment at specialist hospitals. Acorn House is one of two ‘Homes from Home’ located in Cambridge, the other being Chestnut House supporting families with seriously ill babies in The Rosie Hospital. Acorn and Chestnut House Manager, Abi Abdel-aal, says:
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to Lucy and her colleagues for thinking of us and choosing to support The Sick Children’s Trust as part of their 90th birthday celebrations. As a charity we rely entirely on voluntary donations to support families like Georgia’s and keep them together. We’d like to say a huge thank you and wish the cyclists the best of luck for their ride!”
The trio of riders will set off early on Thursday 20 July to Felixstowe and hope to complete their challenge by 5pm that same day at Cecil and Larter’s showroom in Bury St Edmunds, where they will be greeted by supporters and the Mayor. Ray Cawston, the Company’s Managing Director says:
“We’ve heard so much about Georgia’s story and are in awe of how brave she is. Lucy has also told us just how important the support of The Sick Children’s Trust has been to her family so the team felt that it would be meaningful marking this milestone by raising money for such a worthwhile cause that has supported one of our employees.
“We’re wishing our team of cyclists all the best for their epic challenge and will be here with a warm welcome on their return.”
To donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CL90bikeride
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/