A THATCHAM schoolgirl with a life-shortening condition has presented a trophy to her fundrasing champion and teacher.
Holly George was born with DiGeorge syndrome, a genetic disorder causing symptoms resulting from a missing piece of chromosome.
Holly, from Beedon, and her family receive support from the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, which is raising money to build a new hospice in Berkshire.
The Year 10 pupil set up her own fundraising campaign last year – A Million Hugs for Holly – asking Facebook users to donate £1 as a virtual hug towards the project.
Kennet School teacher Steven West ‘hugged’ 920 miles of roadside from John O’Groats to Land’s End, instead of sending a virtual hug.
His 94-hour solo in the saddle, combined with fundraising by staff and pupils from Kennet, raised around £5,000 for the cause.
Dr West was summoned to an assembly where Holly presented him with a trophy of a cyclist.
Holly also announced that her campaign had raised £31,372.13 including gift aid, with the latest increase down to donations from Dr West and Kennet School.
Dr West told the NWN: “I was a bit choked and emotional. This money is going to help people like Holly to have a better quality of life.”
He added that his trophy had taken pride of place on the mantelpiece and pupils had been aware of his fundraising efforts, leading to donations to his cause.
Alexander Devine has invited Dr West to take a tour of its new hospice, which he said he would be delighted to attend.
Holly said: “I am ever so pleased because so many people have helped me and all the hugs have been great, I hope people will continue to help me towards my total.”
Holly’s mother, Sue George, said that, with the hospice build in full swing, any donations would be gratefully received.
Kennet headteacher Paul Dick told Year 7s in the assembly: “Through rain and roadworks, Dr West persisted and raised the brilliant sum of £2,023.
“This will assist Holly and others in the selfless task of raising money to support Hugs for Holly and the Alexander Devine Charity. I hope his work inspires you all, to think of others.”