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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Keswick to Barrow 2012 - Outstanding funds effort was inspired by story of youngster she never met

A BOY who lost his fight with cancer touched the heart of Georgina Bird, who walked the Keswick to Barrow in his memory, despite having never met him.

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TRIBUTE WALK: The 16-year-old Barrow sixth form student Georgina Bird came top of the fundraising chart in her class for the Keswick to Barrow walk. She is shown holding a picture of the boy whose tragic story inspired her MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50041256B000

The 16-year-old was so moved by the plight of Jack Marshall, who died from a brain tumour at the age of just six, that she set about raising money for his Brain Tumour Fund.

Her outstanding efforts have earned her the MSF Cup, awarded to the youth team which raises the highest amount of money for charity.

“Jack Marshall was from Scunthorpe but as soon as I saw his smile I wanted to support his charity,” says Georgina, a student at Barrow Sixth Form.

“It’s not just about putting money into research but raising awareness as well.”

Georgina started small, raising a few pounds, and her target is now in the thousands.

She said: “It was very easy. I bought myself a wrist band and bought a couple for a few friends and then sold £200-worth of wrist bands at school.

“Including the Keswick to Barrow, I’ve raised £1,000 this year.”

Her commitment has been noted by Jack’s parents who surprised Georgina by coming through to cheer her home as she crossed the finishing line.

“My family and his family are very close friends now,” she says.

Georgina is studying four A-levels and plans to go to university, but remains committed to the charity, despite her extra workload.

“I’ve made time for it,” said the 16-year-old from Barrow.

“And lots of close friends have helped me organise it, especially Emily Scott who has done so much to support me.

“She didn’t do the K2B because she had just recovered from a broken leg, but she came and walked the last 10 miles with me.

“Around the 20-mile mark I was finding it a bit hard but my family were there at every checkpoint to spur me on.”

Georgina entered a team of eight in this year’s walk but has already got 30 people signed up for K2B 2013, including some of Jack’s family from Scunthorpe.

She said: “We have red T-shirts printed with pictures of Jack drawn by himself.

“Jack’s charity will always be a big part of my life.”

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