Georgia’s zoo run smashes fundraising target

Written by Sam Wilson, May 8, 2024

When Georgia signed up to run the Colchester Zoo Stampede for the Haemophilia Society, she was daunted by her £300 fundraising goal. She’d also never taken part in an official race before. Fast forward to the big day and not only had she crossed the finish line but she’d raised over four times her target.

Georgia chose to run for her 18-month-old son, Reggie, who has severe haemophilia B. She and her partner, Harry, had chosen to not make a big deal of Reggie’s bleeding disorder but felt this was the perfect time to let people know about his condition and raise awareness around what haemophilia is.

Georgia said: ‘It was never a secret, we just hadn’t broadcast it to the world. When I first saw the race and decided I wanted to fundraise for the Haemophilia Society, it felt like a great opportunity to say, ‘Reggie has haemophilia and I’m doing this to raise money for a charity that helps children like him’. I’ve been incredibly touched by the response we’ve got from family and friends.’

Within 48 hours, Georgia had exceeded her target and the donations kept coming in. Her total now sits at over £1200. ‘I’ve been overwhelmed by the support. Not just the donations but people have been telling me that they’ve been doing their own research around haemophilia as they’d not heard of it before. Raising awareness was the main motivation for me and I feel really proud.’

Georgia was no stranger to haemophilia when Reggie was diagnosed. She knew she was a carrier as her dad also has severe haemophilia B, but having Reggie has put it into a completely different light. She recognises that an early diagnosis has been a big help as they were able to start treatment before Reggie had any bleeds. Georgia says it’s still not without its scary moments ‘Reggie had a portacath fitted when he was one and the procedure made it feel very real. It was the first time it really felt like he had haemophilia’. She now hopes that Reggie can continue to be fit and healthy. Although now he’s walking, she and Harry have to be extra-vigilant! 

Georgia chose the Colchester Zoo Stampede for her fundraising as the location has special memories for her. Having grown up nearby, she had visited the zoo numerous times as a child. It was also where they spent Reggie’s first birthday. The 10k race starts and finishes in the zoo itself before taking in some of the surrounding Essex countryside. ‘It wasn’t like a normal race – you’re literally running past elephants, rhinos and giraffes. There was such a great atmosphere amongst the runners – I loved it’.

Georgia not only has her fundraising feats to be proud of. She overcame some challenging weather conditions to achieve an impressive finish time of 58m 55s. After some well-earned rest she’s now looking for her next race – potentially a half marathon. ‘It’s safe to say I’ve caught the bug, I can’t wait to do it again.’

You’re amazing Georgia – keep it up!

You can contribute to Georgia’s Just Giving page here.