Charity bike ride helps Georgia find her feet

THANKS to money raised through a 520-kilometre cycling event, eight-year-old Georgia Mackie started walking this year.

Georgia has cerebral palsy and until recently could only get around in a wheelchair.

Due to generous donations to the Ride 4 Georgia team, Georgia can now walk with some assistance.

Ride 4 Georgia, now in its third year, was established by Georgia's family friend Chris Waixel as part of the Murray to Moyne cycling event.

Already the event has raised more than $40,000 to aid her.

Mr Waixel was inspired to raise awareness for cerebral palsy when he heard his friend's frustrations at a lack of funding for his child.

"I thought 'I need to do something'," the Ferntree Gully resident said.

In the past, the cycling event has raised money for Georgia's ongoing therapy, a 'second skin' which helps her to stand straight and a communication device called a Dynavox.

The 24-hour long relay starts in Echuca and ends in Port Fairy.

With 24 riders this year, the event has expanded significantly since its first year when a group of eight tackled the ride.

"It's a great way of getting fit and it's such a good cause," Mr Waixel said.

This year he hopes to raise enough money for a sit-to-stand frame and a new walker, as well as money to cover ongoing therapy costs.

Georgia attends primary school , but requires ongoing funding for mobility and education.

"We want to raise as much money as we can to take the pressure off Georgia's parents and raise awareness for cerebral palsy," Mr Waixel said.

The Murray to Moyne cycling event runs from April 6-7.

To sponsor Ride 4 Georgia, or make a donation, visit ride4georgia2013.gofundraise.com.au/ or call Chris Waixel on 0433 038 702.

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