At the time his parents Vicki and Woody understandably said: "The news has knocked us sideways. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and we are so, so scared of what the future holds."
To their eternal credit and despite all that Vicki, Woody, George and his brother Alex are going through, they have not only fought 'Tony the tumour' (as they called it) but also spearheaded a campaign to raise vital funds for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
All of the money they’re raising is funding much needed research into children’s cancers – as well as specialist staff working with children and families affected by cancer.
But none of it directly helps George.
Right now George is trying to become mobile again following major surgery to his back (including removal of some parts of his spine). Currently a wheelchair, zimmer frame and lots of physio are being deployed.
The truth is that no one really knows how his recovery will go, or how quickly it will happen.
We do know that the next stage of the treatment plan is for George to begin three months of Proton Beam Therapy in Jacksonville, USA. How precious time spent back at home will be after months away in the USA and in hospitals.
If you have been following George’s story (on Facebook, Susy Radio or in the Surrey Mirror) you’ll know that when they’re not in hospital the Woodalls love nothing more than visiting the park. Truth be told, one of the reasons they always go there is because their house and garden are not ideal spaces for George.
The family home is what you might politely call ‘a project’! There are quite a few hazards from broken steps to overgrown paths.
Of course when they took this property on they had no idea what was going to happen with George. Now, almost all of their time and focus is spent in hospitals and on treatment plans - not decorating, gardening and building plans.
This garden makeover project aims to help George and his family directly, by transforming their steep and frankly treacherous garden into something functional, safe and enjoyable.
Local friends, supporters and even some businesses have generously offered to help with this project in any way they can. Friend of the family and professional gardener Laura Bedell-Pearce has kindly volunteered to oversee the project. But still, the essential landscaping and access work is very specialist and costly. This is what we're primarily raising funds for.
George’s story has inspired so many people in so many ways. His family is going through so much. The journey is long. How wonderful it would be if we could not only clear the jungle and make some safe pathways - but also create a truly beautiful and healing space for the family to enjoy.
If people kindly donate enough time, materials and/or money to allow for a few extra fun features for the family to enjoy in their garden then that would be an added bonus.
Thank you so much. Penny (friend of the Woodall family and Volunteer Manager for the Healing Garden Project)
Follow the progress of the healing garden project on the Laura’s Gardens Facebook page:
If you wish to donate your time, skills and/or materials rather than funds, please get in touch with Laura:
Our thanks already go to these businesses (in Surrey) for their amazing support:
Eastwood Tree Care
Haylock & Son Building Services