Cheques roll in for Tash's Trip

PUBLISHED: 08:36 17 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:20 15 June 2010

WITHIN 24 hours of launching our new campaign, Tash's Trip, the Herald received two cheques to help send 16-year-old cancer victim Natasha Gould on a holiday of a lifetime.

WITHIN 24 hours of launching our new campaign, Tash's Trip, the Herald received two cheques to help send 16-year-old cancer victim Natasha Gould on a holiday of a lifetime.The cheques were received from a couple in Perry Street and an individual from Colyton.A further cheque arrived on Monday.The Herald would like to publicly thank the donors and to encourage others to support our appeal to raise £4,000, which will allow Tash to realise her dream - to visit the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, in Queensland.Our aim is to reward Tash for her spirit and courage, and to raise awareness about the difficulties she is managing to overcome. She is part of a family that has always been keen to help others, without thinking about themselves. Tash's mum, Claire, says publicity has given her daughter a new lease of life.The Herald met Tash while covering GCSE results. Despite being diagnosed with cancer and a form of diabetes, Tash managed to sit and pass all her exams. The cancer has stunted her growth. When she collected her results from Axe Valley Community College, in Axminster, the Herald was there.We asked a teacher if there was anyone in particular who had done well.The teacher explained that straight A grades are not everything and, without giving further explanation, pointed at Tash. The Herald approached Tash and sought her family's permission for a story. When the full truth unfolded, Tash was deservedly hailed 'Wondergirl' in this newspaper for her courage and determination. Readers responded with messages of congratulation for Tash's achievements.Mrs Gould has since thanked the teacher. She told Herald editor Belinda Bennett last Friday: "Now people understand what it has been like for Tash. While all her friends were growing up and getting on with their lives, Tash was dealing with her illness and felt like she was being left behind."Now people know what she is going through. It has really boosted her and raised awareness."She's so excited, but doesn't mind when she goes to Australia. It's the thought of it that has made her happy."The Herald would like to send Tash to Australia within the first quarter of next year. Today the Herald is appealing to schools, senior and primary, across East Devon and West Dorset to hold a non-uniform day in aid of our campaign. Headteachers are urged to call the editor on (01392) 888488 for further information.We are also appealing to organisations across the district to support the appeal with donations and events.Keen walkers, interested in taking part in a sponsored event, led by Herald staff, are urged to contact the newsdesk on (01392) 888488.Anybody requiring pre-publicity for fund-raising raffles and other events, along with free posters, should call the same number.We think Tash deserves a treat after working so hard while battling illness.n To donate: Make cheques payable to Archant and send them to Tash's Trip, Midweek Herald, Fair Oak Close, Exeter Airport Business Park, Clyst Honiton EX5 2UL. Every donation will be gratefully received. Please state if you would like to make your donation anonymously.AS airlines and travel companies go bust, due to rising fuel costs, the Herald has sourced quotes from only the most reputable firms and has allowed in the target figure for price increases.We aim to send Tash, together with an adult, to Queensland for two weeks. The cost of the trip will include airfares, full board in a hotel, the entry fees to Australia Zoo and some spending money.In a bid to try and reduce the target amount, the Herald is seeking sponsorship from a travel company and will be liaising with Australia Zoo.

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