Help us send cancer victim Tash to Australia

PUBLISHED: 08:24 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:19 15 June 2010

TEENAGER Natasha Gould touched the hearts of Herald readers when we recently reported how she had battled cancer while sitting her GCSE exams. Today the Herald is launching a fund-raising campaign to send the 16-year-old on a trip of a lifetime.

TEENAGER Natasha Gould touched the hearts of Herald readers when we recently reported how she had battled cancer while sitting her GCSE exams.Today the Herald is launching a fund-raising campaign to send the 16-year-old on a trip of a lifetime.With your help, we aim to pay for the former Axe Valley Community College student to go to Queensland in Australia - to realise a great ambition. Ever since the death of Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin, Tash has wanted to visit his lasting legacy, Australia Zoo.The Herald reported last month how four feet two inches tall Tash passed all her GCSE exams and secured a place at Bicton College to study animal care, despite battling illness.Diagnosed with cancer of the pituitary glands - which has stopped her growth - and diabetes insipidus while sitting her exams, the teenager has shown great strength of spirit to overcome adversity.It has been Tash's long ambition to visit Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, but money has proved an obstacle. The Herald feels, after all Tash has endured, she is more than deserving of such a treat.Tash's mother, Claire, said: "Tash would love to go to the zoo and I would love to treat her as she's been through so much. "However, she's an easily pleased girl. "She loves animals and would probably be pleased with a day to London Zoo!"She said the recent article in the Herald, which dubbed Tash "Wondergirl", had helped people to better understand Tash's experience, and that, despite her height, she does not like to be treated like a small child."The article didn't just help Tash," she said. "It was an inspiration to other people. "It shows that, whatever you're going through, you can get through it. "It makes you feel warm inside."The cancer is still active and doctors are trying to determine how and when to treat it. It is feared the cancer could spread.Although Tash would probably settle for a day trip, the Herald believes her courage means she deserves to be recognised on a greater scale.Herald reporter Angela Brennan has agreed to do a sponsored parachute jump to raise money for the cause. Anyone who wishes to join her has to raise a minimum of £225. The jump will take place on a week day.Calling all local groups and clubs... Can you help us raise money to send Tash to Australia? We need to raise around £4,000. If you are prepared to hold a fund-raising event, contact our newsdesk on (01392) 888488 and we'll provide pre-publicity and posters. If you want to make a donation, make cheques payable to Archant and send them to Tash's Trip, Midweek Herald, Archant South West. Fair Oak Close, Exeter Airport Business Park, Clyst Honiton EX5 2UL.Anybody interested in taking part in a sponsored parachute jump for Tash's Trip, call Angela Brennan on (01392) 888488.


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