Terri's plight touches the world
TERRI Calvesbert's amazing story has touched the world and more than £100,000 has come pouring in from a WORLDWIDE sponsored swim.As she underwent yet another operation - this time to create fingers for her badly burned hand - thousands of pounds was trickling into the Evening Star offices following the swim.
TERRI Calvesbert's amazing story has touched the world and more than £100,000 has come pouring in from a WORLDWIDE sponsored swim.
As she underwent yet another operation - this time to create fingers for her badly burned hand - thousands of pounds was trickling into the Evening Star offices following the swim.
Her appeal fund now stands at more than £250,000 thanks to the generosity and kindness of so many people across the UK and the rest of the world.
The money will be there for Terri as she grows older to improve her quality of life, such as perhaps adapting a house for her.
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More than 70 countries took part in the event which was sparked off by the idea of just one man.
Twenty TV stations from across the world covered it and since then more swims have been set up to raise money for burns hospitals across the world.
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One school in Norway enjoyed doing their swim so much they have even decided to build their own swimming pool.
The money raised will all go into the Terri Calvesbert Appeal, set up by the Evening Star just days after the little girl suffered nearly 90 per cent burns in a fire at her home in 1998.
She was so badly injured that firemen quelling the flames thought it was a doll lying in a cot - until she suddenly she made a noise.
Since then Terri, now aged seven, has battled through life and endured more than 16 operations, many of them painful skin grafts, yet has still remained a spirited, smiley little girl.
London businessman Rob Mather was so overwhelmed when he saw Anglia TV's documentary of Terri's life called Real Life: Being Terri that he felt compelled to do something.
Initially he was going to do a swim the length of the English Channel at his local swimming club, but then friends in Australia said they would do it too, then someone in America.
Gradually the concept grew and grew and Mr Mather began sending DVDs with the programme on it to swimming clubs across the world.
The response was phenomenal, from Kuwait to Bolivia and Japan to Venezuela, swims for Terri were being set up everywhere.
News of the swim spread like wildfire and two of Terri's carers from the past who were in Darwin, Australia could not believe their eyes when they saw a piece about the swim in their local paper.
Terri's great aunt, Sallie Beaumont also went along to one of the swims held in Sydney.
Since the swim bundles of cheques have been coming into the Evening Star.
Around £2,000 was sent in from a swimming club in Kuwait, £1,300 from a British School in Poland and $225 dollars from an American swimmer.
Closer to home swimmers in Barrow in Furness have also been busy raising £455, Stowmarket swimmers have raised £600 and a swimmer for Border TV has also sent in £100.
Mr Mather said: “To see all that money coming in is terrific, its as simple as that.
“It has been very moving to receive emails and see people from all four corners of the globe working hard to contribute to this.”
But Mr Mather said that in a way the money was a secondary thing.
He said: “When you see some of the countries taking part like Bolivia, Mexico, Swaziland and Nepal and the problems that exist there it is more important that people are taking part and getting a lot out of it.”
Terri's father Paul had also been taken aback by the amount of support.
He said: “I was quite shocked that so many people have done it.
“Someone has actually learned to swim just to do it.”