It’s good to talk
Terry Kemp - on the right in the picture, with his wife Emma and friend Dave - was a true lover of life, and the life and soul of any party, but he sadly suffered a series of strokes at the terribly young age of 47, and was treated in the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square. At the end of his life, he was unable to talk – although the family were sure he desperately wanted to: he had so much to say, and was never dull.In his memory, his family and friends have undertaken to raise money for a SmartBox communication aid – so that the next Terry will be able to communicate with his family. This technology means that patients without the power of speech and without the ability to move their arms can select icons on a screen, or spell out words, just by the movement of their eyes or head. A camera follows their eye movements, and blinking acts like a mouse click.
Terry’s daughter Lily, who attends St Clement Dane’s School in Chorleywood, encouraged other pupils and staff at the school to donate to the cause as part of their charity week (which also supported Macmillan Cancer Support and local disability charity Demand). “We – the charity prefects – all got custard pies thrown at us: we’d dressed in our old clothes, but it didn’t help as everyone aimed for our heads!” she remembers. Other events included dressing down, selling 6th-form students as slaves to younger pupils for a day, a mince pie eating competition, and “kidnapping” teachers – the team visited classes, and if the pupils could find £15 between them, they got to watch a film instead of finishing the class.
In total, the school raised £6,300, split equally between the three charities – thank you so much to all involved!
Other supporters have also been active. Graham Nye cycled last year from Land’s End to John O’Groats;
but this year he is aiming for something even more challenging. His Iron-man triathlon consists of:
• a 2.4 mile swim in the North Sea from Edinburgh, starting at 6am;
• a 112 mile cycle ride over the Scottish Highlands from east to west coasts; and
• a 26.2 mile off-road marathon.
As if that weren’t enough, the marathon just happens to take in the summit of Ben Nevis – weather permitting!
“Being my first-ever attempt at triathlon I'm going to lean on the knowledge of everyone's support to drive me onward (and upward!), so many thanks for your donations” says Graham on his fundraising page. “Thanks finally to Terry for your inspiration; I know you'll be cheering me on from wherever you are!”
You can sponsor Graham in this epic enterprise at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TerryTalk