Dear Shell and Martin
Feel so guilty for not writing sooner, please accept our apologies and let me give you some feedback on the holiday of a lifetime that you so kindly took Heather on.
Let me tell you, this has been the turning point for us all, Heather, Steve and myself until the skiing holiday, Heather had not moved far from us, even her first stay overnight at the school bungalow, which is local to where we live. For Heather to even be considered to go abroad was was an event in itself, let alone without us tagging along. I am so glad she went to Italy with you.
Heather left us a child, and returned a young woman, with ideas, rebellions, decisions, picky, stroppy, independent and motivated.
So wonderful, she is at last showing her true colours, not so willing to conform, (BRILLIANT). I have dreamed, prayed and waited with hope for these things to develop in Heather, to have gained them whilst with other young people is fantastic.
Heather obviously enjoyed the holiday, gained new skills, friends and more. She has always enjoyed the social side of life but now its with more GUSTO, enthusiasm and fun.
She has also gained new confidence to try new challenges, with comfort at the thought of meeting new people, and leaving us no longer seem such a trauma.
Both Steve and I have also been able to let go, give her the widest possible opportunities. THANK HEAVENS WE DID IT AND WE HAVEN'T "HELD HER BACK".
I can't tell you how many people we have told about Heather's experiences with Katie's Ski Tracks. I even used some of our experiences at a presentation for people with learning disabilities. How bizarre is that! Well it isn't because people were able to identify their own inadequacies.
Heather continues to enjoy horse riding, cookery, Judo, and youth club. She has joined a group for teenagers, going out doing ordinary "teen things", cinema, shopping, eating out and concerts. She went to see Westlife at the Docks in Liverpool, yes, the music now blasts through our house, mind you, I got sentimental when I heard the CD Katie's Ski Tracks, so very apt. Heather must be reminiscing because she dances, skis and sings along to the different tracks.
From that Saturday long ago, when we first met, I had a gut feeling that this would be good, but for us all to come out winners was a bonus. Life is good, thanks a million.
You really are Special People, Shell, Martin and the team you gathered. We don't envy your role or responsibilities, its mammoth, I don't know where the drive comes from but I hope you manage to continue and give other children (parents) the opportunity to find themselves. This is a holiday of a lifetime because it couldn't be repeated, the magic just wouldn't have the same effect.
I could go on forever but in short THANK YOU, thank you for organising, fundraising, entertaining, instructing, mothering and most of all caring. To care and consider for other peoples children and well being is precious, especially as you have no children of your own. Well I think you really have the largest family of all. With the children from numerous holidays that you have provided and to enable so many to reach for the stars and succeed, magnificent.
God bless you both and many thanks for the experience.
Diane, Steve and Heather xxxxxxxxxx