The Katherine Appeal has finally reached its target of £142,000 after 18 months of fund raising and the family leaves for the USA next Tuesday, Aug 27.

They are flying with British Airways, who are meeting them with buggies to help out at the various airports. In an 18 hour journey, they go first to Chicago, then on to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Katherine (18) will have two brain scans, an MRI and an MEG, at the Veterans' Hospital. Britain has no MEG scanner, which detects electrical activity.

Then they fly on to Omaha, Nebraska, where Katherine will undergo two 12 hour operations at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre. She will need at least 10 days to recuperate before coming home to Frimley Green.

The fund was given the final boost it needed when Gordon Parris, of Children In Need, handed over a cheque for £10,000 last week.

The treatment, which is not available in Britain, is expected to stop the constant seizure activity in Katherine's brain.

A last minute glitch almost scuppered the family's hopes when Katherine's blood deteriorated, possibly from all the drugs she was taking, but that has now been overcome.

The Kendalls are now looking forward to a new life for Katherine. And once she is on the mend, they intend to keep battling for the treatment to be made available in this country for other sufferers.