Last week Katherine Kendall became an adult. On Wednesday, Nov 21, she turned 18.
But, as Star readers learned recently, Katherine's developmental age is only about five because she has uncontrollable epilepsy.
Our front page story told of her need for an operation which will cost £120,000 in the USA. Once again our Star readers are coming up trumps. Katherine's father says there was a remarkable response.
Said Nigel Kendall: "We have been struck by people's generosity and by their willingness to fund raise for Katherine. We have had quite a few checks in and at least five different people rang up wanting to fund-raise."
* A window cleaner in Farnborough who has offered to collect for Katherine on his rounds;
* Children from the United Reformed Church playgroup in Fleet who want to raise money;
* A concert and collections by the youth group of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Cove, raised £500.
* One lady who is putting a collection pot in her living room for her guests to contribute.
"It is just wonderful," said Nigel. "We didn't expect such a response. As a family we are dealing with the problem all the time, so we don't have time to do any fund raising. These people are prepared to devote time to help us - just what we need!"
He has also heard from the North West Surrey Health Authority, which is going to ask for a substantial contribution from their committee for Katherine's operation.
The pioneering procedure is only done in Omaha, Nebraska, and the surgeon has waived his fee. He will operate on both sides of the brain and there is a proven track record of success. In the UK surgeons will only operate on one side of the brain.
Nigel said that Katherine's brain is perfectly normal-looking under the scans, but the constant electrical activity of her epilepsy stops it working. He believes that once the operation has stopped the electrical activity, her brain will be able to start developing normally again.
The family has seen proof of that, because every once in a while Katherine has a day when the fits completely stop. The family can tell at once because her speech immediately improves and she begins organising things.
He said the family hopes to be able to throw a big party once Katherine is through the op and the fits have ceased.
"It would be wonderful to have a gathering Katherine could come to - and she wouldn't have to wear the hated helmet!" he said. She hates wearing the headgear which protects her when she crashes to the ground in a sudden fit.
Anyone wanting to donate can send a cheque payable to The Katherine Appeal Trust at 10 Chartwell, Frimley Green, Surrey GU16 6HW. Readers who would like to help with fund-raising can contact the Kendalls on 01252 836880 (tel/fax) or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org