Terry and Tracey’s PF story

The Phoenix Radio raises over £3,000 in one day for APF

On 27 August 2018, a radio appeal on the internet radio stations The Phoenix and TreeHouse Radio, collectively known as the NetRadio Group, was launched by Terry Clasper and his partner Kara, in memory of Terry’s late wife Tracey Clasper.  The day started at 9am and finished at midnight.  Listeners were invited to ‘pay money to have songs played’. People offered prizes that money couldn’t buy which listeners pledged and paid for.

“As the music played, the day unfolded and we reached out to our listeners, the money rolled in and our target was smashed twice.   Since most of the Net Radio Group listeners are visually impaired and not working or on relatively low income, this is a huge achievement and speaks volumes of the support that’s out there.  It was a truly memorable day of radio.”  Terry Clasper, co-founder of The Phoenix.

“This is an incredible achievement and we are immensely grateful to Terry and Kara for spearheading this fundraising appeal for us.  It’s testament to the power of radio to reach the hearts of their listeners.  This appeal has raised significant funds and awareness of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.  Thank you.”  Steve Jones, Chair of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis .

Terry and Tracey’s story started in the late 1970s when they met as teenagers and began a romance. As teenage romances tend to do, it had its ups and downs, but they stuck it out and married in 1987, moving into their first home.

Nothing unusual about that? A typical boy girl story? Not when you hear that Terry and Tracey were both blind due to a condition called Norrie disease  and Terry lost much of his hearing at the age of 19. Tracey’s parents opposed the marriage, but Terry and Tracey went ahead anyway. Over the years Tracey and Terry worked hard, bought another home and adopted a son. They started their own business and went on some wonderful holidays to various parts of the world.

Terry has always worked in radio. He started working as a volunteer at Alder Hey hospital radio, Liverpool, when he was a teenager. He continued working in Hospital Radio until 2009, when he moved to work for internet radio stations with Tracey’s encouragement. In 2012, Terry and Tracey started their own internet radio station called the-Phoenix and recruited volunteer presenters to help them enrich the lives of listeners around the world.

In 2017, Terry decided to retire from work and spent time at home with Tracey. As the year progressed, it became clear that Tracey was unwell. Her breathing became more laboured, she couldn’t do the household jobs she used to do. She also found talking on the radio difficult, although she did this unfailingly until the week she was taken into hospital.

Although they sought medical advice, pulmonary fibrosis  wasn’t diagnosed until she went into the hospital, where she spent the last three days of her life.

 

Tracey died of pulmonary fibrosis on 23 August 2017. She had other conditions which meant that she couldn’t undergo intensive treatment as her organs were not strong enough to withstand it.  Terry was devastated and had to learn to live without his wife, best friend and soulmate.  The one thing that kept him going was his broadcasting and reaching out to the listeners and the strength and support they gave him by tuning into his shows every week.   One year on Terry is delighted to have spearheaded this incredible appeal for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis with his now partner, and new soul-mate, Kara.