Monday, October 29, 2012

Turning a Tragedy Around to Make a Difference

Stephanie Shirley with her late
son Giles.
From the U.K.'s Henley Stanley.

When Dame Stephanie Shirley lost her only child Giles, it could have torn her life apart.
Instead, she used the tragedy as a turning point to become one of Britain’s greatest philanthropists.
Since her autistic son died, aged 35, in 1998, Dame Stephanie — or “Steve” as she likes to be known — has gone on to invest more than a third of her £150million wealth into charities.
“Philanthropy comes from inside and each of us has some sort of feeling of wanting to make a difference,” she explains.
“When we have some focus, such as a mother who has died of cancer or a son who has autism, you think ‘I understand that area and I can help that — I’m not just going to be a victim’. I object to being a victim because I was a child refugee. If you can survive that then you become a real survivor.”

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