Denise Terrill

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Terrill, Denise Denise Marin Terrill was born on October 11, 1976 in Dallas, Tex-sras. At the age of 4 she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, the disease which shaped her entire life and that of her family. Her early years were fairly normal years where she pursued interests in piano, dancing, and horseback riding. But her real interest quickly became competitive swimming, a sport in which she excelled. But by the age of 10 she began loosing strength because of NF tumors in her spinal cord which led to the first of thirteen major surgeries she endured on the brain and spinal cord over the next 10 years. Following each surgery she experienced a period of paralysis which she was able to overcome through her unwavering strength and determination and a dedicated physical therapist. NF caused her to loose her hearing at the age of 13 and she quickly learned sign language and finished her high school career in regular classes with sign language interpreters. Before her graduation she was still recovering from a surgery and was mobile only in her wheelchair, but she was determined to walk across the stage to receive her diploma which she did. However at the age of 20 her brain and spinal cord had suffered so much trauma from tumors and scar tissue that following her last major surgery she was unable to recover her mobility and remained permanently paralyzed from head to toe, remaining on a life support ventilator for the rest of her life. She remained at home surrounded by her family who cared for her 24/7. For the last 12 years of her life her only communication with the outside world was finger spelling to her by her family and nurses and her diminishing responses by slightly blinking her eye. Throughout it all, Denise never gave up, never complained, and gave her all in her quest to overcome every obstacle placed in her way. She inspired so many hearts she never knew. Her inspiration was the driving force behind her family's charity foundation which has raised over $1,000,000 for NF research. With her life's work completed our Heavenly Father extended his hand out to bring her home to Him and she accepted on June 6, 2009. Denise is survived by her father, Robert Clark Terrill, her mother, Minerva Marin Terrill, her brother, Robert Clark Terrill, Jr. and her sister, Christina Marin Terrill and her sister-in-law, Nikki Osuga Terrill. The Terrill family is eternally and profoundly grateful to all the NF volunteers who have contributed to the Denise Terrill NF Charity Classics. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Denise Terrill NF Charity Classics by going to A funeral mass will be held Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2700 W Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, Texas 75023. Denise will be laid to rest at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.
Published in Dallas Morning News from June 9 to June 10, 2009
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