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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)

2002-Jan-28: Heather on Good Morning America

Heather was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on today's Good Morning America.  The interview opened with Ms. Sawyer commenting that Heather appeared to be fresh and energized in spite of the fact that she had just arrived in New York from a visit to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.  "What are you on? " joked Ms. Sayer.  Heather replied, "It's yoga.  It's yoga, I think, and just because I'm very happy."

Heather ran into a bit of trouble at the airport in Indonesia.  The ticket for her return flight did not arrive at the airport as planned, so she had to borrow money in order to leave the country.  Heather explained:

"They thought I was a con-woman because the ticket wasn't there. So I just said, 'Excuse me, could you loan me $60?   I promise I'll pay you back in Saigon.'  And this Japanese woman just went, 'No, no, no, no, no!' And I asked about five people, eventually they did, otherwise, I wouldn't be here now."
So who gave her the money?
"A Canadian and a Vietnamese guy between the two of them. So it was really sweet."
Then Heather talked about her return to modeling for the mid priced clothing line, INC International Concepts:
"Yeah, it's INC, and they're mainly based in Macy's and Bloomingdale's and places like that. And I haven't modeled for years, you know, being 34 now. They  usually want 17 to 20-year-olds, which is crazy.

"So I got an award with Hillary Clinton and Sarah Ferguson. And a lady called Mary Ellen Needham, who's got a conscience, which is great, on the 10th of September, the day before the awful disaster, contacted me and said, 'I heard you speak, and we'd like somebody a bit more inspirational and a real age for ... because these are clothes for women ... and would you do it?' and I said, 'Well, I don't really model,' and she said, 'Well, we could link your charity with it.' And I was like, 'Really,' and they said we could give a percentage of the clothes to the charity, and we could promote your charity and really promote the cause.' And then, of course, when the disaster happened the next day, you know, it was just ... everything sort of tied together. People sort of want to do stuff with a meaning now rather than just like stick a face up there.

" You know, I mean, I was always sort of a business woman, and I used modeling to travel the world and earn money and help fit amputees with artificial limbs, which we've done 27,000 now just from modeling money. And then eventually  I made it a registered charity. When I got dengue fever in Cambodia, and I thought, 'Well, if I die, who is going to fund this?'  So now, we look for funds, whereas before I wasn't too keen on it, because charities can be quite bureaucratic. So I hooked up with Adopt-a-Minefield, which is part of the United Nations Association, and 100 percent of the money goes to clear minefields. So I said, 'How about if we unite my charity with yours and help survivor assistance, fit kids up?' I've done 27,000 so maybe we can do a heck of a lot more so we can make a child walk for $20, you know. In these countries, $20, you make a child walk again."

In Vietnam and Cambodia, Heather encountered young women where were considered no longer marriageable because of their minefield injuries:
" Yeah. Really ... really. I just got back from Vietnam, and it's the same situation. And what I tend to do is turn up, see these women, they don't know I'm an amputee, spend a bit of time with them and a lot of them their husbands have left. There's a big stigma on it. There was one lady, she had a 10-year-old boy, she'd lost both of her legs. I said to her young boy, 'How did you feel about your mom losing her legs,' and he said ... he said, 'Well, I'd like her to be like my friends' mommies and  have two legs,' and it was heartbreaking. And I said, 'But, you know, do you love your mom,' and he said, 'Oh, I love her so much.' And he was like stroking her all the time. And all she needed was two comfortable limbs and she could get about, whereas he had to push her around all the time, and when he went to school, she would just stay in the house. So with $40, we just funded her, and she's walking around again. So it's quite incredible.

"But she can't get a partner. You know, there's a real stigma on it. So what I did was, a lot of the time, was sit next to her, pop my leg off, and she would go, 'Oh.' And I said, 'It's all about sort of confidence, you know. It doesn't matter whether you look great, whatever you're 20, stone, whatever you are, if you're confident, then that's what's sexy.'

Heather's photos for International Concepts, Inc. are currently on display at Macy's department store.  Heather added:
 "They've got the lunch on Friday at 12:00 if anyone wants to say hello."
Sir Paul has visited the Macy's display and is delighted with all the photographs he saw. Heather said, "He went around saying, 'That's my girlfriend'."'

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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