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The Star: August 09, 2018

The Star: August 09,

Thursday, August 9, 2018 Youths accused of animal cruelty subject to online abuse STAYING POSITIVE: Blind organist Richard Hore with wife Marilyn and daughter Megan. Her cancer battle will be his biggest challenge ever. Blind organist family’s cancer battle • By Julia Evans WELL-KNOWN blind organist Richard Hore has had many challenges in his life. But he is facing his biggest one yet after his 18-year-old daughter Megan was diagnosed with bone cancer. Mr Hore has been a staple of the Christchurch music scene since 1973 and is now busking outside Bush Inn Countdown every weekend to raise money to make Megan’s dream come true and take her to Disneyland Paris. “It’s amazing to be able to make people happy with my playing and it’s a really positive thing for Meg,” Mr Hore said. He said sometimes when he sings, he wants to cry thinking about his daughter. “It is a wonderful, emotional outlet for me.” Megan was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago. “Basically one day in late August, Meg woke up with what she thought was a cramp,” Mrs Hore said. A few weeks later she noticed her daughter was still limping. “You’re a dancer, you rockclimb, you run, you’re young and super fit: ‘You shouldn’t be limping,’ I said to her. Then I realised something didn’t seem quite right.” After a visit to the GP and an X-ray, the family thought all was well – they’d booked tickets to see Victoria and Abdul. •Turn to page 6 • By Sophie Cornish TWO YOUTHS accused of torturing and killing a cat in Christchurch have been the target of abuse on social media. But the SPCA which is investigating the incident said yesterday it may not have been a deliberate act of animal cruelty. Said SPCA Canterbury chief executive Barry Helem: “We believe it was not a deliberate act of cruelty, but we will be following our processes to verify that.” The investigation, which has involved the police, is in its “very early stages,” he said. A video of what appeared to be a cat being tortured and killed was sent to the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday. Two videos were posted on Snapchat by a teenage girl, who is a friend of the two youths. She also has been the target of a backlash on social media. •Turn to page 7