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Always brings a proud smile to my face to write about the Down’s syndrome community. This piece for the Sun was one we organised back in March so it’s great to finally see it in print, just in time for World Down’s syndrome Awareness Month. Four mums tell readers why their children deserve to be celebrated for bringing sunshine into their families.

In the age of NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) the Down’s syndrome community fear that terminations will increase and the community will begin to shrink. What a sad world that would be. Let’s hope that alongside the new testing technique, we’ll see an improvement in the ‘bedside manner’ of medical professionals, who need to offer a realistic portrayal of what life with the condition actually looks like, in today’s world, not the 1970s.

For advice and support, Future of Downs is an excellent website. And you can read the Sun story in full here.

So proud to write about incredible people like Kim – after contracting sepsis all four limbs were amputated but Kim has not once lost her wonderful spirit, courage and strength. Yesterday the Sunday People covered her latest milestone – a 3D printed bionic Hero Arm.

As you can see from the picture, this means that Kim can now fist-bump grandson Oliver, as well as brush her own hair and hold her own cutlery – little every day tasks we all take for granted.

Kim desperately needs donations so that she can afford another arm for her left side. If you can donate, please do, every penny counts! Click here for her campaign. 

You can read the story in full here. 

It’s postnatal depression awareness week and to mark the campaign, we shared Amber’s story in Reveal. Amber’s an extraordinary woman who is determined to tell her story in order to help other mums realise that motherhood is really hard – and that’s okay.
With searing honesty, Amber explains how she just did not like being a mother. It’s a role she has come to love and her journey to where she is now needs to be heard. Too many women feel the burden of ‘perfection’ coming at them from all corners. (Instagram has so much to answer for!)
If you need support through the early steps of parenthood, visit PANDAS for support,

I am in awe of the commitment and sacrifice Mary and Steve have made in the name of the dogs they love so much. They’ve spent 300k of their own savings setting up and running Street Dog Watch Association, taken nearly 100 dogs into their own home and saved, nursed and rehabilitated countless more. Plus, they’re working hard to reduce the street dog population in Kerala, India, in a compassionate and sensible way.

As an animal lover myself, I absolutely love writing about people like Mary. She’s run out of her own money now and desperately needs support, so if you love dogs and would like to help Mary’s mission, visit her website here or on Facebook here

The story was out in last weekend’s Love Sunday – you can read it online here.

For this glorious piece, mums Pippa, Emma and Vicky wrote themselves an open letter, going back in time to the day they found out their beautiful children had Down’s syndrome. The letters are poignant, powerful, funny, sweet and so lovely. Just like their children! I am so proud to work for the Down’s syndrome community, doing what we can to represent the reality of Down’s syndrome in the media so that families of the future understand that it’s not to be feared. Down’s syndrome has made these incredible children who they are.

Out now in Best. I worked on this piece in partnership with The Specials, which is a wonderful project. Check out their videos here.

You probably saw the video – it’s now had four million views! It’s a wonderfully uplifting idea, created by 50 mums in the Down’s syndrome community (and edited by one dad – Jamie!) which saw the world’s heart melt for their beautiful, gifted kids. In our never-ending ambition to educate the world on what Down’s syndrome really means, this video summed it all up to a beat. It means happy families. It means clever kids. It means sunshine and smiles and laughter and tears (happy tears!)

Here, three of the mums featured in the video share with Bella magazine what it was like to see their kids go ‘viral’ … and what a profound effect on people’s understanding of Down’s syndrome they hope the video will have.

I have such a soft spot for writing about animals and the amazing humans who dedicate their lives to helping them – here we have Michelle, founder of DOTS – Dogs on the Streets – a charity set up to assist the homeless population in the care of their dogs. Michelle taught me so much I didn’t know about the homeless sector and it was so inspiring to listen to her and learn about her efforts to support homeless people and their dogs.

You can read her story online here and support Michelle here

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day! Time for my annual love fest – click below to see a collection of the incredible families I’ve written about in the last year. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to use my pen (alright, keyboard) to celebrate so many inspiring young people. These are the game-changers, the rule-breakers, the cliche-defiers – while there’s never been more urgency to highlight what Down’s syndrome actually is (and not what medical professionals would STILL have us fear it is) these little legends are going about their legendaryness with aplomb. Just by being who they are, the ripple effect across society says We. Are. Awesome. So while NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing) looms into view, the Down’s syndrome community are here to say #wouldntchangeathing.

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com an online community offering friendly support for parents and an up to date, balanced view of life with the condition.

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So, so proud of Kathleen! Such an honour to get to write about amazing women every day. Do I have the best job in the world, or what?! Kathleen and her mum Denise invited me into their world and let me champion their lives. Now more than ever, we need to show society that Down’s syndrome is nothing to be feared. Down’s syndrome is to be celebrated. Quick, before NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) causes a dramatic decrease in the number of people born with Down’s syndrome. As Kathleen will tell you, her life rocks.

 

Please buy Best Magazine this week to read all about Kathleen. She’s going places!

The gorgeous Sarah and Dave can teach us all a thing or two about living, while they live in the shadow of death. Dave has been battling worsening cystic fibrosis his entire life and never thought he’d experience love, marriage and family. But Sarah is by his side as his wife and carer and together they make every day special.

A beautiful, poignant love story just in time for Valentine’s Day, out now in Woman.

Support their gofundme campaign for Dave’s bucket list here.