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This isn’t an easy read, but it’s poignant and beautiful and Jon’s attitude towards the double tragedy he and wife Vikki faced is utterly gorgeous. Because he’s glad he had the little time he had with his twin sons. He’s grateful to the medical team who tried to save their lives, the friends he made while living in the worst possible circumstances, the kindness of those who helped his family during their time of need. It’s these things he focuses on – what a wonderful man he is.

Daughter Cecily Hope was born just a few weeks ago, making this coming Father’s Day both a happy and a sad one for Jon. Read his story in Best now…

Jon was supported by Ronald McDonald House Charities, a home away from home for families in his position. Find out more at www.rmhc.org.uk

 

Donna shares her story of how she watched Parkinson’s disease overwhelm her grandmother and her mother. Now battling it herself, Donna is such a brave and courageous woman, determined to give her own daughter the best life she can. It’s too soon to know if Beau has inherited Parkinson’s too but Donna lives in fear that she has.

With donations, research into Parkinson’s will find a cure before Beau grows up. Please visit Parkinson’s UK to donate.

Donna’s story is out now in Bella.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house while I was working on this story – Jon’s love for his wife Rach shone through his words and it was an honour to write for him.

Over on my ‘charity’ page you can see the link for Jon’s fundraising campaign – he’s raising money for Breast Cancer Care to thank the charity for the support they gave his family during Rach’s cancer battle.

His story is out now in Bella.

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day 2019! It’s become my tradition to collate all the stories about all the legends of the Down’s syndrome community I’ve written about in the past year, to mark this wonderful, worldwide celebration. I have written about amazing children like Max, who I wrote about over Christmas for Best and Chat, who is just about the most gorgeous little elf in the world. I wrote a lovely feature for Best in the style of an open letter from mums Emma, Pippy and Vicky to themselves, offering advice on the day their children Corin, Leo and Audrey came into the world. Remember the Carpool Karaoke video that went mega-viral? We placed a story about a few of the mums involved, in Bella. And then there were a few stories about older people who had Down’s syndrome and are blazing trails – beauty queen Kate shared her story in the Sunday People and huge, happy congrats to Heidi, who shared her story in Best just recently, detailing the day her fiance proposed. I look forward to writing about your wedding, Heidi!

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.

Click ‘read more’ here to see all these fantastic stories in print! Read more

I mean – seriously. Could Willow be any cuter? My latest Christmas themed story is about a beautiful little lady called Willow, who came along and completed her family. Hers is the sort of story Christmas is made for, because Christmas is a time for love and gratitude for those we keep close.

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.

Catch Willow in Bella – out now!

I mean… sometimes I just melt! Here’s Max and Cory, two beautiful souls brought together in tragic circumstances, now bringing Christmas cheer to children in hospital over the festive season, every year.

Such beautiful families who have been through so much, but keep smiling and making the world a better place. A very merry Christmas story indeed – out now in Pick Me Up.

This story makes me cry! An incredible insight into what a family went through while twins Alex and Lucas fought for survival after a premature birth. So lovely to hear a dad’s point of view too, because dad’s don’t get much of a look in when it comes to real life stories. Jonathon kindly shared his diary with us and it is at times funny, at times heartbreaking, but hopeful and brave too.

Jonathon is raising awareness of the incredible charity Ronald McDonald House – free accommodation set up beside hospitals for people in Jonathon’s predicament – too far from home, in need of a bed. You can find out more about them here. 

One of those charities you might not know exists until you need them…

Jonathon’s story was in the Sunday Mirror yesterday. You can read it online here.

I adore Tyler – he’s been through an extremely difficult and dark chapter but he’s determined to use his experiences to help other children. And he’s still only 11 years old.  Tyler has Asperger’s syndrome but for a long time, he couldn’t communicate how he was feeling or what he was going through. His dedicated, wonderful mum Tracy perservered and supported him, even sleeping on the floor beside his bed.

In time, Tyler was given the extra support he needed and he’s now flourishing – he wrote a book, Invisible Me, to help other kids, but he’s so wise, he can help adults while he’s at it. You can buy the book through the Marie Curie website here. 

Out in Bella now.

I worked with the wonderful charity Scope to bring this story to women’s magazines. Christie was so wonderfully determined to share the darkness she experienced following a difficult pregnancy and traumatic birth, in the hopes that her story will help others experiencing similar difficulties to feel less alone. There’s way too much pressure on women to have instagram-ready pregnancies and births. Just look at Kate Middleton looking all blow-dried, high-heeled and gorgeous hours after her third birth, yesterday! But what happens if you don’t feel like posing for photos after your child is born? What if you feel like everything’s gone wrong? It can happen – Christie was diagnosed with PTSD after everything that happened to her.

After little Elise was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Christie has been supported by Scope. Please do contact them if you are affected by the details of this story. Out now in Best.

 

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