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All posts in Charity

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

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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I have such a soft spot for writing about animals and in yesterday’s Love Sunday, I was able to celebrate a gorgeous, patient and wise dog called Suzie, who along with her human companion Kelly, fosters kittens in New York. Kelly has been fostering kittens for a few years and at first thought she’d have to keep the kittens away from Suzie. But Suzie proved to be an asset to the fostering process, showing the kittens that she could be their climbing frame, their protector, their hug blanket!

The story behind the fostering makes for difficult reading – kittens and cats are dumped and neglected all over the city and Kelly works tirelessly to raise awareness of this, while looking after as many kittens as she can. The story of Suzie the kitten whisperer will melt your heart! You can read the online version here and follow Kelly and chums on Instagram here.

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.

Is it too soon to say it’s spring? January has flown by and there is definite floral evidence in the garden that winter is waving goodbye and spring is waving hello. We’re super busy at Phoenix Towers, writing about all things Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and beyond.

We’ve been working on some really interesting stories about incredible women like Danielle, who’s identical twins are not quite identical, and Gail, whose daughters were tragically diagnosed with a cruel childhood condition that could see them develop all the symptoms of dementia before they reach their teens. There’s hope for Gail’s daughters – thanks to a pioneering trial, they might be able to delay the onset of symptoms and while they’re at it, change the future for thousands of children like them. It’s a story of hope and love and you can read all about it over on our ‘Recent Stories’ page.

This is the heartbreaking yet hopeful story of the beautiful Rich family. Tragically, eldest daughter Nicole was diagnosed with Batten’s disease, a cruel condition that means she’s lose her sight, ability to swallow, walk, pick things up. And in time, she’ll suffer all the symptoms of dementia. As if fate had not been cruel enough, youngest daughter Jessica was also diagnosed.

But there is hope. Both daughters are on a trial which could change the world. For Nicole, there has been a dramatic and unexpected improvement in her symptoms. For Jessica, who was diagnosed before she even had symptoms, the trial drug might just delay the onset of symptoms for years or even forever. This has significant ramifications for a whole host of childhood diseases. In short, the outcome of Jessica’s trial might just change the world for thousands of families.

Gail and her family are beautiful and brave and it was an honour to write about them. Out now in Best.

Oh how I wish I was writing about something else when it comes to Sarah – this glorious, hilarious, brave and wonderful woman has been so fantastic and kindly let me into her life at such a difficult time. We’ve grown close and I very much wish life wasn’t so a cruel mistress! Here she is being her gorgeous self in New! this week.

You can support Sarah by buying her lovely book, aimed at children whose parents have had a cancer diagnosis. Available on the Osborne Trust website. Catch her story in New! now.

Louise has devoted her life to helping the innocent victims caught in the crossfire of war – dogs, cats, equines – any animal trying to live where us humans are at war. After concluding a tour of Iraq while serving in the military, Louise couldn’t come home – she was compelled to stay and give her life to helping animals. Dividing her time between Iraq and Afghanistan, Louise has saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives. She’s an incredible woman – but she needs our help! If you’d like to help Louise raise much needed funds to keep doing what she does, visit www.warpaws.org

You can read her story in Love Sunday or online here.

It’s not often enough that us humans stop to think about the consequences of war to the other animals who are trying to live on this planet. But for Louise, this became the meaning of her life – after serving a tour of Afghanistan she saw the horrors inflicted on animals living in a war torn desert country and made it her mission to help them. Dogs, cats, horses and beyond – Louise set up a rescue centre, then moved to Iraq and did the same thing all over again.

She is an incredible woman and I was proud to bring attention to her projects. If you’d like to help animals all over the world, help veterinary charity WVS send care packages worldwide by donating here.