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All posts in Children

If only there were just tantrums… poor Grace was dismissed by GPs as going through a ‘tantrum phase’. Sadly, what her change of behaviour actually revealed was the utterly devastating Batten’s disease. Mum Izabela shares her story in Bella magazine this week. It’s heartbreaking, but if her drug trial starts soon they hope to ward off and delay the onset of the debilitating symptoms.

For more about Batten’s visit the BDFA 

Another great resource is the website owned and run by the Rich family – The Nicole and Jessica Rich Foundation

I have written about the Rich family before and they are incredible. For support and information if you have just entered the Batten’s world, Gail is a fountain of knowledge.

Izabela’s story is out in Bella now.

What happened to Natalie is unfathomable. You may have read about her in the papers back on that fateful day and in the weeks and months that followed. We were a nation unable to believe her own partner, the father of her unborn child, could have done what he did.
But, he did. And that’s something Natalie had to come to terms with and move on from. In her incredible book, Still Standing, she goes into more detail about the relationship, the attack and what happened next. It’s written with raw honesty and I highly recommend it.

Natalie is a powerhouse – since recovering from her injuries she has become something of a Wonder Woman, taking part in all sorts of challenges and adventures to raise money for the Midland Air Ambulance.

Here she is in Closer magazine, out today.

Awwwww I love this family! Beautiful Maria and her beautiful children. Maria suffers from endometriosis and could not conceive again after the birth of her first child, Eleanor. She longed for a big, loud, happy family… Years went by and she booked in for a hysterectomy, ready to admit that it was not to be.

But then… along came Joseph. Joe has Down’s syndrome and in a stroke of fluke, luck and joy, so does his little sister – another surprise baby for the parents who thought they could not conceive!
Happy Families – just look at those smiles. Out now in Bella.

This is a story of love, loss, hope and the happiest of endings in the wake of the saddest of times. Angeleen is an absolute delight. She knew that she and Chris would make perfect parents. After a brain tumour cruelly took his life too soon, she decided to have IVF with his sperm, creating two beautiful children.

The story was in the Mirror yesterday – read it online here. 

Ah, isn’t this gorgeous? Four daughters and one son who were adopted write open letters of thanks and adoration to the mums who adopted them and helped shape their lives for the better. I love adoption – it is not easy but it is incredible and these five families are testament to the rewards.

Out now in Take A Break.

Always a joy to write a happy love story! Here is the wonderful Paula telling of how she’d almost given up on love after two decades spent not quite finding Mr Right. After a chance stumbling upon a book about Feng Shui, she made a few home improvements and weeks later, her luck turned. Absolutely lovely to work with Paula and write her story – out now in Best!

With Father’s Day ahead this weekend, I’ve been writing about amazing dads. Men who have been through the most heartbreaking of circumstances, but come out stronger for those around them. Men who are not afraid to talk about mental health and understand that true strength is in talking about our fragility. Men like Mark, who went out for a walk with his wife and toddler and came home a widow and a single dad. His story is so incredibly sad, but Mark found his way through it and taught himself how to be happy again. For his wife, Katherine. For his daughter, Margot.

Read Mark’s incredible attitude to the hand he’s been dealt out now in Bella. Mark was supported by WAY – widowed and young. If you have been widowed young, visit www.widowedandyoung.org.uk for support.  Mark writes an amazing blog here. 

It was such an honour to work with Svetlana on her memories of Chernobyl – and a real inspiration to hear her thoughts and musings on how not to live in the shadow of such a terrifying and traumatic experience.

The chernobyl nuclear disaster shook the world and although I’ve always known vaguely what happened, interviewing Svetlana gave me insight into what really happened. It makes for a harrowing yet inspiring read – out now in Best.

This is the story of Caitlin, a very special little lady who lived for just six days. Her story is heartbreaking, but her incredible mum, Nicole, is determined to live a happy life in Caitlin’s memory – because Caitlin made her so happy for the duration of her little life. Nicole has such a wonderful way of looking at the world and her wisdom is truly inspiring. It was a pleasure to write for her.

Out now in Best.

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.