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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. 

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

 

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.

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.

This beautiful story, out in Woman’s Own, tells the story of how Cathy came to adopt Sinead, a poorly little lady who needed someone to believe in her. Sinead has Down’s syndrome and was left pretty much alone for the first few months of her life. No cuddles, no love, no hope… until Cathy came along, fell madly in love, and gave Sinead the love, care and attention she deserved. A beautiful story of family life.

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit the excellent futureofdowns 

I worked with the fab dating agency Lumen on this piece for Woman’s Own, interviewing Angela and Kamay about their dating world. Online dating is such a normal part of the dating world now, but some profiles are more successful than others… read our piece to find out why!

Lumen is aimed at the over 50s – you can find out more here.

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

How adorbs is Henry? Emily had to fight to have her voice heard when she found out prenatally that he had Down’s syndrome. She was urged far too many times to have a termination… but she knew her own mind and her love for her unborn son was never in question. Once he was born, Emily was asked if she wanted him adopted. Would you just leave the poor woman alone already! Look at his beautiful, mischievous grin – Emily knew Henry was her world.
The first of my stories out this month to celebrate World Down’s syndrome Day on the 21st. Out now in New!

We’ll fight the NHS – Sunday Mirror

Categories: Campaign, Children, family, hot topic, Illness, Inspiration, Latest Stories, life changing, Medical, Sell My Story, Story
Comments Off on We’ll fight the NHS – Sunday Mirror

I’ve worked with the incredible Rich family before, but last time, the story had hope and promise… We thought the pioneering treatment little Jess and Nicole were on might change the world for generations of kids with rare genetic diseases.
But now, the NHS has refused to fund the treatment which leaves these girls at a perilous crossroads. I love the NHS – what I don’t love is the government budget cuts which put lives at stake. It’s heartbreaking. The treatment works and the girls and many other kids in England (Wales and Scotland have made different decisions on the matter) deserve to stay on it. You can read the full story in the Mirror