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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.

I’ve written about twin to twin transfusion syndrome in the past but never have I met a pair of twins who were affected by it to such a degree as this pair of cuties. Danielle shared her story about her incredible identical, but not identical, twins Teddy and Ronnie, in the Sunday People and it really is an astonishing journey those boys have been on. But, they’re both home now and doing brilliantly.

You can read about their journey here and follow the lovely Danielle on Instagram here.

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.

Extra big story this week – three pages in Best Magazine. Absolutely love all these champs, writing open letters to their future selves. I love this style of writing, it’s so powerful. We have Claire, advising herself on life after her three eldest sons flew the nest… Tracey, discovering what truly matters in life after fighting cancer (and celebrating the news of a new baby on the way – whoop!) and Lou, a divorcee looking forward to new beginnings in 2018.

Thank you all for working with me and here’s to a wonderful new year x

For Emily, it’s not about what the Christmas tree looks like. Christmas is about how it feels, how it smells, how it makes her feel. Partially sighted, Emily was kind enough to describe Christmas from where she is standing, in this week’s Best magazine. She’s a poetic and beautiful soul who went into wonderful detail about all the little things that other people might take for granted and it was a joy to work with her on this.

It’s a little early but… Happy Christmas to Emily!

Check her out in Best this week.

Rebecca kindly opened her heart to us to help other women who might be experiencing the worst symptoms of the menopause. She often felt very alone and very far removed from who she used to be -and she’s determined to help other women know they are going to be okay. Society doesn’t talk about the reality of the ‘change’ often, but recently it has been in the press a lot so here’s hoping that the conversation has begun.

If you’re suffering in silence, visit My Menopause Doctor on Facebook for support and guidance.

You can read Rebecca’s story in Notebook online here.

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.

In Best Magazine this week, we delve into the debate around normalising obesity. This was an interesting report to write, taking in comments from a GP and a nutrition expert and looking at how dangerous it is to be severely overweight OR underweight. Ultimately, the most important lesson is to look after ourselves and that includes being mindful about what we eat and how active we are.

Out in Best! now…

Here’s a story sure to make you smile! The beautiful family Judy built – her ‘custom made’ family as she describes them! Unable to have children of their own biologically, Judy and Jim set out to adopt. Tom was their first child and they thought he was more than they needed… until they heard about Katie. Both children have Down’s syndrome and both children are excelling and wonderful and keep Jim and Judy on their toes even after all these years. Sounds like family life then…
For information and support about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com

 

 

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.