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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

Always extra specially proud of my stories for and about the Down’s syndrome community – here’s this week’s piece in Woman’s Own magazine celebrating Sophie and Joe, two brilliant kids who have brought sunshine and sparkle to their family and friends – and who happen to have Down’s syndrome. Their mums, Cassy and Vikki, were interviewed about the looming sense that science is attempting to eradicate future cases of Down’s syndrome – and what a sad world that would be.

Every time I write about Down’s syndrome, I hope that we help undo the tide of misinformation that has swept society for decades. Out now in Woman’s Own.

 

I had over 200 people get in touch wanting to be a part of this report – which goes to show what a mess we’re in! Too many kids are being passed around the system yet overlooked, while their parents are being made to feel like they are the problem.

This report, which I worked on for Scope, the disability charity, is in Take a Break this week. It is a very interesting, and sad, read. If you are affected by the details in this report please do visit the Scope website – they are a wonderful charity.

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.

Always brings a proud smile to my face to write about the Down’s syndrome community. This piece for the Sun was one we organised back in March so it’s great to finally see it in print, just in time for World Down’s syndrome Awareness Month. Four mums tell readers why their children deserve to be celebrated for bringing sunshine into their families.

In the age of NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) the Down’s syndrome community fear that terminations will increase and the community will begin to shrink. What a sad world that would be. Let’s hope that alongside the new testing technique, we’ll see an improvement in the ‘bedside manner’ of medical professionals, who need to offer a realistic portrayal of what life with the condition actually looks like, in today’s world, not the 1970s.

For advice and support, Future of Downs is an excellent website. And you can read the Sun story in full 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.

So proud to write about incredible people like Kim – after contracting sepsis all four limbs were amputated but Kim has not once lost her wonderful spirit, courage and strength. Yesterday the Sunday People covered her latest milestone – a 3D printed bionic Hero Arm.

As you can see from the picture, this means that Kim can now fist-bump grandson Oliver, as well as brush her own hair and hold her own cutlery – little every day tasks we all take for granted.

Kim desperately needs donations so that she can afford another arm for her left side. If you can donate, please do, every penny counts! Click here for her campaign. 

You can read the story in full here. 

I am in awe of the commitment and sacrifice Mary and Steve have made in the name of the dogs they love so much. They’ve spent 300k of their own savings setting up and running Street Dog Watch Association, taken nearly 100 dogs into their own home and saved, nursed and rehabilitated countless more. Plus, they’re working hard to reduce the street dog population in Kerala, India, in a compassionate and sensible way.

As an animal lover myself, I absolutely love writing about people like Mary. She’s run out of her own money now and desperately needs support, so if you love dogs and would like to help Mary’s mission, visit her website here or on Facebook here

The story was out in last weekend’s Love Sunday – you can read it online here.