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All posts tagged heartbreaking story

There’s a worrying trend afoot – children under the age of ten are increasingly being excluded and expelled from their schools. This week, Best Magazine has delved into the rise of expulsions in a reportage piece that lifts the lid on what’s going wrong. We found Toni and Faline, two mums whose lovely sons have experienced this and are no longer welcome at their schools.

School should be somewhere a child should be nurtured and encouraged, not blacklisted. Especially at such a young and pivotal age. Sad times indeed.

Out this week in Best. Thank you Toni and Faline.

Janine is one of the most wonderful people I have ever written about. I just wish that I wasn’t writing about the heartbreaking circumstances Janine finds herself in. We’ve worked together lots now and she is the funniest, warmest, most loveliest woman ever. Her daughters have inherited all those beautiful traits and also have a way with words that puts me to shame – check out the letter they wrote their mum in the attached article.

Janine has secondary incurable cancer. She has a hell of a fight on her hands but fight she does. Meanwhile, she’s also raising awareness of the importance of women (and men) checking their bodies for lumps and bumps regularly – making a boobie date once a month. Check out Janine’s website here.¬†

She’s also frantically raising money for her own treatment plan because the NHS is out of options for her. So if you can spare any pennies, click through to Janine’s site and donate.

Read Janine’s story in this week’s Woman Magazine. And here she is winning Mum Idol in the Sun on Mother’s Day. A most deserving accolade for this SuperMum!

That I get to write about extraordinary women like Memory fills my heart with pride. That extraordinary women like Memory exist, fills my heart with joy. Memory grew up determined to choose for herself when she would marry, despite her culture forcing children as young as ten to marry against their will, often after they’d experienced the horror of a sexual initiation camp, which is every bit as horrific as it sounds. Memory said no. Memory said no for herself and through her tenacity and determination, she said no for generations of women to follow her. She changed the law and she will change the culture.

Out in this week’s Reveal. Check out Plan International UK for more of their campaigns.

ZeldaGrazia (Large)While I’d never be brave or bold enough to lapdance myself, it was incredibly enlightening and interesting to work on this story. Kristine kept a diary throughout her time as a stripper (while studying for a degree at the same time) and her observations flipped between amusing and heartbreaking.

But with mounting debt, more students are turning to strip clubs as a means to get through university. As Kristine explains, it does no favours for your self-esteem but is hard to give up because the money is easy and plentiful.

Out in this week’s Grazia. If you’d like to share your secret way of avoiding debt, please get in touch today.

Thank you!

ANDREWSsteffBella (Large)Oh crumbles, we just love a good love story here at Phoenix towers! This is the beautiful story of star-crossed young lovers, Steff and Ryan, who fell in love at just 13 years old. An accidental pregnancy turned their world upside down – the pair longed to stay together and bring up the baby together, but with Steff being treated like an outcast at school for her baby bump, and Ryan’s parents refusing to let the pair see each other, their love was at a loss. Years ticked by and Steff resigned herself to raising their child alone.

Ryan never stopped loving Steff and after six years, broke the silence, requesting to meet his daughter. It was a huge decision for Steff, but she agreed to meet Ryan and the moment she saw him, she felt like a 13 year old all over again. They’re now living happily ever after. Yay!

Out in this week’s Bella. We love a reunion, so if you have a story of tracking down a long lost love, get in touch today!

brookjaninetab-jpeg-largeI adore this family. Janine radiates positivity, humour, confidence and charm – all things that would disappear from my personality if I was facing what she is – a terminal cancer diagnosis. But her personality shines through her daughters too, who have grown up in the shadow of cancer and who are adorable, brave young girls. The letter Sophia wrote to her mum brings a tear to my eye and was the inspiration for us to do Janine’s story in the form of a letter to her daughters. It certainly packs an emotional punch.

Janine has a message for us all – remember to check your boobs. She runs a facebook page called Boobie Date and hopes her story will remind us all how important it is to check for unusual lumps regularly.

Please visit breastcancercare.org.uk for support.

mavromoustakinatfab-largeFor an insider’s take on what is really happening at the continent’s many refugee camps, read Natalia’s memories from her time volunteering at Idomeni in Greece, on the border of Macedonia. She was there during the period that Macedonia closed their borders, leaving Idomeni to cope with 15,000 refugees. Natalia tells us what the press didn’t at the time – the moments of courage and kindness and compassion.

Her story reminds us all that refugees are our fellow humans, running from danger. They deserve our courage, kindness and compassion – something Natalia has in spades.

She appeared in this week’s Fabulous magazine. If you’d like to share a similar story, please get in touch today.

atkinsongaryfab-largeThis is the incredible story of Gary and his gorgeous son, Thomas. Gary and Thomas’s mother split up when Thomas was a baby, leaving Gary to raise his son alone. Behavioural problems left Gary worrying about Thomas’s future and pressing for a diagnosis, which eventually led to the discovery that Thomas had foetal alcohol syndrome, a preventable condition that arises if the mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. It leaves the child with lifelong problems.

Around the time of the diagnosis, Gary also discovered he wasn’t Thomas’s biological father.

Maybe some men would have walked away at this point. But not Gary. He explains it simply – he was there when Thomas was born. His name is on Thomas’s birth certificate. He’s raised him so far, he loves him – he IS Thomas’s father. Because that’s what it takes. It is a beautiful but heartbreaking story and I am so proud of Gary for sharing.

Further information about foetal alcohol syndrome can be found here.

Gary shared his story in Fabulous Magazine here, but we have more lined up so stay tuned!

Paper ball forming a lightbulb, white background

I don’t know where the time goes… but here we are! Since I last blogged, we’ve gained and lost the New Day, the ‘good news’ newspaper from the people who brought us the Mirror and the People. It was a lovely idea but sadly it would seem investors didn’t give it the space and time it needed to grow a fanbase. After 11 weeks, Britain’s first new newspaper in yonks disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

And while we’re lamenting the demise of a great publication, this month sees us wave goodbye to Prima’s Baby and Pregnancy magazine. A progressive, informative, well designed magazine that sadly could not keep up with the changing face of print journalism. Another one bites the dust! But we’re still here and so are a great many magazines and newspapers. Let’s hope that continues, because here at Phoenix Towers, we love to write and really don’t want to have to get a real job…

NEWDAYThis thought provoking piece was in New Day over the Easter Weekend. New Day, the new newspaper from the people who bring us the Mirror and People, has found a niche in telling inspiring, absorbing stories in a non-judgemental way. What I adore about Shannon is that she turned her life around, her way. Coming from a home devoid of hugs and love, she decided to create the family environment she so lacked and longed for.

Now 23, six children later, Shannon is a wonderful mum. Sometimes when we’re chatting on the phone she talks to her children in the background and she’s so gentle and kind, I love hearing her interact with them. People might be quick to judge a 23 year old mum of six, but read Shannon’s story. It’ll change the way you see the world.

If you would like to share a story about your family, please get in touch today. Thank you.