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All posts tagged womans own magazine

I love these sisters – what a super relationship they share. When Melissa could not conceive, big sis Lisa stepped in to offer up her womb. As surrogate, she was able to give Melissa the greatest gift – beautiful twins. I loved Lisa’s sense of humour too – when strangers stopped her to congratulate her on her bump, she’d say: ‘Thanks, they’re my brother-in-law’s babies’ and ‘They’re not mine,’ which is my kind of humour!

Melissa shared their story in Woman’s Own. We wish you the very best with the twins, Melissa!

DANIELSrachelTAB (Large)Hello everyone! Happy World Down’s syndrome Day – a momentous global celebration uniting every corner of the world. You can read more about the events taking place here. 

Last year I wrote a blog charting all the stories I’d been lucky enough to write in the preceding 12 months, and I did the same the year before… Here I am again! I am so, so proud to have written so many life-affirming stories about extraordinary people in the Down’s syndrome community, who have kindly welcomed me into their fold. Together, we have championed Down’s syndrome and illustrated over and over again that Down’s syndrome is no impediment to a fulfilling, happy and rewarding life, that society need not fear Down’s syndrome, that we are, in fact, lucky to know these talented, charming, confident, gorgeous individuals.

NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) continues to gather pace and what I’d like to be writing about this time next year, is that the NHS retrained all medical professionals in the reality of Down’s syndrome, so that the inevitable increase in prenatal diagnoses is accompanied by a fresh and realistic portrayal of what life might have in store. To screen out Down’s syndrome would be to create a society lacking diversity and says more about society than it does about Down’s syndrome.

To the Down’s syndrome community I say I love you and I say thank you. Thank you for continuing to let me write about and celebrate you. Here’s this year’s collective of our stories: Read more

defiedoddswo-largeTwo children who’ve grown into amazing young adults, celebrated in this week’s Woman’s Own. Firstly we have Zoe, who was born extremely premature. Doctors warned her mum, Caroline, Zoe wouldn’t make it. But she fought on… and slowly she grew. Now, she’s a public speaker, she’s running marathons and being an all-round amazing woman.

And we have the dashing young photographer Oliver, who was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome shortly after birth. Needing operations on his heart left his mum, Wendy, terrified, but Oliver showed a fighting spirit even back then. Determined to encourage her son to be whoever he wanted to be, Wendy is Oliver’s number one fan and he has rather a lot of them! Check out his website oliverhellowell.com to see examples of Oliver’s stunning photography.

If you’re children are little miracles, I’d love to hear about them. Please get in touch today! Pick up a copy of this week’s Woman’s Own to read about Zoe and Oliver.

So proud of this family – a raw and honest account of what happens when a father struggles with depression after the birth of his children. Paternal postnatal depression is rarely talked about. Men are supposed to be big tough guys aren’t they? Therein lies the problem – men feel like they can’t talk about their feelings, further exacerbating the loneliness and isolation. Matt and Lesley have opened up about their experiences in the hopes of encouraging other men to talk. Because talking is half the solution…

If you’re in need of help and support with any of the issues raised in this feature, please do visit nct.org.uk for more information.

To share your own experiences with us, please get in touch today. Lesley’s story is in this week’s Woman’s Own.

This week we had a look at whether offering your teenagers financial incentives for their studying was beneficial. I love a good debate – in Woman’s Own the lovely Joanna took the blue corner, explaining that she supports her children with hugs and encouragement but does not think bribes do anything other than put the child under more stress.
And in the red corner, we have Deborah, who was happy to stand on her soapbox explaining that she sees no problem with giving a reward to her children for studying hard. In the real grown up world, we’re all paid for our hard work, so is it any different? That’s the big question! Both sides argued their points eloquently and I’m sure there’s no right or wrong – every child is different.

Look out for the story in this week’s Woman’s Own and get in touch if you’d like to debate the issues hitting the headlines.

LYNCHkayleighWO (Medium)There is something about the way we’ve written Kayleigh’s story in the style of an open letter to her beautiful daughters that really knocks me for six. I cry every time I read this story! Kayleigh is an incredible mum, so generous, so thoughtful, so kind. Sadly, she is battling cancer and has been told there’s only a few options left. But Kayleigh keeps fighting, for two reasons: her two gorgeous daughters.

Kayleigh is using her fee for the story to take the kids on an adventure. Money very well spent, I say. Kayleigh – we love you! If you’d like to donate to Kayleigh’s experiences, please get in touch with me and I’ll organise.

PhotoChangedLife (Medium)Today’s story, out in Woman’s Own this week, tells the tale of three women who’s lives were changed in one moment. One pivotal moment that took them down an unexpected journey. One pivotal moment that we were lucky enough to have a photograph of! For Nicky, it was the photo of a malnourished, abused dog that needed rescuing. For Janey, it was a profile picture of a handsome man she knew instantly that she was destined to marry. And for Sarah, it was a photo of her two sons bonded that made her realise how lucky she was to have Pip in her life, and sparked off a passion for photography that still sparkles to this day.

I found writing all three stories fascinating and inspiring and I’m so thrilled to get to write about women like these – courageous, bold, wonderful women.

You can catch this story in Woman’s Own all week, and read more below. If you’d like to share the story of the moment your life changed forever, please get in touch today.
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iStock_000018228934XSmallAs always at Phoenix Towers, it’s been busy. While the August sun flirts with the clouds, we’ve been focusing on Christmas and all things festive. We’ve been writing stories about people who stuck to their new year resolutions, people who’ve come a long way since last Christmas, and people who gave birth to twins and triplets on Christmas Day. It’s a funny old thing, writing about Christmas in August, but by December, we’ll be looking at Mother’s Day, and so the world continues to spin!

On a non-Christmas front, we’ve seen our beautiful story of Karen and her younger-fella unite to look after their baby daughter, for Prima Baby. We’ve seen our examination of what happens when one half of a couple is a gymophobic and the other is a gymaholic, as seen in Fabulous, and mum Helen’s story of how her son was lost in a world of autism, in Woman’s Own. The people we write about continue to inspire and amaze us.

If you have a story about Christmas that you’d like to sell, it’s not too late! Please get in touch today.

THOMASlindyWO (Small)Two fantastic stories out this week – both in Woman’s Own! Firstly we have the real life Rapunzel Keeley, who grew her hair super long twice, so she could cut it off to help other children. And secondly, the inspirational stories of Sadie, Jojo and Heather, three women who left behind the rat race for a new life in far away lands.

Pick up a copy of this week’s Woman’s Own to see our stars shining.

If you have a story you’d like to sell, of how you escaped the rat race to do something unusual with your life, or perhaps your daughter, like Keeley, went above and beyond to help others, then we’d like to hear from you. RatRace (Small)

WOdrinkers (Small)This story was published in the New Year and I’m only just getting it up on the site, despite being very proud of it. As a seasoned non-drinker myself these days, I loved celebrating these women, all of whom quit drinking only to see their lives blossom.

The average Brit spends A YEAR of their life hungover, when you add up every headache and fry-up. Pretty crazy, huh! But there is a growing trend for leaving binge drinking in the past and instead embracing more fulfilling and meaningful ambitions and pastimes. Katie stopped binge drinking, and therefore late night pizza marathons, and lost 9st. Heloise switched the late night parties for rock climbing, knitting and walks on the beach. And Karen decided to ensure she never missed another day’s work thanks to a hangover. After she quit the booze, she got a promotion and her career has been thriving ever since.

A little inspiration for all the party animals out there – drinking is fun, but not drinking is even better!

The story appeared in Woman’s Own. If you have a story about how and why you gave up drinking, please get in touch with me today. Thank you.