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All posts tagged womans own magazine

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 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!

 

Well this story has me cutting onions, that I can tell you. The beautiful, poignant story of little Kaiden, whose heart is sadly broken. There is so much love in the Welch family and Kaiden is wise beyond his years. His mum, Kyra, shares his story in Woman’s Own this week and it’s a heartbreaking read. He’s an absolute champ and we love him!

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day! Time for my annual love fest – click below to see a collection of the incredible families I’ve written about in the last year. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to use my pen (alright, keyboard) to celebrate so many inspiring young people. These are the game-changers, the rule-breakers, the cliche-defiers – while there’s never been more urgency to highlight what Down’s syndrome actually is (and not what medical professionals would STILL have us fear it is) these little legends are going about their legendaryness with aplomb. Just by being who they are, the ripple effect across society says We. Are. Awesome. So while NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing) looms into view, the Down’s syndrome community are here to say #wouldntchangeathing.

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.

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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.