Bullied into Aborting my Down’s Syndrome Baby – ITV’s THIS MORNING

Marie Ideson appears in ITV’s THIS MORNING today discussing the pressures she faced while pregnant with a Down’s Syndrome baby…

ITV This Morning

Marie initially came to us after feeling she had been bullied into aborting her Down’s Syndrome baby. She was desperate to get her story out in the open to enlighten others who may have found themselves in the same situation.

We placed marie’s story in THE DAILY MAIL and today she has appeared on ITV’s THIS MORNING.

Marie says, “Alison gained me the sort of publicity I never imagined would be possible. I can’t thank her enough for getting my story out there.”

Click to read more about Marie’s emotional story.

Have you been pressured into having an abortion? If you have, get in touch via our contact form.


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I had a sex change at the age of 69 – Donna’s exclusive story

Pensioner Donna Smith came to Sell my Story website Featureworld to tell her amazing story and it appears in THE SUNDAY MIRROR and DAILY MAIL newspapers. Oldest person to have a sex change

As she queues at the post office, Donna, looks like any other pensioner…
And the 74 year old loves nothing more than a cup of tea and a natter with other ladies in the town where she lives.
So some of them might be shocked to know that until four and a half years ago she was a he…
Today Donna, who used to be Donald, reveals at the age of 69 and a retired chef, she underwent a sex change op.
Now Donna – who lives alone and as a woman is still a virgin – is hoping for love and preferably with a toyboy in her later years.
She says: “I’d love to meet a man who can be a wonderful companion in my later years. At last I am the woman I’ve always wanted to be – now all that’s missing is a lovely man in my life.”
From an early age Donna knew she was different from other boys. She never married or had children and sex with women was a huge let down as it always felt wrong. For the past 30 years she has dressed on and off as a woman. She has also taken female hormones, which allowed her to grow her own 44 DD breasts – but experienced much prejudice and upset.
However, aged 69 she finally plucked up the courage to become a real woman and at Charing Cross hospital underwent an NHS op to remove her male genitalia. She says: “The relief was amazing but I’d been taking female hormones for so many years my body was already incredibly feminine. So it was I know some people might wonder why I bothered at such a late age but I felt I’d rather live the rest of my life as a woman than a man – and ultimately knowing I will now die as a proper woman has come as a huge relief.”

Donna said today: “I am absolutely thrilled with my story today. I have gone through so much in my life and I just hope that telling my story like this will make people understand how hard it is for someone like me. If telling my story helps another person like me then I will be happy.”

You might also like: I had a sex change to look like Katie Price.

Do you have an incredible story you want to sell to the press? If you have changed your sex then let me know here: My sex change.


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I share my 7-year-old daughter’s wardrobe, says anorexic mum…

Real-life story of anorexia appears in CLOSER, THE DAILY MAIL, DAILY MIRROR, THE SUN and DAILY STAR.

Closer magazine - real life stories

Closer magazine

Rebecca Jones contacted me via my website Featureworld with her quirky story about how because she is anorexic she shares her seven-year-old daughter Maisy’s clothes.

When Maisy asks for a cake, her mum Rebecca doesn’t refuse. As an anorexic, Rebecca worries if she denies her daughter any food at all, she too might develop the eating disorder. This means she worries Maisy is now slightly overweight – but Rebecca would rather have her daughter that way than as she is.

And Rebecca knows only too well how dangerous anorexia can be. Just nine months ago she had to be rushed into hospital – she had starved herself so much her heart was affected. A lack of nutrients had made her heart beat terrifyingly fast. It left her with a damaged heart – and she knows she must eat better if she is to avoid this happening again. Next time, and already with a damaged heart, it could be fatal.

However, Rebecca – whose 5ft 1″ height, dress size 4 and weight of just five stones (this has earned her the nickname ‘Pixie’) finds it impossible to eat properly. She is still anorexic – she consumes a strict 900 calories a day to maintain her body as tiny as it is and ensures she does not exceed 4 grams of fat. Her diet is also liquid because she has difficulty digesting solid food.

Rebecca, 27, who ironically works as a medical secretary, became anorexic in her early teens after she tried to diet. By the time she was 17 she was seriously ill – but managed to maintain from the outside an ordinary life. She went to university and met a man. Because her periods stopped at the age of 17 and she hadn’t had any for years, she didn’t realise she could get pregnant. In fact it was only when one day lying in bed she felt something move in her stomach that she realised she could be pregnant – she rushed to the doctors to find by then she was 7 months. However, as she was anorexic throughout her pregnancy she was still wearing a size six dress.

Fortunately baby Maisy was healthy but when her daughter was small, Rebecca’s relationship with her partner broke up and she is now a single mum.

She is desperate that Maisy doesn’t follow in her footsteps. Maisy asks her mummy why she doesn’t eat and she explains that mummy isn’t well. But she realises that her worries about Maisy following in her footsteps is also a problem. She lets Maisy eat whatever she wants – so chocolate and cup cake treats – aren’t forbidden.

Rebecca is currently on the local NHS waiting list for psychiatric help for her anorexia. She is desperate to get better as she knows another situation such as ending up again in hospital could be fatal. That is her deepest fear – that her anorexia could get the better of her and leave Maisy motherless.

As well as a deal with Closer magazine, with Rebecca’s consent her story was also placed in further deals with a number of national newspapers.

Do you have a story you would like to see in multiple deals – maybe even sold worldwide? For specialist help in selling your story contact me here: Sell My Story


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Aborting my Down’s Syndrome baby ruined my life – Daily Mail

Marie Ideson tells her emotional story in the FEMAIL section of the DAILY MAIL newspaper today. Femail

Sometimes – especially if you have already tried every avenue – the only way to bring closure to a terrible experience is to go to the press. This was the situation Marie Ideson found herself in. Six years ago Marie was told she was having a Down’s Syndrome baby. And believing at the time it was for the best – and with what she now describes as terrible pressure from medical staff not to go ahead with the pregnancy – she opted for a termination.

As soon as she took the first pill towards having her abortion, she regretted what she was doing. And three days later when she returned to the hospital to finish the termination, she was devastated.

Ever since then, Marie has bitterly regretted going through the termination and simply couldn’t get it out of her mind. Unfortunately, it caused a huge rift with her husband. While she knew he too had been devastated by what had happened, she couldn’t help but blame him for letting her go ahead with it. She says she was so shocked and hospital staff railroaded her into having an abortion that he should have realised and stepped in.

Sadly this issue kept on raising itself and their once happy marriage was destroyed by rows. The couple even had another baby – this time a healthy baby boy – and both of them hoped he would help mend their relationship. But it wasn’t to be. Sell story to the Daily Mail

Marie tried to take legal action against the NHS hospital that did the termination. When she had her amnio – a test to see if her baby had Down’s Syndrome – she believed it was to prepare her for having a child with Down’s Syndrome. She thought if the test were positive it would help give her time to prepare and help medical staff also prepare for any treatment her baby might need.

She did not expect, she says, to be told by the consultant and a nurse that she should have a termination because her child could otherwise be a ‘burden’ on society. In fact Marie and her husband spent thousands of pounds on legal fees – it wasn’t about the money but Marie wanted the medical staff to examine their procedures. She felt she’d been rushed into having a termination and didn’t want the same thing to happen to another mum.

But legal action proved too expensive and eventually due to the strain Marie and her husband broke up. Since then Marie has simply not been able to come to terms with what happened. And this is why she came via my sell my story website Featureworld to get her story out there.

She says: “Doing this feature has helped bring closure and I am really thankful to Alison and The Daily Mail for enabling me to have my say. Whether people agree doesn’t matter – I wanted to open up a public debate about whether pregnant women are railroaded by medical staff into having a termination. No-one once said to me, well you could always keep your baby. So It was simply a question of getting this experience into the public eye. If it helps one woman facing what I did to consider all the consequences, then it will be worthwhile.”

You might also like: Only 18 but my baby has Down’s Syndrome

OR: My Abortion failed but my baby melted my heart

Do you have an issue you want to get out into the open? Find out if press coverage could help you. Contact me at Featureworld here: My Story


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The day Featureworld changed our lives and that of many others…


When in March this year I placed Natalie Balmond’s story in the DAILY MAIL newspaper about how she cooked up an eczema cream cure for her daughter Lula in her kitchen, I did warn Natalie she could be inundated with orders.

Pure Potions

Natalie and Lula cook up the eczema cream cure

But even I did not foresee just how her story would take off. Within a day of the story appearing in the national newspaper, she was swamped with requests. And the latest news from Pure Potions is that incredibly this one article attracted two years’ worth of business within three weeks. And the company went from a two-person team to a 30-person workforce. Turnover has gone from £80K to £450K – and is still growing – as orders still flood in for Natalie’s cream from all over the world… Added to this the company has since won several awards, the most recent of which are the East Sussex Women in Business Awards, one for Innovation of the Year and one for Overall Business of the Year. Natalie has also been nominated Woman of the Year 2011.

A spokesperson for Pure Potions told me this week: “As you can see since your article in the Daily Mail things have seriously taken off. That article literally changed our lives and that of many thousands of others who before that feature didn’t know this cream existed. Thank you so much for making this happen for us, it has literally changed the face of our business.”

Following the article in the Daily Mail, I arranged for Natalie and Lula to go on ITV’s Daybreak with Dr Hillary Jones and they have since had a steady stream of publicity.

Read more about their journey here and to go to the Pure Potions website, click on the kitchen photo above!

Are you a business person who is finding it hard to gain publicity? Do you have a fledgling idea to publicise? You don’t need to go to Dragon’s Den! Simply email me your story here: Sell My Story!


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How a stiff neck was something much more serious…


Laurel Padbury’s real life health story appeared in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

Good Health Daily Mail

Laurel with husband, Tim

Retired banker Laurel wanted to raise awareness for the often misdiagnosed condition Temporal Arteritis. Also known as Giant Cell Arteritis, the symptoms of stiff neck, headache and painful jaw are often put down to other illnesses such as an infection.
But in fact, particularly in women over the age of 50, they can be a sign of this condition. And worryingly, if it isn’t diagnosed swiftly it can lead to blindness.
Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta, a rheumatologist at Southend Hospital and a leading expert, is currently running an awareness campaign for GPs.

Daily Mail, Good Health story

Laurel's story was explained in this Good Health article

He wants doctors to check patients for symptoms such as jaw pain and blurry vision. If Temporal Arteritis is suspected a simple blood test can confirm the diagnosis and steroids can swiftly prevent the condition spreading to the eyes.

Laurel believes she has been extremely lucky that she did not go blind. Aged 63, she has always been a fit person who eats healthily and loves a game of tennis or golf. So when she began suffering from aches and pains, she simply put it down to overdoing it a little. She thought so little of her symptoms that she and husband Tim even flew to Plettenberg Bay, a seaside resort in South Africa where they have an apartment. Despite getting worse while they were there – she could barely get out of bed in the morning – she simply visited a chiropractor and a physiotherapist. It was only when she got home and googled her symptoms she realised they could be a sign of something more serious that she went to her GP. And thankfully he put her on steroids straightaway. Laurel is now much better and says every day she opens her eyes and sees the ceiling she feels grateful for her sight. Her consultant had warned she could have gone blind at any time.
My thanks to Prof Dasgupta and Pat Stone at Southend Hospital for all their help as I researched this article. To find out more: Giant Cell Arteritis.

Do you have a story for Good Health on the Daily Mail? If so, contact me here: My Health Story.


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Twin saves her little sister’s life in the womb…


Inspiring story of how Nico saved her twin sister’s life in the womb – makes page 3 of the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

Sell story to the Daily Mail

Parents Andrea and Paul were delighted with this story in the Daily Mail


Mum Andrea was thrilled when she opened the Daily Mail newspaper today and saw this gorgeous photo of her baby twins Nico and Kiki on page three. It was taken by top Daily Mail photographer Murray Sanders to go with my story about how Nico saved Kiki’s life before they were even born.
When Andrea was 20 weeks pregnant at her routine scan, doctors gave her and husband Paul some devastating news. There appeared to be a problem with Kiki’s heart, the placenta wasn’t functioning properly and the waters were leaking. All doctors could do was prepare Paul and Andrea for an imminent miscarriage.
But then incredibly baby Nico moved into a position underneath Kiki and caused a plug, stopping her from miscarrying and sealing off any infection.
Amazingly she stayed in this unusual position for ten weeks – which made all the difference. It meant that Andrea managed to get to 30 weeks when the babies were delivered healthily.
Both little girls are now aged seven months and a bundle of mischief for their doting parents, who also have a son Luca, 4 and another daughter, India, 3. They are also particularly close. As Andrea says, it isn’t only because they shared a womb but because Nico saved Kiki’s life – in fact she and Paul think of Nico as a little guardian angel.
Adds Andrea: “The story couldn’t have been better than it was in the Daily Mail. Paul and I were both delighted with the write up and the photos of the girls was gorgeous. Even Paul and I didn’t mind our photo!”
At the same time, a credit was given the charity Sparks – a charity dedicated to championing pioneering research into conditions affecting mums to be, babies and children – which Andrea will be running in the London Marathon 2012 for.
I have now placed this uplifting story with a top women’s magazine.

Do you have a wonderful story to share? Maybe, like Andrea, you want to raise awareness for charity. If so contact me here: Tell story for charity


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Vaseline lip salve confiscated over health and safety…


Joanne Wilkins’ story about how her daughter’s tin of Vaseline was confiscated at school over health and safety fears appeared in the DAILY MAILnewspaper at the weekend.

Sell your story to the Daily Mail

This story gained hundreds of comments at MailOnline...

Not everyone who comes to Featureworld  is looking to ‘sell’ their story to the press. Some people simply want to highlight an issue they believe to be terribly unfair.

Joanne Wilkins is a very good example of this. She is mum to Ellie-Maye and was incensed when her daughter took a tiny tin of Vaseline into school to moisturise her lips – only to have it confiscated as it was not prescribed by a doctor.

Joanne felt the reaction by the school over the tin of Vaseline was over the top – especially as she says it was confiscated from Ellie-Maye in front of school friends. She  was further angered when the school’s Head suggested one solution was for Joanne to ‘medicate’ her daughter at home or come into school herself to apply the cream.

It transpired the policy at the school was that any ointment or cream to be self-administered by pupils must be prescribed by a physician. This meant if Joanne wanted Ellie-Maye to use the cream, which costs under £1 to buy and is available from supermarkets as well as chemists, she had to get a private prescription from her GP at a cost of £15. This policy was backed up by the local county council, which put out a statement saying the same thing.

The story caused a huge number of MailOnline readers to leave comments. The vast majority did feel the school’s approach was over the top for such a harmless lip ointment, which anyone is able to buy. However, some parents of pupils at the school also left comments praising the school and the Head.

Whatever your views, Joanne said: “I was just pleased to get this issue out in the open.” Joanne later went on her local TV news programme to discuss the issue further.

Do you have a health and safety ‘issue’ story to sell? If so contact me here: Sell My Story


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The new North Versus South …

Article in the DAILY MAIL newspaper yesterday.

Daily Mail feature

This article attracted over 500 comments on Mailonline...

When the Femail section of the Daily Mail asked me to research the issue that living in the South might be more expensive than living in the North of the UK, I thought it would be fascinating.
Both families I spoke to for this feature earn £50,000 a year. This is the income research shows most Britons think spells affluence. But it seems how affluent you feel depends very much on where you live in the UK.
For example, my family in the South are struggling. With house prices so much more than in the North, some 40 per cent of their income goes on servicing the mortgage. Meanwhile, my family in the north spent just ten per cent of their income on their mortgage, which left them much more money left over for luxuries.
What was also interesting, however, was both families are happy about where they live and for various reasons, neither family wants to move.
Incredibly, over 500 people joined in the debate at the Daily Mail website to discuss whether or not it is true that living in the South is so much more expensive.
I was delighted that the article gained so much interest and debate!

Would you like the chance to appear in an article in a newspaper or magazine? If so why not join my featureworld casting directory? You can join the directory – and choose which features you would like to be in here: Casting Directory

Or sell your story to a newspaper here: Newspaper stories


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Sisters’ surrogacy story in the Daily Mail…

Selfless generosity of my younger sister gave me a baby – real-life story in the DAILY MAIL newspaper yesterday.

Sell News story to the Daily Mail.

Sell your story to a newspaper.


Proving that stories in national newspapers do not have to be nasty or sensationalist to be printed, this delightful story appeared in the news section of the Daily Mail yesterday.
When Cheryl was 17 she discovered she’d been born without a womb. The news was absolutely devastating and she believed she might not ever meet a man who wanted her, let alone have a baby.
Fortunately when she met Jason, he loved her anyway. But although the couple tried very hard to make a life without children, she couldn’t put her dreams of being a mum on hold for ever and began looking into surrogacy.
It was then that younger sister Lyndsay Wootton offered to carry Cheryl’s baby for her.
As Cheryl still has ovaries, she and Jason underwent IVF and her eggs were fertilised with Jason’s sperm – but the resulting embryo was put back into Lyndsay’s uterus.
Lyndsay then gave birth to Cheryl and Jason’s son Elliot. Lyndsay tells me it was the ‘easiest decision I have ever made’ and needless to say her generosity has given her sister and brother-in-law a wonderful gift. In fact, Cheryl says she can never thank Lyndsay enough.
Regular sellyourstoryuk blog readers might recall a version of this story has already appeared via Featureworld in the Sunday People newspaper but as is common when interviewees come to me to sell a story, I always endeavour to gain them multiple deals. So you might not be surprised to know that this wonderful story will be appearing in Take a Break magazine on Thursday and a baby magazine has also offered to print Cheryl’s story.

Do you have a heart-warming, emotional story about something special that has happened to you and your family? If you feel your story would make a lovely read and are looking to maximise coverage, do email me some details here: Sell My Story.