Dawn Jones, mum of Malissa – who was once Britain’s fattest teen and is now anorexic – this week speaks to CLOSER MAGAZINE and the DAILY STAR newspaper…
Malissa Jones last hit the headlines worldwide in May when I revealed the young woman, who once weighed 34 stones and was dubbed Britain’s fattest teen – was anorexic.
I have been following Malissa’s story since she approached me via my website Featureworld in 2008. Then she was one of the youngest people in the UK to undergo a gastric bypass and as a consequence she had lost over 11 stones. We celebrated her weight loss and her new life – she had a job and could at last buy clothes from High St shops – by putting her story in a national Sunday newspaper.
However, Malissa’s weightloss didn’t stop and she was distraught to be left with terrible folds of saggy skin, which she couldn’t get NHS funding for to remove. At the same time, she met boyfriend Chris but when she got pregnant with her longed for baby, it died shortly after birth.
Malissa blamed her bypass for losing her baby and also for the fact she felt increasingly unwell. Since May she has been battling anorexia and today she is still unwell with doctors offering to feed her via a tube in hospital.
And now the family face new fears as Malissa’s mum Dawn, speaks out over fears for son Aran, Malissa’s 12 year old brother. Until about three years ago Aran was tall for his age but otherwise and Ok weight. But then he developed an insatiable appetite. Today he is clinically obese and bursting out of the largest size school uniform.
He has driven Dawn to despair with his eating habits – which like Malissa involve scoffing food in the middle of the night. Dawn is now petrified Aran is going the same way as Malissa. That said, having seen how unwell Malissa has been and how ill she still is, she would ever agree to Aran having a bypass or other gastric surgery.
Dawn, who has had a gastric bypass herself, also feels the eating problems in the family have not been investigated properly and that the family hasn’t had enough support from doctors.
I will be continuing to keep in touch with Malissa and her family to see what happens.
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Do you have a weight loss story to sell. I have lost count of the times I have sold Malissa’s story – if you would like the same worldwide coverage click here: My amazing weight story.
When Catherine Kurn went out on her hen night, she had no idea she was to meet her soulmate. The journalist had been dating fiance Keith for years and she was looking forward to getting married the following week.
But then on the nightclub dance floor she bumped into Kristian and there was an immediate attraction between the two of them. They chatted and Catherine even went back to Kristian’s nearby flat for a coffee – but although nothing happened, she couldn’t get him out of her mind.
The next day she woke up thinking of Kristian but despite this, she went ahead with her wedding. After all, how could she cancel marrying a man she’d been with for years for someone she’d only just met for a few hours one night?
However, even on honeymoon in Barbados she still couldn’t stop thinking about Kristian and when she came home the reality of married life with Keith didn’t live up to her expectations. The pair often found themselves bickering.
It was after one row that Catherine decided to ring Kristian. She left a message asking if he wanted to meet her the next day in a nearby cafe. She didn’t honestly think Kristian would turn up – but she was wrong. And when she saw him, once again her heart melted. It was to be the beginning of an extraordinary relationship that lasted the next five years. For a long time the pair just emailed – Catherine wanted to make a proper go of her marriage. And occasionally they would bump into one another at a nightclub – then they’d always realise how strong he attraction was between them but because Catherine was married, never did anything.
Yet when Kristian eventually met someone else, it was like a knife going through Catherine and the pair hardly met. By now she and Keith had separated.
But true love did win through in the end. Kristian also found he could not get over his attraction to Catherine. It was simply too strong to deny and in the end he finished his relationship with his girlfriend. Finally he and Catherine could get together properly.
In April 2009 they married – but both of them often find themselves recounting the somewhat bizarre way they met – on Catherine’s hen night…
Did you meet your partner in an amazing way? Did love simmer beneath the surface for the two of you for years until you finally got together? Wonderful love stories are always particularly sought after for women’s magazine and national newspapers. See if your story is one I could sell for you by dropping me an email here.
Britain’s tallest woman Jessica Pardoe appears in THE DAILY STAR newspaper.Featureworld interviewee Jessica Pardoe appeared in another stunning double page photoshoot at the weekend. The leggy teen is fast making a name for herself in the world of modelling. And there has also been an amazing development as when at her fashion shoot Jessica was measured, it was found she has grown another inch. So she is now 6ft 10″.
According to the Guinness Book of Records there is no woman taller in the UK and it appears as if Jessica will now get a mention as a confirmed record breaker. According to the Guinness Book of Records she might also be the tallest teen girl in the world…
Unsurprisingly it now also seems as if she has the longest women’s legs in the UK as well. In fact in the world there is only one woman with longer legs – and they are just under a centimetre longer. So it is possible Jessica – who still appears to be growing – could end up a record breaker.
Jessica, from Wrexham, is also thrilled to have been asked to play for the Welsh National netball team as a goal shooter.
Of her Daily Star shoot Jessica says: “The paper gave me a fantastic day. They were absolutely wonderful to work with and I was delighted with the pictures. Another bonus was I got to keep all the clothes.”
The Daily Star also took an amazing behind the scenes video of Jessica’s photoshoot, which you can see here: Jessica Pardoe’s Daily Star babe photoshoot.
JESSICA IS AVAILABLE FOR MODELLING – Contact Alison
Are you a record-breaker? Do you have an amazing story to share with the world? Contact me to see how much your true story could be worth: Selling a story enquiry
Featureworld gained a double deal this week for one couple with a double page in the DAILY MIRROR newspaper and BELLA magazine.
Steve Shelton emailed me through the Sell My Story contact form because he wanted to raise the issue of gambling by telling his real-life story.
From the age of 19, Steve had enjoyed a flutter on the horses, the football and later roulette. Throughout his twenties he’d had a few times when he’d let his gambling get the better of him. But when he met Michelle he believed he had his gambling habit under control. And in fact, although she knew he did gamble, she believed it was just a few pounds while out with his mates at the weekend.
In fact, it was more than that – something for a long time Steve, who worked in recruitment, even denied to himself. Although Steve made little bets, just a few pounds at a time, they really added up and it wasn’t very long before Michelle began to notice they were overdrawn and also money went missing in the house. Despite this Michelle believed Steve when he said he wouldn’t gamble. The couple married and have two adorable children. Life should have been perfect. But unbeknown to Michelle Steve was continuing to gamble and finding other ways to raise the cash. He raided the children’s money boxes and cancelled their insurance policies.
The crunch came when he was made redundant. The children were small but Michelle went back to work and as their mortgage was covered by loss of job insurance, at least she was reassured that would be paid for a year.
But when a pipe burst in their home, she found out Steve had not only cancelled the insurance policy but had also gambled payments meant for the mortgage.
Shockingly he’d also run up £50K in debt and they were made bankrupt, losing their home. Michelle tried to forgive Steve – who said he would get counselling – but when she discovered he’d been gambling again, she decided to leave. She has now filed for divorce.
Steve and I discussed telling his story with Michelle – it felt only right that the whole family should be involved. Both Michelle and Steve told their stories in diaries in the Daily Mirror while for the women’s magazine, the story was told from Michelle’s point of view.
Steve, who is now in counselling with Gamblers Anonymous and who has stopped gambling, said: “I wanted to raise the whole issue of gambling – I only hope my story will help others seek help before it’s too late.”
Michelle said: “As soon as I got the paper and magazine I could see it was written exactly as it had been read back to me. Doing this has brought closure to what was a terrible time.”
Meanwhile, Gamcare, a charity that helps families affected by gambling, has contacted me to say they were pleased to see this issue raised. They add anyone can contact them in complete confidence. Contact Gamcare here: Gamcare help.
If you have an issue you would like to see raised in a newspaper and magazine, please contact me directly for a confidential chat: My Story
Two Featureworld interviewees, whose stories were both sold to national newspapers, this week also appeared in magazines!
Laura Hymas’s emotional real life story about how she is living with a brain tumour was previously printed in the Daily Mirror newspaper. Until last Christmas, Laura felt she was the luckiest woman alive. With a wonderful partner, Ben and an adorable son, Jacob, she couldn’t have asked for more. But then, after suffering from strange symptoms such as being clumsy and tired, she received some devastating news – she has a brain tumour.
Doctors in the UK say they can’t do anymore for Laura so Ben launched the Hope For Laura Fund to raise enough money to have potentially life saving treatment in the US.
Laura is currently in the US receiving treatment and we are all hoping it is successful. For the latest updates follow Laura on Twitter.
Meanwhile, I have arranged for Laura’s story to appear in another bestselling women’s mag. Watch this space!
WOMAN’S OWN MAGAZINE
And yet another Featureworld interviewee stars in another magazine this week!
Interestingly Amanda’s story also appeared in a newspaper and a magazine when her sister Sam offered to be a surrogate and had baby Esme for her. Then Amanda had spent £30,000 and on IVF that hadn’t worked.
But when against all the odds Amanda recently gave birth herself to baby Thea she wanted to tell her story again. And as this was a new update, I was able to place it. And Esme really is a little miracle. When the clinic wrote to Amanda asking what to do with embryos left over from before, she and husband Darren decided to have one last go at IVF. That was paid for by sister Ellen – and incredibly it worked.
Amanda now has lots of beautiful newspaper and magazine cuttings to show both her daughters when they are older.
Amanda says: “We are all thrilled with the story in Woman’s Own. Thank you very much!”
Do you want to sell your story to a magazine? Contact me here: Sell my story to a magazine.
Thanks to Featureworld, a great many people have now heard or read about Malissa’s story. She was the girl who was once dubbed Britain’s Fattest Teen and is now anorexic.
In this follow-up story Malissa talks about how it felt to see herself in worldwide press coverage. She also talks about how bypass surgery meant getting pregnant was fraught with difficulty. Regular sellyourstoryuk readers will know tragically Malissa lost her baby after he was born prematurely.
Sadly Malissa’s condition hasn’t yet improved and in fact only this week she was admitted to hospital again. Fortunately, she should soon be released and we all hope she makes a recovery.
Meanwhile, I am still in contact with Malissa, boyfriend Chris and the rest of her family. Incredibly, her story continues to be sold around the world and even this week enquiries are still coming in.
If you have a story you would like to gain worldwide publicity for, please contact me here for a free consultation: Selling my story