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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For 28 days Sophie’s parents thought she would die – photo diary of her survival..

Sophie Crewe’s real life story and photo diary of her fight to live is printed in a double page in the DAILY MIRROR newspaper today.

Sophie, 14, almost died after a sudden heart attack...

As every parent knows, there is no greater worry than when your child falls ill. And for Sophie’s parents her illness came out of the blue when their previously healthy daughter collapsed with a heart attack. Only a few days earlier, Sophie, 14, had celebrated her birthday with her twin sister. But within hours her life hung in the balance as her heart was ravaged by such a rare condition – Takayasu arteritis – that even her doctors were consulting their medical books.
The terrible upshot soon became clear – Sophie needed a life-saving heart transplant.
Fortunately, a donor was found but that wasn’t the end of the story as it was a very risky operation.
Incredibly, during all this time, dad Paul kept an amazing photo diary of Sophie’s illness – from the day she was admitted to hospital to when, to the joy of her parents, she opened her eyes after her transplant op and asked, ‘Did it work?’
And it was this incredible photo diary charting this inspirational story that is printed over the centre pages of the Daily Mirror today.
I am pleased to report Sophie has made a remarkable recovery since her heart attack in July and is now back at school.

Mum Helen says: “We don’t know much about the donor family – only that the heart came from a 29 year old person. But we can never thank the donor family enough – and we will be thinking of them this Christmas. Because they gave us the most important gift of all, the gift of life.”

To find out more about organ donation, go to www.uktransplant.org.uk

Do you have an amazing story to sell, which has lots of amazing photos? Do let contact me here: Sell my story to the press.


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Your real-life story wanted for newspapers and magazines!

Sell your story and make some cash in time for Christmas…

URGENTLY! looking for the following…

* Diet and weight loss stories – especially anything with a Christmassy feel. For example you have lost loads of weight since last Christmas.
* Relationship stories – last year you were on your own and this year you have found someone special. I would particularly like to speak to someone who is a mistress too and who will be spending this Christmas without the man in her life (who might well be spending it with his wife…)
* Real-life stories with a happy ending to something that has happened in the past year. For example, your baby is coming home after a long spell in hospital in time for Christmas.

I am also currently researching a very sensitive real life article about twin relationships for the real life section of a national newspaper.
This is about TWINS and I am particularly interested in speak to someone who has lost their twin. It might be you cannot remember your twin as he or she died when you were young – if this is you, I would still be interested in talking to you.

Want to sell a story that is not related to Christmas?
Then you might be interested in the following:

Sell a health story
Sell my story to a newspaper
Sell your story to a magazine


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Dawn was given three months to live – so what happened next?

When you sell your story through Featureworld, you will find I am always interested to find out how you are – even years later! But I was particularly interested to hear from Dawn Green – in Sept 2008 she wrote: “Can you sell my story? I am a mum of two little girls and I was given three months to live by my doctors …”

Dawn booked her own funeral and went on a final holiday – but just before she went she googled her cancer and came across a cure. I sold her story to the Sunday Mirror, Best and Reveal magazines and also ITV’s This Morning.
Dawn takes up the story…

Why did you decide to sell your story through Featureworld?

I felt it was important to raise awareness of my rare cancer to other patients who otherwise may have been written off had they not researched it! I was not scared at all about my story going to press as Alison read it back to me for my full approval.

What did you think when you saw your story in print?

I was excited and confident the story would look great. And as expected the story was indeed fantastic and appeared in a Sunday national paper, two magazines and I even went on TV. Family and friends were thrilled. Even the staff at the hospital cut the articles out and now keep them in the intensive care unit to show other patients. I would thoroughly recommend using Alison’s services to sell a story as she never failed to keep me in the loop and has been friendly and supportive in all correspondence.

What’s happened since?

A year ago I had a relapse. But I have since recovered again and am strong enough health to set up a website to give hope to others suffering from a similar illness.

Visit Dawn’s website.
Alison’s Sell Your Story website to sell your story!


I started my puberty at just seven …

Why are girls starting puberty so early? Story in the DAILY MAIL today…

Featureworld interviewee Tara’s real life health story about how she began puberty at the age of just seven appears in the Daily Mail today.
The story appears on the back of new research that girls as young as six are starting to develop. Years ago the usual age was in the early teens but it has crept younger and younger. And as Tara reveals today, it caused her a great deal of embarrassment as she was still at primary school.
As well as selling stories to the press, I am constantly asked by newspapers and magazines to find people like Tara who want to sell their stories.
Often editors are looking for particular stories as the Daily Mail were when they contacted me this week.
I am currently looking for these stories for features I am working on:

* Single women in their twenties who for some reason are unable to have children.
* Stepmum stories – perhaps you are a struggling stepmum or don’t see eye to eye with your husband’s ex?
As with Tara today, there is often a payment for contributing to a bigger feature.

To receive regular updates on stories I am working on, why not subscribe to my Featureworld Casting Directory?


Mum with Parkinson’s – story sold to Sunday People

Mum who got Parkinson’s aged 18. Story in the SUNDAY PEOPLE at the weekend.

Kay Robinson’s story of how she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and has still had four children looked fantastic in an all-colour double page spread on Sunday.
Kay emailed me through my website last week because she wanted to tell her real life story of a mum living with this disease that causes tremors and usually affects the elderly.
Sadly, the disease is getting worse and as Kay is still so young (aged in her mid 30s) she has no idea what the future holds. But her story is very inspirational because it shows how you can live a full and fulfilling life with such a debilitating condition.
The morning it was printed, Kay emailed me to say: “Alison, Just seen the paper and would like to thank you for getting my story published. I am really pleased with it. You have done my story justice and I have had nothing but kind words from my family and friends. Thanks again.”
Do you suffer from an illness and disability but manage against all the odds?
People adore to read inspiring real life stories and your story could appear in a national newspaper or magazine as Kay’s has done.
If you want to sell your story contact me via www.featureworld.co.uk


Sophie to visit hair specialist…

Last week Sophie’s story about how her hair fell out when she washed it in a well known brand shampoo, was published through Featureworld.co.uk in the Daily Mail newspaper.
The latest update on this story comes from Sophie today. She tells me that as well as analysing the bottle she used, the shampoo manufacturers have arranged for her to have a consultation with a top hair specialist to find out why she lost her hair.
Meanwhile Sophie is also being fitted with a bespoke wig, which she says she will wear until her hair grows back.
She promises to let me know how she goes!

If you have a story to sell, and would like it to appear in a national newspaper, then email me through the sell my story form: http://www.featureworld.co.uk/sell-my-story.html