When Mark and Tricia Tovey (pictured left) came to me via Sell My Story website Featureworld , they were in despair. Shortly after deciding to marry, Mark was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 18 months to live. For the devastated couple it meant moving their forthcoming wedding nuptials from February 2012 to June.
But if that wasn’t bad enough, when on doctor’s advice the couple went to cancel their planned luxury honeymoon to Mexico – they do not know if Mark will be fit enough to travel then or even be alive – they were stunned to be shocked by cancellation fees of £2K. They expected to lose their deposit of £500 but were upset about the cancellation fee of £1285.15. Incredibly, when they queried the charge they were told they would have to pay another £199 fee for not paying it fast enough.
It was then Tricia contacted me via Featureworld. She felt the firm was being incredibly cruel. I managed to place their story in the Sunday Mirror and the next day with the couple’s consent I also placed their story with the Daily Mail.
At the same time I contacted the travel company to see what they had to say and they agreed as a ‘gesture of goodwill’ to refund the cancellation fee of £1285.15. As Tricia says, when I told her the company was to give back this money, she and Mark were over the moon. And I am pleased to report that the travel company have stuck by their word and that cancellation charge has already been refunded to the Tovey’s.
MORE GOOD NEWS …
But there was even more good news to come.
After the feature appeared on Mailonline I received an offer from the five star Chewton Glen hotel. The owners of this luxury country house hotel and spa, which is set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park and just a few minutes walk from the sea, were so moved by Tricia and Mark’s story that they have offered them a free honeymoon.
The Toveys are now organising a date in the next few weeks to visit the hotel – listed as one of the ‘world’s best hotels’ by Conde Nast Traveller readers 2011. To see the delights Mark and Tricia will enjoy click here: Welcome to Chewton Glen.
Tricia told me: “Mark and I are so glad we contacted you. We just want to thank you so much for everything you have done.”
Read more about Mark and Tricia’s story: The Toveys.
Have you experienced an injustice? Contact me here: Sell your story
Laurel Padbury’s real life health story appeared in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.
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.
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.
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
Meet Jessica Pardoe, Britain’s tallest girl. Exclusive Featureworld story in the SUNDAY MIRROR and DAILY MAIL.
When Jessica Pardoe contacted me through my sell my story website I knew immediately she had a fantastic story – for incredibly Jessica, 18, is an amazing 6ft 9″ in her stocking feet. That is two inches taller than lanky England striker Peter Crouch.
But although she does have to duck through doorways, Jessica likes being tall – and after going to a recent music festival where everyone wanted to have their photo taken with her – she decided it was time to speak out about it.
Jessica takes after her parents – her mum is just over 6ft tall and dad is 6ft 7″. Naturally her height does cause some difficulties – fitting into a car for driving lessons for example. She also has to buy many clothes and shoes (she has size 11 feet) from specialist internet shops. However, she has had boyfriends and enjoys being a little bit different.
After appearing in the Sunday Mirror newspaper, I then arranged for Jessica to appear in the Daily Mail.
On Mailonline her story gained loads of fantastic comments – most of them saying how stunning and beautiful she is. And to those people who asked if she has a beautiful personality to match, I can say she definitely has!
I am now in the process of speaking to TV, documentary makers and magazines regarding further publicity for Jessica.
Do you have an amazing record-breaking story to tell the world? Email me here Sell your story.
Malissa Jones amazing real life story about why she has gone from being Britain’s Fattest teen to being anorexic appeared in the DAILY MAIL newspaper yesterday and THE DAILY STAR today…
Malissa’s shocking story has already appeared around the world – but just why did this pretty 21 year old get so fat in the first place? And then why did she become anorexic?
Eating problems are incredibly complex and for this story I spoke to several members of the family – including Malissa’s mum, Dawn.
Apart from one, all of Malissa’s family is overweight. Mum Dawn has also had a bypass. When Malissa was just 12, she underwent the same operation and Malissa now says she always believed however fat she got she could fall back on surgery.
However, it wasn’t the fix she hoped for and Malissa says since the op she has never felt well. She has constantly suffered from stomach cramps, sickness and has got one infection after another. She also hated the saggy skin left from the op. Then, she got pregnant and morning sickness worsened her symptoms. Sadly her baby didn’t survive and she now has a phobia about food.
Today her story also appeared in the Daily Star.
Malissa says: “I find getting my story out there very therapeutic and despite having so much publicity I am particularly happy that I have only ever spoken with Alison about it.”
Read more about Malissa Jones
I work hard to ensure all stories that are sent through the sell my story website Featureworld gain maximum exposure (if interviewees wish) so whatever your story, if you want it out there, I can guarantee you will gain the most publicity!
Tell your story here: Dear Alison, sell my story please…
News story in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today…
Mum of two and paramedic Sara Hornsey came to me with her real life health story to seek justice. As a frontline ambulance worker, she was required to have a swine flu jab. But a couple of days later terrifyingly Sara woke to find herself paralysed from the waist down. Shockingly, she had suffered from a little-known side-effect from vaccination called Transverse Myelitis where the spinal nerves are damaged. And when she tried to get up out of bed, she fell to the floor.
Her husband rushed her to hospital but despite spending six weeks there, months later she is still spends a lot of time in a wheelchair and can only walk using a stick.
Worse, although she asked for an office job, she was sacked by the ambulance service. And to add insult to injury a few days later she was very upset to see the very same service advertising an office job. The original decision to sack her was overturned and the service did offer Sara the office job. But by then her confidence was shattered and she turned it down.
Sara says: “Ironically I didn’t want to ‘sell my story’ for the money but I did want it printed because I felt my employers had treated me so poorly. I am the last person to normally seek any publicity. But I was very happy with the sensitive story in the Daily Mail as I feel I have got my story out there without being splashed across a national newspaper!”
Are you nervous about selling your story to a national newspaper? Selling your story through sell my story website Featureworld ensures it is sold how you want it to be… for more details contact me here: Sell your story