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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Behind the scenes of X Factor…


Nicole Hiatt’s X Factor story appeared in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper at the weekend.

Sell story to a Sunday newspaper

Nicole Hiatt in the Sunday Mirror newspaper

This year’s X Factor has already proved controversial and many people have recently asked if contestant Ceri Rees, a widow who has appeared four times on the show and clearly cannot sing, was too vulnerable to appear again – with a Twitter campaign claiming she was ridiculed for the ratings because Producers believe she ‘made good TV.’ This follows the Sunday Mirror’s investigation into what goes on at Bootcamp and Featureworld interviewee gave a peek into what happened when she got through.

In a Sunday Mirror story that went over two pages, Nicole, 24, described how incredibly before Bootcamp she was quizzed on her love life and whether or not she would want to meet someone during the show. She claims she wasn’t the only one – with people who didn’t want a romance finding they did not go through. She also says that those contestants who acted more outrageously during a jacuzzi party were more likely to be picked – she believes this is because their antics are more likely to boost the ratings.

Sunday Mirror exposes what happens behind the scenes of X Factor

Secrets of X factor Bootcamp - the Sunday Mirror's front page

And while the show seems ultra glamorous on TV, Nicole didn’t find that to be so at Bootcamp. “We had to wait hours for our coach to arrive to pick us up to go to the hotel,” she told me, “and then so the TV crew could get enough footage of the coach journey to Bootcamp, we kept going round the same roundabouts. I kept on thinking we were there – and then we’d drive off again to get some more footage. It was exhausting.”

When she finally arrived at the luxury hotel, she expected a hot meal. But instead she claims the contestants were simply given a ‘packed lunch’ consisting of a few sandwiches and a carton of juice.

But most disappointingly, she says she never even got the chance to sing. “The day after the jacuzzi party they called everyone at breakfast and said they had an announcement to make,” she says, “I was still in my pyjamas but wasn’t even allowed to change. I couldn’t believe it when they divided us into two groups. My group was then told we were going home – I wouldn’t have minded but I’d been rehearsing for the Bootcamp audition for weeks and yet I hadn’t even sung a note.”

X Factor told the Sunday Mirror it is the toughest Bootcamp yet – but for Nicole, she was left wondering what the point of it was…

This is the second time Nicole has told her story. Read about the other newspaper deal I found for Nicole here: X Factor is just Sex Factor

Whether you have an X Factor story to sell, or just want to sell your real-life story and would like the chance to appear in multiple newspapers, contact me here: Sell My Story


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Amazing news for Featureworld couple…


Dream honeymoon donated after couple’s story appears in the Sunday Mirror and Daily Mail….

Mark and Tricia smiling on their wedding day...

Smiles hide the sadness on Mark and Tricia's wedding day

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 …

Chewton Glen

The spa at Five Star Chewton Glen hotel

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


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Man with terminal cancer charged £1900 to cancel his honeymoon…


Exclusive story in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper today.

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Tricia and Mark felt the charges were cruel and unfair


Tricia Tovey contacted me at Featureworld to gain justice. When her husband Mark was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that was devastating enough. But when on his consultant’s advice they decided to cancel their honeymoon – because he might not be well enough to go and in fact he might not be alive then – the couple were stunned to be slapped with a cancellation charge of £1250.15. This was on top of £500 deposit they’d already paid when they originally booked the trip last November. And it isn’t as if they were cancelling at short notice. As well as providing the consultant’s letter, they were not due to go on their £6,500 luxury holiday to Mexico until February 2012.
Naturally the couple, who expected to lose their deposit, queried the charge. They also asked if there was another holiday they could go on while Mark was well enough to travel – but claim this was ignored. And because they took too long to pay, they were then threatened with legal action.
By the time Tricia contacted me they’d already paid over the money – because, as Tricia said, they didn’t want the stress of legal action hanging over them.
Having seen letters from The Holiday Collection Group I placed the story with the Sunday Mirror newspaper. A spokesman for the Global Travel Group trading as The Holiday Collection Group later told me at the time of booking Tricia agreed to take out travel insurance but did not. They also claim they tried to assist the couple with another holiday. However, despite this, as a gesture of goodwill they will reimburse the cancellation fee of £1250.15.
I was delighted to have got this fee back for this lovely couple. Sadly following the diagnosis, in March Mark was given 18 months to live and the couple who met on a dating website, moved their wedding forward from next February – they since married in June.
Tricia says: “Thank you so much. I cannot believe the amount of stress all this caused us as such a difficult time. Thank you again for all your help – you’ve been fab.”

Do you have a consumer issue to highlight? Maybe you feel you have been treated unfairly by an organisation and are seeking justice. If so you can contact me here: Story in the press for justice.


Meet Britain’s tallest girl…

Meet Jessica Pardoe, Britain’s tallest girl. Exclusive Featureworld story in the SUNDAY MIRROR and DAILY MAIL.

Sell your story to the Sunday Mirror

Jessica's story was first placed in the Sunday Mirror...


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.
Sell story to the Daily Mail

... and then Jessica's story was placed with 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.


Whistleblower tells how she reported abuse at scandal carehome…

Newly qualified nurse Ashleigh tells how she raised the alarm at care home in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper at the weekend.

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Ashleigh's story appeared in the Sunday Mirror


Many people watched in horror the shocking scenes of abuse from care home Winterbourne View, shown on BBC Panorama’s last week. They were taken after an undercover BBC reporter went into the home with a secret camera and showed residents – mostly young people with learning difficulties – being kicked punched and taunted by staff.
Four arrests have since been made and an inquiry launched into how this was ever allowed to go on.
But following the programme last week I was contacted at Featureworld by Ashleigh, 25.
And incredibly she has revealed how as well as whistleblower Terry Bryan, a senior nurse, she too also raised the alarm because she was worried about how patients were treated.
Yet despite raising her concerns with managers dozens of times and going to the Care Quality Commission, she was ignored and nothing was done.
In the end, Ashleigh felt she could no longer carry on working at the home and in December she left. But she and Terry met with reporters from BBC’s Panorama who then went in and managed to secure the footage that proved just how bad the abuse was.

Ashleigh says: “I worked there for three months soon after qualifying and saw things you can’t imagine. The Panorama programme was overwhelming to watch. No-one listened to me but I do not want the world to forget this.
“I just hope telling my story will encourage others to come forward if they ever see such abuse. It is the only way we can ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Are you a whistleblower? Do you want to expose a scandal to the world? If so, do contact me here: I want to tell my story.


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Too dumb to be a mum?

Kerry McDougall – the girl Social Services claimed was too dumb to be a mum – talks about Mother’s Day and the new baby she is expecting in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper at the weekend.

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Kerry and Mark's story looks stunning in the Sunday Mirror


As regular sell your story blog readers will know, this long-running story already commands its very own page on my main sell my story website Featureworld and this is because I have followed this couple’s emotional journey since September 2009.
During that time I really have been through their nightmares – when Kerry was judged by Social Services too dim to marry and their wedding was cancelled – to the unthinkable happening when I picked up the phone and Mark could barely speak through the tears. That was an hour after their baby Ben had been taken from the maternity ward by social workers who deemed Kerry too stupid to keep him (and ironically because they weren’t married Mark had no rights as a dad…)
I have also been through times of sheer joy with them. The most wonderful times were when they got Ben back (this was after numerous court cases) and when they finally got married.
But on a daily basis I absolutely love seeing the little photos Mark and Kerry upload onto Facebook, where we are friends. Perhaps they remind me more than a little of when I had my first child. I too was a very young mum with a beautiful boisterous little boy and some of the photos take me back 23 years…
In those pictures Ben is in Kerry’s arms, Ben is sat in a high chair laughing, Ben is running on the beach, Ben is learning to take his first steps, Kerry is chatting about how much she loves him and their new life in southern Ireland (they fled there from Fife to try to keep their baby) and most recently she’s uploaded photos of her positive pregnancy test. She is now all set to have a similar gap between Ben and his brother and sister as I did with my first and his little brother (I then went on to have a daughter with a 17 month gap – madness!)
So to me, this story was a definite to celebrate Kerry’s first proper mother’s day (last year Ben was in care…) and together with some of Mark’s own photos, it looked fantastic in the Sunday Mirror.
Unsurprisingly, I have now placed their story again with two big UK women’s magazines – and Mark is writing a book. Roll on the next chapter…

Read more blogs for Kerry’s story:
Pick Me Up
Reveal mag
Mail on Sunday

Has something amazing happened in your life? Sell your real life story here: Sell Your Story

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