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Sometimes a project comes along which is so inspired that you just need to be part of it. When Susie Mackie got in touch to tell me about her Women of Spirit book that’s exactly how I felt. This book is real stories of courage written by real women. They have overcome adversity; abuse, physical trauma, devastating changes of circumstance… They have not only survived they have thrived as a result of their experiences. 

It feels strange, having read some of these stories, to then see my story along side them. I am in awe of the courage and strength these women have shown. It is such an honour to be featured along side them. Susie has collected these stories and has then visited the women featured to take their portrait.

I have spent my life talking to women and being interested in the stories they don’t easily share. I know that there are very few women, or men, who haven’t been through situations which have changed them in a dramatic way. Take a moment to stop and think about your closest friends. Is there anyone who hasn’t been though a serious illness, the loss of a loved one, divorce…?

Everything we experience changes us.

It’s our choice whether we let it define us, or whether we take that experience and use it. We may use it to help others or make us determined to change the world for the better. The story I share in the “Women of Spirit” book is that of my pituitary tumour. But I could have shared about losing my Grandma, my experience of depression when I first started teaching… there are many more times when life has knocked me for six and I have picked myself up, dusted myself off and carried on. Sometimes, it has taken hours, sometimes days, months even. 


“It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.”

George A. Custer

U.S. Military

Women of Spirit video image
I’m so delighted that my story is being shared with the world. Not because I want everyone to know what I’ve been through, but because my condition is incredibly rare. Acromegaly only affects 3 or 4 in every million people but only 1 in a million women, if that. Apparently due to my age, gender and relative recovery I am now 1 in 3 million. Because it is so rare even medical professionals often don’t know what the condition affects. It is also a condition which affects people in different ways so it is incredibly hard to diagnose. My reason for sharing my story is to raise awareness of this condition. The more aware people are, the more likely they are to spot the symptoms, either in themselves or in loved ones. Early diagnosis is key to having a more successful outcome. The earlier you get help the more likely you are to be able to live a relatively normal, pain free, life.
If you are interested in reading real stories of courage and strength please consider buying this amazing book. It is being released at the end of November (I’m attending the launch and will of course share photos and experiences from the evening with you).

Do you have a story?

If you have a story you want the world to hear I’m sure Susie Mackie would love to hear from you. I know she is planning a series of these wonderful books. The website for Women of Spirit will also be launching very soon so I will update links here when it does. 

If you would like to buy a copy of Women of Spirit you can do so here: 
Women of Spirit

If you would like to read about my photo shoot with Susie you can read the full story here.

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