The nominations have been submitted and here at HELLO! we're excited to reveal the final five mothers who are in the running to be crowned this year's HELLO!'s Star Mum. Thank you to everyone who sent us nominations – you certainly made it a hard job for our celebrity judges Binky Felstead, Kimberley Walsh, Kate Silverton, Izzy Judd and Anna Whitehouse, also known as the popular mummy blogger, Mother Pukka.
The final five are Jodie Williams, Joanne Hardwick, Chloe Stones, Pauline Boundy and Lisa Wells. Read their stories below! Voting has no closed but the award winner will be announced on Thursday at our exclusive Star Mums event being held at London's Dorchester Hotel. The special prize-giving lunch, hosted by HELLO! editor in chief Rosie Nixon and broadcaster Kate Silverton, will be a star-studded affair, and the perfect opportunity for us to make our Star Mum feel as amazing as we know she is.
Our winning Star Mum will be treated to an overnight stay for two at The Dorchester, and will be given a lavish makeover, courtesy of blow LTD, as well as a complimentary outfit of her choosing from Next's gorgeous new season range, plus a limited edition bottle of Champagne Lanson's Rose Label to take home.
Read on for the details of our final five Star Mums...
Lisa is the most amazing, inspirational young mum that I have ever met. She recently received the most devastating news that she was suffering from terminal cancer and received this diagnosis just 5 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Saffia, who is currently just 13 weeks old. She also has a five year old daughter Ava Lily. She is married to her childhood sweetheart, Dan, and they live in Frome, Somerset. However Lisa is determined not to let her illness stand in the way of setting herself a challenge of raising funds for her daughters' futures and is planning an army of friends and family to take part in a 20k walk on Mothers Day 11 March. She is hoping to raise awareness of her illness and to help others by telling her story. Her "Lisa's Army" will also be raising money for an amazing Charity, "Dorothy House" as well as a legacy for her two beautiful girls. I hope after seeing the video in Lisa's web page that you feel she is a well deserved nomination for the Hello! Magazine search for this year's Star Mum. This is her story in her own words: https://www.facebook.com/LisasArmyUK/
Jodie deserves this award for so many reasons! She is Mum to Lola, a beautiful, happy and inspiring little girl, who is now 15 months old. Lola was born at 31 weeks and is a VACTERL baby - each of those letters stands for a certain type of birth defect. Most VATERL babies have a few, but Lola has every single one and the older she gets the more concerns the doctors uncover. Lola requires constant oxygen level monitoring and is fed though a tube in her tummy because she also lives with a TOF (Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula). When she was born, doctors told Jodie - amongst other things - that she would never sit unaided, crawl or stand. However, due to Jodie's attitude, love and constant encouragement, Lola is doing all of these and I can't wait to find out what she will surprise us with next! Back to Jodie! Despite all of this and despite Jodie being Lola’s main carer, I have never met a more positive person. I have yet to hear Jodie moan about the medical equipment she carts round daily just to keep Lola comfortable. Neither have I heard her complain about the multiple weekly hospital appointments at several hospitals, or about being tired from the night feeding requiring substantial amounts of specialist medical equipment. Jodie devotes her life to so much more than simply caring for Lola and being a mummy; she ensures despite everything she thrives. I’ve heard her comment that she wouldn’t change anything; she says her daughter is strong and determined because of everything she has to endure. But secretly, I believe it is because of the power of Jodie’s love for and belief in her daughter. As well being full time carer for Lola (and being a fantastic mummy!), Jodie also somehow finds the time to raise awareness of VACTERL deficits and she is fundraiser for Alder Hey Hospital where Lola was first treated. She more than deserves this recognition.
I am nominating my friend Jo for this prize because she is a shining example of what being a mum means. Jo was thrilled when she found out she was expecting a baby in autumn of 2016. She'd really wanted this after marrying her husband, Tom. However, the excitement of this was soon to turn to much worry and angst as she discovered a lump in her breast. After tests (although this in itself wasn't easy as she was only a few weeks pregnant...) it was confirmed that Jo did indeed have breast cancer. The first consultant she saw basically told her that there was nothing that could be done and that she would lose her baby - he was unwilling to see that she wanted to do anything to keep and protect her baby. Jo then saw another consultant who was kind and understanding and said she could perform a mastectomy and reconstruction under general anaesthetic but she would operate as quickly as she could. The surgeon did so and in only 1.5 hours, she'd performed the operation on Jo. There was lots of recovery and treatment that Jo couldn't have... but fast forward to June 2017 and Jo gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, perfect little boy called Henry. After everything she had been through, this was a miracle. Jo had fought hard to keep her baby. Jo even breastfed Henry with just one breast and refused to give in. Only stopping when she had to begin a course of drugs 6 months after the birth. This is just a snap shot of what happened and all that Jo went through, but to me, she is such a determined mummy who put her baby before herself and this shows the ultimate act of love. Recently she's raised £6000 for our local hospital's breast cancer appeal. She's amazing and is due some praise and recognition for all that she's been through.
I am nominating my friend Pauline Boundy as an outstanding mum. In 2016 just days before Christmas her only daughter Emma was diagnosed with soft tissue cancer. Her daughter fought hard and managed to live long enough to see her two young daughters birthdays, but died shortly afterwards. During her daughter's illness Pauline was a rock for her, when she cried, got angry, and finally came to terms with her imminent death. She encouraged her to produce memory boxes for her two daughters who were only four and seven. Since summer 2017, when her Emma died, she not only had to deal with her own grief but also has become not just a grandmother but a mother to the girls, doing everything a mother would do. She takes them to school, comforts and supports them through their tears and loss, feeds them, does their laundry, takes them to buy school clothes. Most importantly she goes to school events, plays and all the activities where their mother would normally go to. The littlest girl in particular finds that events such as the Mother's Day service brings home her difference to her classmates and Pauline is always there to wipe away the tears or tuck them in bed at night if their father has to go away on business. The oldest girl wrote in her Christmas card to her granny this year, 'To granny who does everything for us.' I know that if Emma was here she would want to nominate her mother and would be proud of everything she has done to support the girls and there father, and it is for those reasons I nominate her today. I enclose a photograph of Pauline taken in happier times after one of her yoga classes.
My name is Elsie I'm nearly four and I have the best mum in the world. I think she deserves a big treat. My mummy does so much for me and my little brother Seb. Especially me, as I have Down syndrome which my mummy didn't know about until I was born. It took mummy a long time to get me growing in her tummy, and had to have lots of help with special baby doctors and injections. My mummy has been through lots of things that can make her sad sometimes. She lost her Daddy and her brother the year before she had me. She's never sad in front of me or Seb she always makes us laugh. Mummy helps me lots when I find things difficult and finds ways of making me understand more easily. My mummy takes me to the hospital a lot to see all the people that make sure I'm OK. Mummy works for Ronald McDonald House Charities helping other children's families. She's not there all the time but when she is she makes sure the families staying there are OK. My mummy volunteers in her spare time for PSDS, they give me lots of help and support to be independent, mummy likes doing this it's a way of saying thank you to them. My mummy doesn't get a lot of time to herself like she did before me and Seb arrived. I think she needs a whole nights sleep as I wake her up a lot in the night. She also gets ready quicker than daddy which isn't fair, it would be really nice if some fairies did her hair and makeup and gave her some new clothes and made her feel beautiful again.
STAY TUNED FOR ALL THE DETAILS FROM OUR STAR MUMS EVENT, ON THURSDAY, 8 MARCH