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среда, 15 марта 2017 г.

Meet the mum-credibles! 'Mum found me a husband'

They're the first person we phone in a crisis and always cook the best roast dinner, but as these three daughters explain, their mums really are one in a million.


Sunny Moran, 29, runs her own boot camp fitness company. She lives in Bournemouth with her fiancé Darren Birol, 38, a property developer.

"When I marry Darren in Cyprus next summer, there's one particular person who'll be getting a special mention in the speeches. My mum, Tina. If it wasn't for her matchmaking, Darren and I wouldn't be together.
When she set me up on three blind dates five years ago, I never dreamed one of them would turn out to be my future husband.
I moved to London in 2005, aged 23, to start a career in PR. I was single and threw myself into work - it dominated my life.
I'd had a couple of relationships while I was at university and wasn't particularly bothered about meeting anyone new. But Mum thought differently! She felt I needed a better work-life balance.
She called me one day and told me she was going to set me up with some guys. I laughed, thinking she was just joking. She wasn't!
A few weeks later she called again saying she had three dates arranged for me.
I thought it was hilarious and very typical of my mum, who's very fun and spontaneous. I wasn't nervous, more intrigued about who my blind dates were.
My first two were friends of my brother and stepbrother, who both lived in Bournemouth. On both occasions, they travelled to London. I wasn't nervous and both times we went out for dinner. I had fun, but there just wasn't a spark.
The third date was with Darren. He's the son of Mum's best friend Anita, and had been separated from his wife for 14 months.
I used to babysit his younger brother when I was a teenager, but hadn't seen Darren for 10 years. Back then he'd always seemed so grown-up, so I was a bit nervous about how the date would go.
Because of the age difference and the fact he'd been married, I didn't expect it to go further than one date.
When I arrived for our meal together, the first thing that struck me was what an amazing smile he had. And as the night went on, I realised I really liked him.
He was charming and interested in me, not flash and pretentious like the City boys I'd been casually dating in London. Clearly Mum knew what sort of guy would suit me better than I did.
We kissed at the end of the night and I got goosebumps. I texted Mum afterwards saying how lovely he was.
He gave me his number and I got in touch the following weekend when I was home seeing my mum. We started dating, travelling back and forth between London and Bournemouth. Within months, Darren - whose mum had been keen to set him up, too -was asking me to move in with him and after a few more months, I agreed.
A year and a half after we met, I quit my job and moved back to Bournemouth to live with him and start my own business.
Mum was thrilled that I'd settled down with a nice local boy, and very chuffed with herself that she'd set us up.
In August 2008, Darren proposed in Paris at the top of the Eiffel Tower with a beautiful white gold solitaire diamond ring. We're getting married next summer.
I adore him and am so grateful to Mum for getting us together."
Tina Fitzgerald, 59, is single and lives in Bournemouth.

"I've got five children and three stepchildren in total and I'm always interfering in their lives, but that's what mums are meant to do!
I felt Sunny was a bit lonely and working too hard when she moved to London. I thought it would be nice for her to meet someone who would make her happy, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I've known Darren for years because his mum is my best friend, and I knew what a lovely guy he was. I wasn't sure Sunny and Darren would hit it off because of the age difference, but I thought it was worth a shot.
When they started dating, I was thrilled and I'm so happy they're getting married. Plus my best friend will be my daughter's mother-in-law!
Mums know their daughters better than anyone and I'm glad I did a bit of meddling to set Sunny and Darren up with each other."

'Mum gave me my life back'

Gemma Stevens, 29, is a customer service manager. She lives in Greenwich, South London, with her fiancé Craig Barrett, 32, a recruitment consultant.
"Coming round after my kidney transplant, I looked to my side and saw my mum lying in the hospital bed next to mine. I reached out, squeezed her hand, and whispered: 'Thanks Mum.'
There weren't enough words to express how grateful I felt. She'd just donated a kidney to me, saving my life and helping me avoid years of dialysis while I waited for a transplant from a stranger.

I was diagnosed with chronic renal impairment in November 2007, which meant that I only had 33 per cent function in my kidneys. Over the next few months, it got worse. I was exhausted and suffering from anaemia.
By June 2008, the doctors told me that a transplant was my only option if I wanted to avoid gruelling dialysis.
My mum immediately volunteered to be a donor. But it wasn't until she had been tested and found to be a perfect match for me that it really sunk in what she was doing.
I felt guilty about putting her through such massive surgery. The operation to remove a kidney lasts several hours under general anaesthetic and there can be complications, including blood clots.
I was already sick and hoped the operation would make me better. But the surgery would make her sore and sick. I struggled with feelings of guilt and immense gratitude.
My dad was very supportive of her decision and said if she hadn't been a match he would have stepped forward.
The transplant took place on October 3, 2008 at King's College Hospital in London. Mum went down to theatre first. Then as soon as her kidney was put inside me, it started working - the transplant was a success.
We recovered on the same ward and it was an emotional time. We've always been close but what she did for me strengthened that bond. I love that I have a little piece of her inside me.
After a horrendous year of illness and drugs, the transplant gave me my life back. Every day I felt stronger.
Then, last February, Craig proposed and we're getting married in Westminster Abbey next month. I feel so lucky to be able to plan my wedding, feeling fit and well. I owe it all to Mum."
Viv Stevens, 57, lives in Leyland, Middlesex, with her husband Rob, 61.
"When we were told Gemma needed a transplant, I'd have done whatever it took to make herwell again. I didn't think about the risks involved. My child needed my help. Any mum would do the same.
The day of the transplant I wasn't nervous, and coming round from the anaesthetic to see Gemma looking so well, after months of illness, was amazing.
It took me six weeks to recover. I'm retired so I could just relax and heal, knowing Gemma's health was improving. Her wedding day would always have been a day to remember, but now it'll be extra special."l With thanks to

'Mum saved me from a life on benefits'

Now 24, Rebecca Finnis was just 14 when she gave birth to son Joshua, now nine. She lives in Maidstone, Kent, with her husband Peter, 26, and daughter Caitlin, four, and she's training to become a dance teacher.

"Lying in my hospital bed staring at my baby boy, I felt totally shell-shocked. I was just 14, a high-achieving schoolgirl. My life wasn't meant to be like this.
I fell pregnant at 13. My boyfriend Peter, 15, and I had been having sex for six months without contraception.
It sounds silly now, but we were so naive. We just didn't think a baby would happen to us.
But it did. And the worst thing about it all was my mum's face when I told her. She didn't look angry as much as incredibly disappointed. I'd always done well at school and had dreams of going to university to study to be a dance teacher. If I had the baby, all that would be over. Mum wanted me to have a termination, but Peter and I simply couldn't go through with it.
So, Joshua was born at Maidstone Hospital at the end of August 2000, weighing 7lb 11oz. I felt elated.
But I was also really worried. How would I cope? Would I have to drop out of school? Live on benefits?
I took a term off to recover from the birth and had a private tutor to help keep me up to speed. However, I was worried what the future held - I didn't know how I was going to manage school and a baby.
It was then that mum stepped in. "I've decided to leave my job to help you," she said.
I burst into tears and gave her a huge hug, but my first reaction was to say no. I felt guilty because I knew she loved her admin job. But in the end I agreed. I wanted to get my GCSEs and be a mummy that Joshua could be proud of. I wanted to give him more than a life on benefits. Four months later, I went back to school.
Every morning, I'd dress Joshua and feed him, then Mum would take over when I went to lessons.
It was strange being back at school. My friends were all supportive, but I missed Joshua terribly. As soon as I got home, Mum stepped back. When I took off my uniform, I was his mummy again.
Mum was fantastic, keeping me up-to-date with everything, telling me how he'd fed and how they'd spent the day. Because of that, I never felt I missed out on his milestones. And I never felt jealous of the bond between Joshua and Mum because he was always so pleased to see me. Peter visited regularly and helped out, too.
All the hard work paid off when I gained 10 GCSEs. My mum was emotional - I knew she was proud. I really wanted to stay on to do A-levels but I didn't want to make Mum be at home any longer. Thankfully, she was encouraging. "I don't mind looking after Joshua," she reassured me.
Thanks to her, I remained at sixth form and passed three A-levels. I got a B in English, B in drama and C in film studies.
I did feel guilty - I'd made a mistake and Mum was paying for it, even though she said she enjoyed looking after Joshua.
Finally, at 18, I left home to live with Peter, and Mum was able to go back to work. A year later I had my daughter Caitlin, now aged four.
Peter and I married in 2007 and last September, when Caitlin started nursery, I finally got the chance to follow my dreams. I enrolled at New Kent College on a diploma course to become a dance teacher.
It sounds simple enough, but without my mum supporting me, my life could have been so different."
Angela White, 51, works as an administrator and lives in Maidstone, Kent.

"Rebecca was the last girl I ever thought would be a teen mum. Although I'd talked to her about sex and contraception, I never realised she was actually having sex.

I gave up my job because I was determined Rebecca wouldn't lose out on her education. I adored looking after Joshua, but I always ensured he was her responsibility.
I made absolutely the right decision and have no regrets. Yes, it was hard scraping by on savings, and I may have missed out on promotions. But when I see what Rebecca has achieved, it's all been worthwhile. I'm so proud of her."

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