My Story

100 year old French medallist gets another chance to shine at Paris 2024

Charles Coste did not get to hear La Marseillaise when he stood on top of the podium at the 1948 Summer Games in London, but France’s oldest living Olympic medallist will get another moment in the spotlight when he carries the Paris 2024 torch.

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My Story: Search for Birth Origins Takes Unexpected Turn

Growing up, Penny Zagarelou-Mackieson always knew she was adopted. She enjoyed a happy childhood and upbringing but when she started a family of her own, she felt she needed to explore her actual birth origins. However when at 35, she met her natural mother and siblings, something didn’t feel right.

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My Story: Turning Disability into a Strength

Fiona Demark is visually impaired. Despite the challenges it presents, she has learned to treat her disability as a strength and something to be proud of, and now works to helps others do the same.

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My Story: The learning curve of foster care

Holly Ames, senior manager of home-based care at child and family services organisation Berry Street, shares her story about her experience as the child of a foster family and becoming a foster carer herself.

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My Story: My Body-Positive Lifestyle Surgery

Tatia had been battling her weight all her life. In her forties, she finally found peace and acceptance with her body, but a few years later, she developed a lifestyle disease and had to take things in another direction.

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My Story: How opening the door to hope saved me

Christine Campbell ran away from home as a teen. She has no regrets as it shaped who she is today, and through storytelling she is helping young people who find themselves in similarly challenging situations.

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My Story: Overcoming Isolation Without Her Mum

When Danielle Snelling lost her mother over a decade ago, the inability to share her sorrow with others who’d experienced similar loss left her feeling alone and isolated.

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My Story: Stepping Back Into Life After A Traumatic Accident

Hacia Atherton was told she would never walk again when a horse-riding accident left her severely injured. After experiencing a deep depression, she grew determined to defy the odds.

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My Story: No Longer Invisible

Heather Ellis has been living with HIV for nearly 30 years. She became a mum to three sons while living with the virus and has been pushing for social change around HIV perceptions and stigma for almost two decades.

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My Story: From Fleeing Ukraine’s War Zone to Finding Peace Halfway Around the World

Regina Razumovskaya fled Ukraine with her family seven days after the war started. Escaping to Moldova, they eventually found refuge in a peaceful town halfway around the world.

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My Story: From Bipolar Diagnosis at 19 to Trekking the Length of Australia

Bailey Seamer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19. Five years later, she is trekking from Australia’s southernmost point to its northern tip for mental health awareness.

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My Story: A Journey to Self-Acceptance

Fiona Hodge, now 45, has been diagnosed twice with alopecia areata. She is now bravely accepting her autoimmune disease and getting on with living.

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My Story: Confessions of a Black Dog

Depression is a common experience, yet many people find it difficult to talk about. Here, one reader gives her account of the dark, overwhelming feelings that engulfed her one night and how she dealt with them.

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My Story: Life is an Adventure as a Blind Parent

A Paris holiday celebrating braille’s inventor was a transformative experience for blind parent Julie.

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My Story: From Life in a Tent, to Life in the Spotlight

Miriam and her husband Peter felt their souls sing living a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence in the remote wilderness of New Zealand.

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Finding joy at age 100: Talking to centenarians about living their best life at any age

Aging is seen as a period of loss, and there are unhelpful myths about older adults. Myths lead to treatable conditions being considered normal parts of aging, including cognitive decline, dementia, depression and loneliness. Some even consider exercise dangerous in older adults.

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My story: singing the blues away at my local pub choir

Two years of tragic events, trauma and illness in her family took away Gillian’s love for life and eroded her confidence. But when she worked up the courage to join a local pub choir, she began to feel her old self slowly returning.

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My Story: The Gift of Loss

When her son Dan passed away suddenly, Karen Chaston was forced to reassess her life, work and relationships, taking the first step on the journey to becoming her own best friend.

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My Story: Why it’s cool to be kind

After her dream of becoming a mother disappeared for good, Naomi searched for a way of giving meaning to her life that would also bring happiness to others.

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My Story: Making art in the sand

David Hilliam (known as ‘Beach Tagger’) is not your typical artist. Instead of a paintbrush, he uses a rake. And instead of a canvas, he has the beach. If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon his work, it’s a sight to behold. His massive pieces of ‘earth art’ have transformed Auckland’s west coast beaches into breathtaking spectacles. We sat down for a Q&A with Hilliam to learn more about his unusual artistic craft.

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My Story: Darling Daniella

When Donna Meads-Barlow’s five-year-old daughter, Daniella was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, she had no real understanding either of the disease or of the potentially fatal risks associated with this incurable condition.

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My Story: Meet the small Kiwi business tackling big issues of poverty

When Nadia Key first left school, she was like many school leavers who didn’t know what to do. After taking […]

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Following in the family footsteps

After 64 years working at Kapuna Hospital in the remote jungle swamplands of Papua New Guinea, 93-year-old Dr Lin Calvert has finally stepped down. Now her daughter, Dr Valerie Archer, carries on the family tradition, and leads the hospital’s medical team caring for the region’s grateful residents. 

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My Story: Behind the surgery screen

Jacqui Carter had never considered having plastic surgery, nor did she condone it. Then, despite her conflicting beliefs, she had little choice but to take a job working for a plastic surgeon. She reveals what she learned from the experience.

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