INSPIRATIONAL SARAH MERRIMAN AND HER DAD ANDY JOIN US ON WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY
Andy and his daughter Sarah joined Ruth, Kelly, Janet and Linda to talk about her life with Down's syndrome.
Andy recently wrote a book, A Major Adjustment, about his daughter's journey as an adult. So they joined us on World Down Syndrome Day to discuss Sarah's life.
'When she was born it was a total shock to us,' Andy said. 'I suppose you think about what's going to happen when we're not around, what she'll be able to achieve and how she'll be treated.'
And Sarah, 26, spoke to us about her job as a waitress, having a boyfriend and living independently. 'I work in the centre of London as a waitress in a hotel,' Sarah said. 'I've got a boyfriend called Leon and live in sheltered accommodation with a friend. It was so sad to leave my parents behind but I know they're always there.'
Andy explained when Sarah left home she told her parents, 'I love you but I don't need you.'
'Sarah's a fantastic role model but for other people it's more difficult,' Andy said.
Down's syndrome is a genetic condition where the person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. It can also cause learning disabilities and there are certain medical problems which are at an increased risk of developing. There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK with Down's, with around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK having the syndrome.
Watch the video to see the inspirational interview with Sarah and Andy.
ALEXANDRA BURKE PAYS TRIBUTE TO HER MUM AND OPENS UP ABOUT GRIEF
After performing her new single, The Truth Is, Alexandra bravely opened up about the death of her mum as well as facing her Strictly Come Dancing critics.
Talking about the song she wrote as a tribute to her mum Melissa Bell who died in August 2018, Alexandra was visibly upset saying, 'I don’t want her spirit to go away. I wrote that song before she passed, so she heard it at least.'
Melissa was diabetic and suffered kidney failure for more than nine years before her death. And Alexandra paid tribute to her saying, 'She was so positive, so strong and gave everything to life and everything to the family. I always say to myself, if she can, I have no excuse to stop. I love to work, it comes from her. I do enjoy what I do.'
Asked about being criticised for being emotional on Strictly, Alexandra said: 'It was really difficult. That’s what I miss about Strictly, feeling the carefree part of it. For those 90 seconds on stage you can’t think of anything else and I miss being that carefree. It was a blessing at the right time, a massive distraction for me.'
'I’ve thrown myself into work since Strictly. Some may say it’s not healthy and I know that literally everyday I have been doing something towards the album or in the studio. I’m frightened to stop. I’m not going to lie. I am.'
STRICTLY'S CHIZZY AKUDOLU OPENS UP ABOUT EXPERIENCING DEPRESSION GOING TO THERAPY
Holby City actress Chizzy joined us as a guestLoose Woman and revealed she hit a 'massive low' with depression after being voted out of Strictly Come Dancing last year.
'I do suffer from depression. I’m not ashamed to say that at all,' Chizzy told Ruth, Nadia and Coleen. 'It’s not something I asked for. It’s something I’m dealing with, I’m still on anti-depressants. I have therapy. I had quite a bit of therapy after Strictly. I just want to say that the show did offer me a therapist, I said, "No I’ll be fine, it’s just a show, just a show". I did hit a massive low with my depression after Strictly.'
Chizzy was diagnosed while working on Holby City and said: 'I was diagnosed about three and a half years ago. I think there’s been something there, but I’ve just always gone, everything’s fine!'
RALPH BULGER JOINS US JUST THREE DAYS AFTER WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS SON, JAMES', 28TH BIRTHDAY TO DISCUSS HOW HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER HAVE HELPED WITH HIS GRIEF.
In a bid to help others who may be struggling in grief for the loss of a loved one, Ralph Bulger spoke to Coleen, Kelly, Linda and Jane about his memories of James, revealing how his wife and daughter have helped heal him following the brutal murder of his son is brutal murder by 10-year-olds Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.
On the show, Jane told Ralph; 'The thing that struck me at the time, we do in situations like this often give a lot more sympathy to the mother, because it's that maternal thing, and dads sort of get kind of forgotten a little bit, but your grief is just as great.'
Ralph responded, 'You just have to deal with it the best way you can don't you?'
Talking about how he marked what would've been James' 28th birthday, he added: 'I went to the grave and put my flowers on the grave and remembered him the way I normally do. The main thing I remember was pushing him in his go-kart. He was a lovely boy.'
Discussing how he handled the devastation at the time, Ralph explained: 'I had a friend who did kickboxing who took me under his wing, so I got really into boxing and health and fitness, which helped me a lot. I try to keep myself busy.'
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH RALPH