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‘Nipples to Kneecaps’ is the extraordinarily moving memoir of Steve and Mandy Brown who defied Steve’s death sentence of terminal cancer in January of 1986. By making positive changes to their habits and daily lives, Steve is alive to tell his story today through the words of Mandy and her perspective on the events that miraculously cured her husband. The book is a moving celebration of the true meaning of human triumph and courage, the importance of instinct and the imperative of living everyday with joy.


“My dear girl, I have seen many a patient in my time and we cannot help Steve. At best, he has three months to live…” are words that every partner dreads. The crushing pain of shock, despair and the realisation that family life will change drastically from that moment forward are an all too real occurrence of hundreds of families every day: for Mandy it was a call to arms. She could see that there was still a fighting spirit in Steve’s tumour-riddled body, so she hatched a plan that ultimately proved to be the turning point for the couple’s destiny.


Laughing, socialising with only positive family and friends, changing the use of certain words in conversation, and cutting out any negativity in their lives meant that laughter and happiness became the norm. Surrounding themselves in positivity and an openness to the paranormal and unusual, Mandy and Steve created a ‘culture of change’, which they believe ultimately saved Steve.


‘Nipples to Kneecaps’ is the heartwarming true story of a young family’s high and lows following on from a heartbreaking terminal prognosis through to successful remission and their unconventional methods of adapting to day-to-day living with cancer and subsequent recovery through the healing power of positivity.

Buy your copy and learn how to make the seemingly impossible possible today!

For more information and to place your order for delivery direct to your kindle on DECEMBER 7TH 2017 go to or order today via Amazon


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Do you feel tired, unwell, have stomach problems, aches and pains or more? What does your bodies need minerals for? Is your body crying out for minerals?

Video 3 in the series for a UK based nutrition company answers some of those questions. I sign and speak throughout this health video to enable better access for people who are deaf.
Our bodies need minerals for almost every function in the body. This video goes through the major reasons that we need minerals to survive on a daily basis.I even have props to explain cellular health!


Note: I only covers the digestive system when talking about enzyme function. Please see my report on ‘Enzymes’ on my health blog.

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Video 2 in the series for a UK based nutrition company who want to make sure everyone has access to this vital information. This video explains briefly why our bodies can not survive without minerals. I am a qualified nutritionist myself and, if requested, would be happy to produce some more detailed videos – of my own – on the subject of health (signed too of course!). Meanwhile, this video and the ones to follow will hopefully give people something to consider and research so they can improve their health. I believe we are meant to be healthy…sadly there are so many conflicting messages out there… so let common sense prevail.

Wishing you all optimum health!


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What are Plant Derived Minerals? I was asked to produce a series of videos for a nutrition based company in the UK. They wanted to make sure that people who are deaf and sign language users also have access to this valuable information for their health.

I do use the product mentioned myself and highly recommend it. I am speaking and signing at the same time (some people call this SSE – Sign Supported English or total communication).  I am not in my usual BSL interpreting role here.

The videos are all aimed at educating people (including deaf people) about ‘plant derived minerals’, the difference between plant and metallic minerals and why minerals are essential for our health. Sadly very few people have enough plant minerals in their diet and as a result are suffering ill health, fatigue, pains, depression, diabetes etc…This Video is an introduction – several more to follow.

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picture1Earlier this year  Steve and I were asked to run a workshop for the Diabetes UK Conference. Several people have since contacted us and asked us to share our powerpoint slides.

Here they are, but as I think it will be more useful we will put up a short video to remind you of the signs we used on that day  🙂



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My mother enjoying painting in her care home

My mother enjoying painting in her care home

Are you facing that decision? Should you go ahead a place your mother with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s/Dementia in a residential home? When is the right time? At what point do you decide?

I don’t know the answer for you, but I do know it is not as the result of the social worker’s questions re her ability to cook for herself, to wash herself or get lost in the street. It’s when you retch at the urine smelling lounge, the parcels of half masticated food or faeces found neatly arranged on the shelf. It’s when she reaches for the magnolia paint pot instead of the mayonnaise. It’s when your heart breaks when she shows you a photo of your father and asks, “Who is this?”

A month ago I had to make that decision. Three years previously the mental health nurse gently said, “I am sorry, your mother has Alzheimer’s” The same week the doctor quietly said, “Your father has terminal cancer.”

They had lived together for over 60 years and suddenly he was gone. His death seemed to accelerate my mother’s disease. She moved to be nearer us. Using the Contented Dementia approach was the way to go for us. I strongly believe it helped. So why was I considering it was time for a care home?

I can list the reasons I gave myself and others relating to my worsening health, the strain on the close family, the worry about what she understood, whether I’d interpreted correctly what she was trying to say and if we were making her life better or worse. Yet, I did not know the real reason until I had dropped her off in the care home and then came home and cried myself to sleep.

That reason is the one I am going to share with you now, as it might help someone else with the decision. I realise now I wanted my mother back. I wanted to have those memories I saw my other friends having with their elderly parents – going out for a relaxing lunch, having proper conversations, sharing hobbies, laughing at the same jokes. I, on the other hand, had become her personal carer, her shopper, her cleaner, her book keeper, her bill payer, her interpreter and her advocate when faced with misunderstanding, and oft rude, public. All these roles I did gladly and with love, but now I understand that all those demanding roles took away who I really was to her. I was her daughter who loved her for who she was, yet doing all the jobs that I had to do meant ‘her daughter, who loved her for who she really was’ was suffocating and lost.

Now when I visit her in the care home I feel refreshed and in love again with my mother. That might sounds strange and of course I always loved her, but now I spend ‘quality time’ with her. I enjoy going in and giving her aromatherapy hand massages. I enjoy sitting looking leisurely though photos and magazines with her. I enjoy singing Elvis songs and nursery rhymes with her. I have my mother back and she has me back.

Mandy Brown


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How to sign a fruit salad the Makaton way could not be easier. We filmed this video impromptu and in one go. Mainly because once I had cut the fruit it is a bit hard to stick it back together again!

In the video I use key signs as I speak and show some symbols and photographs of various fruit. There is even a section where I try to avoid cutting off my fingers!! Thanks Steve for volunteering to finish cutting up the fruit – then giving me the finished bowl of fruit salad in the style of , “And, here’s one I made earlier!”

Signs covered include: banana, cherry, kiwi, strawberry, orange, apple, peach, grapes; red, green, black; salad.

Apologies that the end of the video got cut off (I am still learning) , but basically I would have asked, ” Fruit salad anyone?” plus the usual goodbyes from 1 Starfish.

Has anyone got any fruit creations they would like to share?

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This video uses ‘Total Communication’ – signing and speaking at the same time. The signs are taken from BSL (British sign language) and presented in spoken word order to support understanding of the spoken word or to aid lipreading. Total communication is a way of communicating which gives access for people who are deaf, deafened or hearing with a communication difficulty.

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What better way to learn how to sign colours than go to the sweet shop at the end of the rainbow! In this video by 1starfish we did just that – mmmm, yummy sweet heaven!

Total Communication encourages speaking with the addition of sign language and other visual clues. It uses signs from British Sign Language (BSL) .

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