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'People say I'm selfish giving birth when I have years to live'; Philippa Donegan suffers from a rare tissue condition, but loves her son and is using art to prove it.

Byline: Keane Duncan

A miracle mum with an incurable condition hopes her art will allow the public to see past her disability.

Philippa Donegan, 29, fromAcklam, suffers from rare Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, meaning her life will be cut short.

But she decided to have a baby despite her condition - and a backlash from other mums.

She said: "As a disabled mum, that's on a palliative care pathway, I often get a lot of criticism.

"People think I'm selfish having a child when I have a few years to live.

"But palliative care isn't the same as end of life care. Palliative care is given to someone by multiple health professionals when their is no cure to their life limiting condition.

"Who knows how long I have to live, it could be a year, it could be 20!"

She added: "Yes I have limitations; I can't eat, or run, but my son and I have loads of fun.

"I'm there for him every single day, we cook together, play together, sing together and nap together! People often highlight what I can't do, my disabilities, they don't see my abilities.

Philippa was among the mums to display her art at the Arty Mammy pop up exhibition held on Saturday at Pineapple Black in the Hillstreet Centre,Middlesbrough.

She said: "I hope my 3D collage prompts people to look deeper than what's on the surface, see passed the tubes, the injections and the wheelchair and see the person, the mum and the wife.

"I hope they see the love, determination, strength, bravery and the long long journey it took for my husband and I to become parents.

"Our chances were less than slim, so our son was a true miracle!"

The Arty Mammy Pop-Up Exhibition

The Arty Mammy exhibition was organised by Kirstie Murray to encourage mums to come forward and showcase their art skills.

She said: "I would describe the exhibition as a very eclectic collection of art by local mums.

"Some of the artists are professional, but the majority are not, and for many this is the first time they have put art on public display.

"The idea behind the project is to celebrate what mums can do and provide a space for them to show off their creative side."

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Credit: Katie Lunn

Artist and mum Philippa Donegan, from Acklam

Credit: Copyright unknown

The Arty Mammy exhibition was organised by Kirstie Murray, pictured with son Thomas

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 7, 2019
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