Readers' Lives: Cover Star Brenda Proud

Readers' Lives: Cover Star Brenda Proud

It is no exaggeration to say Travel Weekly's Cover Stars trip helped Brenda Proud get over one of the most traumatic periods of her life.

In March 2012, the mum-of-two underwent a hysterectomy - the first major operation of her life - and then picked up an infection which left her needing a blood transfusion.

The recovery time was far from the 12 weeks doctors had told her - it took nearly a year for her to feel fully back to normal and the operation took its toll, shattering her day-to-day confidence and ability to muliti-task as a homeworker, wife and mum of two boys.

So when in September last year, the Cover Stars trip to Orlando was advertised, Brenda couldn't help thinking what a boost a photoshoot, makeover and trip to Universal Orlando Resort and Premium Shopping Outlets would be for her, particularly as a Harry Potter fan and shopaholic.

At the time she thought it was a pipe-dream.

"I thought I'd never win it so I put it one side," said Brenda. "But I kept glancing at it and one day I was on a downer and thought 'what have I got to lose'?"

"I had been through such a rough time. The operation had floored me, my memory had been affected, it took all my energy and I was under pressure to work as we needed my wages but my confidence had also been shattered," recalled Brenda.

Winning a place on the Coverstars trip - thanks in part to support from clients and family who encouraged others to vote for her - was in itself a huge confidence-booster, said Brenda.

"When your confidence is low, to have so much support was overwhelming. I couldn't believe it," she admitted.

Her many highlights of the trip ranged from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the chance to wear a stunning Max Mara outfit.

"I was frightened to put it on; I nearly fainted when I saw the price tag! The clothes made me feel a million dollars!" she said.

It is obvious Brenda is not exaggerating when she describes the trip as one of the best weeks she's ever had.

"Applying to be a coverstar was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and boosted my morale and confidence. It brought me out of that lull and made me look at things differently.

"I was on a high for weeks afterwards and even my clients could hear the excitement in my voice. They said I was so different to before I went away."


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