Michelle Leak and her son Carson

For the month of February, IOL is inviting our readers to tell us who they love and why to stand a chance of winning amazing prizes in our #MyHeart competition.

Our next winner is Michelle Leak, who submitted the following entry:

The person who holds my heart is my five-year-old son, Carson. 

For years I have had fertility problems and undergone many uncomfortable and painful procedures. Diagnosed with PCOS and a blocked fallopian tube diminished my hope. 

After three failed IVFs, the hope was completely gone and replaced by a sense of failure as a woman. 

I made peace with the fact that I would never experience motherhood. 

Lo and behold, the very next month after the last failed IVF, I was pregnant. My attending Professor and the wonderful staff at the government hospital facility I attended was as shocked and elated. It was simply a miracle. 

When Carson was born I dubbed him “child of my heart”. He was everything I imagined him to be. Alas, I suffered postpartum depression for three months; and being told that conceiving via c-section does not make you a real woman, did not help one bit. The choice therein was not mine to make at the time. 

Now; five years later, I am a not just a mom, I am his mom. I love him unconditionally, protect him fiercely and live for his happiness. 

This little person is smart, polite, confident and totally awesome. He gives the best hugs and kisses. Wipes my tears when I’m sad and tells me how much he loves me on a daily basis. 

It is a joy to watch him grow and now my greatest wish is “time”; time to witness my boy grow up to be a man. None of us are guaranteed eternal life on earth, so each day for me is a blessing to spend time with my beautiful son. 

Regards

Carson&Michelle

How to enter our #MyHeart competition:

Tell us who you love and why. The IOL team is passionate about news for the heart of South Africa and we want to hear about who holds your heart. Whether it's the love of your life, your BFF, your cat, your mom, your boss or your second-removed cousin on your grandmother's side, we want to know why you appreciate them so much.

If you are our pick for the best story of the day, you will win one of our amazing prizes and be entered into our grand prize draw sponsored by Protea Hotels by Marriott. 

Whether it's an urban escape, going off the beaten track or a romantic seaside soiree you’re after, Protea Hotels by Marriott has just what you're looking for. Visit  protea.marriott.com/valentines-day for some unbelievable couple's experiences and imagine the possibilities this Valentine’s month.  

So send an email to [email protected] telling us your #MyHeart story.

You can also DM us on Facebook or Twitter.

Or download our app on Android or IOS and use our MOJO feature to send us your entry.

TIP: The more words the better, and if you have pics and videos, you can send that too. 

The competition runs from February 1 to 28.

Winners will be notified by March 1.

Winners will be notified by email or phone, so please send us your contact details with your entry.

Competition Rules:

Selected story entries, pictures and videos will be published on iol.co.za and our social media pages. The winners' names will be published on our website and social media pages.

Your privacy is important to us. When you enter a competition with us, we ask for your name, email address and mobile number. We use email addresses to notify winners to let them know they have won a prize. We use the mobile numbers provided in order to contact the winner and for prize delivery.

The competition is only open to people residing in South Africa.

Employees of Independent Media, the sponsors & their agents, or any company associated with the competition & their immediate families are not eligible to enter. • Prizes are not redeemable for cash. •  The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. •  Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged. • The entrant accepts that entry to the competition does not constitute a contract or any form of legal commitment between the entrant and IOL.