Teesside mum Gemma Sands, who lost her daughter to a rare brain condition, has been recognised with an award for her charitable work on behalf of other local families whose children suffer from similar neurological issues.
When 21-month-old Rebecca died from Lissencaphaly in August 2010, parents Gemma and Mike set up Remembering Rebecca, a charity to raise awareness of the condition and other neurological diseases.
They have now raised nearly £200,000 over the past five-and-a-half years to purchase specialist equipment for the children of families who struggle to raise the necessary funds.
Now Gemma has received a Teesside Hero award after being nominated by one of the parents she has supported.
Gemma, from Ingleby Barwick, received a Teesside Hero award at a surprise presentation by Jayne Stephenson, a patron of charitable movement, Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
A school teacher at Ryehills Schools in Redcar, Gemma said: “It’s lovely to be appreciated and I must admit I had a little cry when I was presented with the award. I was startled because it’s usually my daughter, Charlotte, who rightly wins all the awards. I guess it was mum’s turn this time!
“When we had Rebecca, we realised how hard and expensive it was to get the equipment you need when you have a very poorly child. A lot of families just don’t know where to turn so I will help people wherever I can. More families need support now than ever before."Read More »