When Julia Hirst and her five-year-old son Mason were devastated by a cancer diagnosis last year, one special lady swooped in to save the day and help them find strength again.
Super mum and nan Celia Hirst has been “a rock” to single mum Julie since she became poorly- running her Bassetlaw Hospital for appointments and stopping over when she’s feeling under the weather.
And Julia and Mason, of Church Walk, could think of no better way to thank her than with a Guardian Rose award which was presented to Celia in an emotional surprise ceremony on Friday, April 15.
Julia said: “To put it simply, my mum has been my strength. I’ve got nobody else in the world but my dad and my mum.
“We are a very close family, especially since I had Mason five years ago.
“I don’t know what I would have done without my mum in particular this past year- she has been my rock.
“She lives quite a while away in Everton, but if I’m ever feeling ill all I have to do is call and she will come whizzing over immediately.
“If I am struggling to cope, she will stay with me for however long it takes me to get back on my feet.
“She’s in her 70s, but is a very active lady. She has no problem running me about to get medication in her car even though I could probably just get a taxi.
“She is also incredible with Mason. She rings him every day and he is always on the phone telling her about the adventures he’s been on that day.
“She absolutely dotes on him and he adores her and his grandad.”
Julia added: “My mum held it together while some pictures were taken of her with the rose award but deep down she is a real softie like me, and we had some tears afterwards.
“There’s nothing I could do to thank her enough for taking care of Mason and I, but I wanted to at least try and let her know how much she is loved and appreciated by us both.”
Mason, who attends Norbridge Academy, is no stranger to the Guardian.
He recently appeared in the newspaper after raising more than £2,000 single-handedly for Cancer Research UK.
The tot managed to raise the sponsorship money after volunteering to undertake small jobs at the Worksop branches of Asda and Home Bargains after school and at weekends.
The inspirational five-year-old even has his own name tag and continues to fundraise to this day.
Mason said: “I would like to thank my nan for everything that she has done for my mummy and me.”
Our Guardian Roses are generously donated by popular Worksop florist Walker’s House of Flowers, which is based in the Priory Shopping Centre.