A CARING mother has been nominated for a ScottishPower/Trinity Mirror Cheshire Your Champions award.
Denise Jackson, of Thorne Drive, Little Sutton, has been nominated for the award in the Person of the Year category.
She has spent 38 years providing round-the-clock care for her late son Paul and her daughter Samantha, 28, who were both diagnosed with a rare brain disorder.
Denise was 16 years old when her first child Paul was born. At 15 he developed epilepsy.
The couple went on to have two daughters, Kerry and Samantha, and juggled a busy family life with Paul’s associated health problems.
An MRI scan revealed a large black hole in the white matter – the myelin sheath – surrounding Paul’s brain and was diagnosed with leukodystrophy – a group of disorders, of which 34 are currently classified.
The disease was made famous by Hollywood film Lorenzo’s Oil.
Despite the discovery of a treatment by the father, Augusto Odone, portrayed in the film for his son’s condition – adrenoleukodystrophy – there remains no treatment for the remaining disorders.
The diagnosis was the start of years of 24-hour care for Paul, who eventually lost his mobility and power of speech and died aged 31.
Eighteeen months after Paul’s death they were struck another dreadful blow when their daughter 21-year-old Samantha was diagnosed with the same condition.
Samantha, who now uses a wheelchair and at one point weighted only five stone, is fed through a peg feed – a tube that feeds liquid directly into her stomach – throughout the night.
Denise recently told the Pioneer: “We don’t know what the future holds for Samantha. But so far she seems to be handling this better.”
Margaret Mottershaw, who provides home help for the family, said: “I’ve got to say that I’ve never come across a family like the Jacksons. They are the most positive, loving, welcoming, down-to-earth and wonderful people.”
Denise has already been recognised by the Bupa National Carer Awards, who named her regional winner in the Parent Carer category.