A LOVING mum who overcame a lifelong disability to care for her family will pick up a glittering prize from a top fashion jewellery store after being crowned 2016 Mother of the Year.
Despite being told she would never be able to have children because of the spina bifida she was born with, 58-year-old Heather Mather from Mold went on to have a daughter who proudly put her forward for the competition.
According to daughter Kerry, she nominated her mum because of the love and devotion she has shown her over the years and the way she never lets her own problems stand in the way of caring for her family.
With Mothering Sunday approaching, the Leader newspaper joined forces with fashion jewellery shop Mococo at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham to launch the search for our Mum of the Year.
And after sifting through a mountain of entries, our judges have selected a worthy winner in Heather, who lives in Queen’s Park.
Her fabulous prize, to be supplied in time for the big day on Sunday, March 6, by Mococo, is a beautiful silver and rose gold Eternal Love heart locket from Clogau which is set with three sparkling diamond and contains rare Welsh gold. Enclosed within the locket is a beautiful solid silver heart also set with a diamond.
Heather’s prize also includes a meal for two at Pizza Express at Eagles Meadow, including a main course and a starter or sweet.
Daughter Kerry said in her nomination: “My Mum is one in a million. She was born with spina bifida and it has never slowed her down or stopped her in her tracks, to the point where I shouldn’t be writing this as doctors told her she’d never have children.
“My Mum has been my rock and I generally don’t know what me and my Dad, who is also disabled, would do without her.
“Mum has been really poorly over the last few years, and last year we hit a very scary point where she became really ill and even then she made sure me and my Dad were ready for work and had uniforms ironed and lunches packed. Every day she puts the whole family before herself.
“She enjoys going out and is regularly seen on the door of the local ex-service men’s club taking the money and welcoming everyone in.
“She is also a dressmaker and will help out anyone she possibly can whenever they need it, putting her own needs on the back burner.
“My Mum deserves to win so she knows how much we appreciate her and what she does for us and how much we love her.”
Heather said: “The spina bifida I was born with left me with a problem walking but I use two crutches to get around on most of the time and a wheelchair for longer trips.
“I was married to my husband, David, who is 55, 34 years ago and we had our daughter, Kerry, despite the doctors telling me when I was young that I’d never be able to have children because of my disability.
“I had an operation last May with left me with some complications and was quite poorly. But I’m a real fighter and I didn’t let it hold me back.
“Looking after my family is very important to me and even after my illness I insisted on making sure David, who works as a hygiene operative at a factory in Flint, and Kerry, who is a nursery nurse in Nercwys, both had ironed uniforms and a packed lunch every day.
“David is also disabled and has a weakness on the right side of his body.
“I also like to make clothes for myself and Kerry and anyone else who asks me to do something for them. I’ve actually just finished making a special dress for Kerry’s 30th birthday party.
“On Saturday nights I volunteer to work on the door at the Ex-Service Club in Mold, taking the money and welcoming people in.”
Heather added: “I just think that life is for living despite my disability.
“As I didn’t even know that Kerry had entered me for the Mum of the Year competition I was shocked but very thrilled to hear that I’d actually won.
“It’s a big honour and a lovely prize – and I’m going to give Kerry a big hug for putting me forward.”
After hearing that her Mum had won, Kerry said: “I’m over the moon for her. She thoroughly deserves it and I love her to bits!”
Runner-up in the competition is another magical mum, 49-year-old Tracey Gee from Gwersyllt.
She wins a family ticket for two adults and two children to watch a film at the Odeon cinema and enjoy a Family Feast for up to four people at the Frankie and Benny’s restaurant.
Tracey was entered by her 17-year-old daughter, Alicia, who recently completed a Level One course in administration at Coleg Cambria and now has a part-time job in catering at the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium in Wrexham.
In nominating her mum, Tracey, who lives at home with her parents in Wheatsheaf Lane, said: “She does what she can to help her friends and family. Mum is a kind, loving and caring woman.”
Maureen Hooson, who founded Mococo with her husband, Lee, said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to find such worthy winners.
“The competition is a lovely way to pay tribute to somebody who has had a great impact on your life, a person whose love and care knows no boundaries.
“I know they had a difficult job but the judges have chosen a fantastic winner and runner-up and I send them both my warmest congratulations.”
Kevin Critchley, the Manager of the Eagles Meadow, said: “Mother’s Day is the time to pamper your mother for all that she has done for you over the years, and I’m delighted to see that a very deserving winner and runner-up have been selected for these two great prizes.
“If you want to spoil her for once, Eagles Meadow is the place to come to ensure the perfect day out for the perfect mother.”