VIDEO: Devoted Fenton mum Joy Heslop nominated for Sentinel Mother of the Year competition
DEDICATED mum Joy Heslop juggles caring for her ill son with raising cash for other poorly children.
The 40-year-old shop assistant's eight-year-old son Billy suffers with a rare condition which means he has problems digesting food and has a weak heart.
But Joy still finds time to balance caring for Billy with raising £2,700 for the Cheethams Ward at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
Now her dedication has landed her a nomination in The Sentinel's Mother of the Year competition.
For the next couple of weeks we have some special offers
such as the award winning DMCTZ40 20x optical zoom camera
Was £289.95 - Now £269.97 SAVE an extra £20 with this voucher ONLY £249.90
We are closed to enjoy the Bank holiday with our own families, so this offer and others are live now.
Great savings across all the products TV's - washers - cameras - HiFi - cleaners and more
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Thursday, June 06 2013
Joy, of Elliot Road, Fenton, was put forward by her husband Chris, who says her bubbly personality has kept the family going through a difficult few years.
Chris, aged 46, who also has a 15-year-old son Jack with Joy, said: "Joy is a brilliant mother and will do almost anything for anybody.
"She has kept us all going as a family since Bill's illness as we had our moments at the start where he was close to death's door a few times."
Billy, a student at Glebe Primary School in Fenton, was diagnosed with intestinal lymphangiectasia at the age of five.
The condition affects around 20 people worldwide and means his parents are on a constant watch for any change in his health and have to be ready to respond at any time.
Carer Chris added: "It is a life-long disease so it is going to be there in some form for the rest of his life. But it is about plodding on and making the most of the time we have together as a family."
Billy needed to spend three months at the hospital in 2011 and it was then that Joy decided to raise money to buy new toys and games for the children.
Chris said: "We spent a fair few months in hospital and noticed that the toys were either old and had bits missing or were broken.
"Joy decided she wanted to help because being in hospital can be very tedious for the youngsters. She's one in a million."
Joy organised a pyjama day at local schools to help boost the total.
She managed to raise £1,544 on the day which will be matched by gift aid bringing the sum to £2,744.
And Joy believes focussing her mind on raising the cash has helped her to cope with Billy's illness.
She said: "It is really important when you have a sick child to try to concentrate on other things like fund-raising because otherwise it will totally encompass you.
"You have to realise what you enjoy doing in life because it helps you get through the tough times."
Joy also fought to get her youngest son brought home from hospital after he was diagnosed so he could be with his family.
She said: "As a mum I think you should show that you can care for your kids and help other people."