A “selfless” auntie who goes out of her way to help family and friends despite suffering from a difficult illness has been recognised with a Guardian Rose.
Debbie Johnston was presented with the accolade in a surprise ceremony at her business, Sparkles Hair and Beauty Supplies, on Kilton Road, on Thursday.
She was nominated by her 18-year-old niece Lettisha Smith, who wanted to thank her auntie for “always being there” for her despite her ongoing battle with endometriosis.
Lettisha said: “My auntie has a heart of gold. No matter what she’s going through, she always puts everyone else before her own needs and is an inspiration to many.”
Endometriosis is a long-term illness that affects the womb. It can have a significant impact on someone’s life, causing discomfort and pain and even affecting fertility.
But despite recently undergoing operations to ease her symptoms recently, Lettisha says her auntie “always comes out smiling”.
“She is amazing really, considering everything that she’s been through due to her illn ess,” said Lettisha.
“What I would like to thank her for the most is helping me with my daughter, Leveah, who is 13-weeks-old. would have really struggled without her.”
Lettisha added that her auntie was “emotional” when she was presented with her Guardian Rose.
“She was really shocked,” said Lettisha. “She cried. It was a really touching moment.”
Our Guardian Roses are generously donated by Walkers House of Flowers, which is located in the Priory Shopping Centre.
To nominate someone for the award call 01909 543017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The award is free and the story will appear in the paper and online.