Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Gemma Is Dedicated to Those in Need; Family Inspires Mum to Reach out to Help Community

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Gemma Is Dedicated to Those in Need; Family Inspires Mum to Reach out to Help Community

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS KNIGHT Reporter christopher.knight@reachplc.com @C_M_Knight

A SELFLESS mum has channelled her own pain as the inspiration for a one-woman crusade to help others.

Gemma Evans has endured a turbulent two years with the loss of her stepmother and nan, plus her mum's cancer diagnosis.

The 34-year-old's son Ashton has previously spent time in a coma following a life-threatening asthma attack, and daughter Kristen was hospitalised by appendicitis just six months later.

But rather than dwelling on her grief and emotional trauma, Gemma has dedicated herself to improving the lives of those in need.

The mum-of-two, from Stanley, County Durham, has raised thousands for a variety of charities, organised collections for food banks and children in hospital, as well as volunteering to help the homeless.

Now, husband Shaun has nominated her for a 'Community Champion' award in our Chronicle Champion Awards.

Gemma said: "It was a bit of a surprise for me. I was just a bit overwhelmed because I don't think what I do is out of this world. It's a hobby for me and I enjoy what I do."

Gemma has always enjoyed supporting charities, but has ramped up her involvement in the last 14 months.

Stepmother Julie Brannigan died in a Marie Curie Hospice, and nan Margaret Mason was buried on what would have been her 73rd birthday shortly after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Gemma on Easter eggs Mum Tracey Willis was diagnosed with breast cancer, while Gemma's aunt Debra Taylor was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Both are currently in remission.

Nine-year-old Ashton required intensive care following a serious asthma attack, and 12-year-old Kristen was taken for emergency surgery after her appendicitis was diagnosed late.

For Gemma, the series of events in such a short space of time has helped focus her priorities on what is important in her life. …

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