HEARTBROKEN Elaine Fraser has been crowned the Echo’s I Love Mum winner after devoting her life to her son who lost his cancer battle.
Brave Connor Cassidy died in his mum’s arms just days before his sixth birthday. He was diagnosed with the disease when he was just two.
Elaine, 23, also mum to Nathan, two, tirelessly spent every minute possible by Connor’s side, caring for the little fighter, before his tragic death just a fortnight ago.
Her partner Craig Nesbitt, who nominated her for the award, said: “At the time Connor was diagnosed, although Elaine was just 20, she stepped up to every challenge in caring for her little boy.
“In 2010, soon after the birth of his brother Nathan, Connor’s disease returned and Elaine was told that he could no longer be cured, yet she dealt with this with astounding courage and maturity.”
As well as trying to keep a normal family life for Connor and Nathan, Elaine took the Barnes Infant School pupil to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary three times a week, sometimes daily, so he could receive treatment.
Elaine, of Barnes, also learnt how to administer chemotherapy and medicines from home so her precious son could spend more time there with his family.
Craig added: “Elaine was determined to make the most of each day.
“She packed so much into Connor’s short life, making sure he had every opportunity and experience possible, from letting off lanterns on the beach, seeing the lights in Blackpool, searching for crabs in rock pools, collecting stones and spending the afternoon painting them, to riding in a racing car at Whitby.
“Every day was about Connor. Because of Elaine, Connor experienced more in his five years than most people do in a lifetime.
“When Connor became very ill, there was no question where he would be cared for. Elaine chose to look after him at home, as this was where he wanted to be.
“I was so proud watching Elaine do the hardest job a mammy could ever have to do, and because of her, Connor left this world without pain or fear.”
Connor’s battle saw him being named as Child of Courage in our Pride of Wearside awards, and his bravery caught the attention of many Echo readers who contacted the family to show their support.
Elaine said: “It’s nice to win the prize. It’s been difficult since Connor went.
“Everything in the house feels like a reminder. It feels strange because I’m so used to going to the hospital and nurses coming to the house and now it feels like I’ve got nothing to do.
“What I did for Connor is what any mum would do for their child in the same situation.”