Is Betty Sunderland’s best mum?

Betty Brown, who has been nominated for the Echo's 'I Love You Mum' competition.
Betty Brown, who has been nominated for the Echo's 'I Love You Mum' competition.
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TO those who meet her, she’s Elizabeth.

To those who know her, Betty.

But to her devoted family, she’s simply “the world’s best mum”.

Betty Brown has devoted her life to raising her family and looking after others.

Now, those she has cared for are saying thank you by nominating her for the Echo’s I Love Mum competition.

Daughter Julie Brown, 42, said: “My mum deserves nice things to happen to her. We all love her so much.”

Mum-of-four and a grandmother-of-eight, Betty hasn’t always had an easy life.

Living in Carley Hill, she often worked three part-time jobs in a bid to make ends meet, always making sure her family did not go without.

The 75-year-old said: “It was tough bringing up four children while going out to work to raise enough money to support them.”

Married to Norman, 76, Betty would often work long nightshifts at Plessy’s in Pallion just so she could be home with her growing family during the day.

“I worked in a betting shop, a baker’s, a cake decorator’s, as well as Thompson Park Nursing Home. I did whatever we could to make sure no one went without.”

Now grown up, Betty and Norman’s family were left heartbroken when, in February 2011, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It was a shock,” said Betty, now living in Roker. “At first I was told there was nothing to worry about by both the GP and a consultant. But I had a feeling there was something more happening.

“I had all the tests, and it turned out there was something to worry about.”

Betty underwent a mastectomy, followed by bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She’s also been on breast cancer drug Herceptin for the past 12 months.

She said: “I could never have got through any of this without the wonderful support of my family. The children have kept me going. The grandchildren have kept me busy.

“I have tried to stay as independent as possible. I’ve managed to do all the housework.

“The girls have wanted to help me do things, but I like to do them for myself.”

Betty is waiting for the results of bone tests so that medics can see exactly what her current condition is.

Despite all she has been through, she has not lost her sense of humour.

“When I was going through chemotherapy, I’d lost all my hair. I was visiting Sea Road with my daughter, Julie,” recalls Betty.

“I stepped out of the car, only for a gust of wind to blow my wig off, straight into the middle of the road.

“I was pulling my cardigan over my head, so no one would see me, while Julie was running into the middle of the road, almost getting knocked over, trying and catch the wig.

“It wasn’t funny at the time, but we’ve had a laugh since.”

Twitter: @craigjourno