THIS devoted mum has spent her whole life caring for others.
As a child, Claire Hahn was suddenly faced with the prospect of looking after her own mother who suffered a severe case of meningitis.
“Basically, I became the mum and she was the child,” recalls the 34-year-old, who has been nominated for the Echo’s I Love Mum competition.
“She was left in a coma from the meningitis, which meant her brain was starved of oxygen. She needed a lot of looking after – and that is still the case today. I provide support for her, although she does live in her own home.”
But Claire’s struggle didn’t stop there. Four years ago, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which leaves her unable to go out of the house some days.
But despite her problems, Claire has found enough time to raise daughters Gemma, 20, Morgan, 12, and Jesse, 15 months.
It was Gemma who nominated her devoted mum for our Mother’s Day competition.
Gemma, who is studying an access course for university, said: “Being a full-time carer for her mother and juggling the rest of everyday family life has been hard on mum.
“However, being the amazing women she is, she has never given up being the fun-loving mother we know and love.
“My mam never has time to herself, and her money goes on us, her girls.
“Because I’m a student and my sisters are young, it means we don’t really have money to spare to treat her and show her how much we appreciate her.”
In between raising her daughters, Claire, who is married to Michael, 38, still finds time to work part-time at npower.
The mum, from Hall Farm, Sunderland, said: “I’m very proud of all my girls, and I’ve been left a bit shocked by this nomination.
“Gemma was recently on a gap year in Australia, but she came back on the day that Jesse was born.
“It’s been fantastic to have all my girls at home again, but there’s never a quiet moment.”