A CARING teenager has been nominated by her friends and family for a Pride of South Tyneside Award.
Jaimee Ridley has been put forward for Role Model of the Year.
The 18-year-old, of Delaval Court, South Shields, has set up a foundation in memory of her mother, who lost her battle against leukaemia in 2012.
The Elizabeth Ridley Foundation now aims to help other families affected by cancer by offering financial and emotional support.
Jaimee, who is studying A-levels at Gateshead College and hopes to become a nurse, also lost her father, Charlie, to lung cancer in 2009, and has taken on the care of her 10-year-old sister, also named Elizabeth.
She was nominated for the accolade, which is sponsored by family butchers Dicksons, by her stepfather, Kelvin Moy and friends Robert Pascoe and Georgia McKean.
Mr Moy said: “She is only 18 years of age and she lost her father in 2009 to lung cancer, and then her mother got diagnosed with leukaemia towards the end of 2009 and she battled it for two years.
“During that time Jaimee looked after her mam and younger sister while she was still in school. She is now 18 and her mother passed away in 2012.
“Ever since, Jaimee has taken on the role of being a mother to her younger sister, Elizabeth. She looks after her amazingly, she goes to college three times a week and volunteers at the hospital, she has set up a foundation in her mother’s name and is helping other families with their battles, financially supporting them and caring for them.”
To nominate someone for a Pride of South Tyneside award, fill in the form in today’s paper, or do it online by following this link.
Jaimee’s friend, Georgia, added: “On March 3 this year, my mam sadly lost her fight to cancer. Jaimee has been through the same thing as me, as her amazing mother lost her battle two years ago.
“Jaimee has a heart of gold and has dedicated her life to helping others. I don’t know where I would have been without her these past months. No one deserves this more.”
Jaimee, who is running the London Marathon this year in memory of her mum, said: “Ever since my mam died I’ve always wanted to help others. Me and my sister went through absolute hell, losing our dad and then our mam, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that alone.
“When my mam was diagnosed we had to go for appointments at Sunderland Royal Hospital all the time and the taxi fares back and forward cost us a fortune.
“My mam had to have a walk-in shower fitted in the house too, and that cost a lot of money. That’s the sort of thing I want to help people with through my foundation.
“Elizabeth was only eight at the time and I was in school and it was a lot for us to go through. I’m really chuffed to be nominated because I’ve never been up for an award before.”