CARING Emma Gates has dedicated most of her life caring for her mother.
Sharon, 50, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when Emma was only 10.
But despite her youth, Emma, now 27, sacrificed school trips, socialising with friends and going on holidays in order to care for her mum.
Now Sharon, of Mill Lane, Gosport, wants to give her daughter her life back.
She said: ‘Emma is a wonderful daughter – she’s my best friend.
‘She has given up her life to help and I want to do something for her now.’
Sharon’s MS leaves her feeling tired and causes her limbs to spasm.
Sometimes they can last for minutes and other time months.
It means Sharon needs full-time care, which has been receiving from her daughter.
Emma said: ‘Even after looking after her for almost 18 years, I don’t fully understand the condition.
‘It’s difficult to explain, but because she’s my mum I want to look after her.
‘I give her her medicine, help her around the house, cook dinner and clean the house.’
Her efforts have been recognised after she won an award.
Sharon entered Emma into the 4Children award, where she was crowned winner of the south-east region.
‘I didn’t even know my mum had put me forward,’ added Emma.
‘It was a shock when I found out and it was great to have won.’
Dedicating her life to caring for her mum meant Emma spent less time at school.
‘It did mess up my schooling,’ added Emma. ‘I put a lot of my life on hold.
‘My mum was quite bad during my GCSEs, but I managed to pass them.’
Emma has undertaken two diplomas from home schooling and hopes to become a social worker.
But the family said that the qualification isn’t recognised in the UK.
Emma said: ‘Because my GCSEs were lower grades, I would have to retake them do my A Levels and then go on to university. This would cost around £100,000.
‘But I can take my qualifications to Canada and do a two-year course for £30,000.’
To help Emma fundraise email email@example.com.