A CARING mum who works tirelessly to support her four children – two of whom have severe illnesses – has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award.
Friends of 32-year-old Stef Griggs, from Lee-on-the-Solent, have put her forward for a Pride of Britain award, describing her as an inspiration for the way she battles on with a smile on her face, even while her husband Martin is away at sea.
Stef and Martin have four children – Ellie, 11; Finn, four and twins Koby and Freddie, age one.
Finn has hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS), which essentially means he has half a heart.
Meanwhile Koby was born with supernumerary chromosome eight – causing a number of learning difficulties.
Friend Chloe Owen, 26, says she admires Stef for how much she has gone through with her children.
She said: ‘A group of us put her up for the award – to have so much going on and just get through it, still with a smile on her face, is amazing.
‘She works so hard to care for her children and we wanted to share her inspirational story and recognise just how wonderful she is.
‘She goes through so much day in, day out, and is not only an incredible person but a great friend.’
Stef says that she feels honoured to have been nominated – but also says that any other mum would do the exact same thing in her shoes.
She said: ‘It was a real shock when they told me – I really wasn’t expecting it.
‘The first thing that hit me was the realisation that I would have to wear a dress and makeup; I never get the chance to do that anymore.
‘It’s so lovely of my friends to have nominated me though.’
Both Finn and Koby have been in and out of hospital regularly throughout their lives, with Finn having an operation in Southampton last month.
Stef said: ‘My children are so brave – to me, they are the ones who deserve the awards.
‘I was 30 weeks pregnant when I went into labour with Koby and Freddie – it was when the doctors were doing tests that they found out about Koby’s supernumerary chromosome eight, and he failed all his hearing tests.
‘As a family we tend to always be pretty busy with doctors appointments, physio visits and so on – but I wouldn’t change a thing about my lovely children and I think I would be bored without all the chaos!’
Stef’s husband, Martin Griggs, is a leading hand in the Royal Navy, having spent nine years in the forces serving aboard HMS Nelson.
She explained: ‘It feels strange – I’m no different to any other mum, doing what any other mum would do in my shoes.
‘I don’t see it as going above and beyond or anything like that; plus my husband has been brilliant and so has the Royal Navy.
‘You just do the best you can for your kids and take each day as it comes.’
Nominations are open for the 2019 Pride of Britain awards – for more information go to prideofbritain.com