A PROUD mum got off her sickbed to watch her brave daughter scoop three top placings at a dance event.
Nicola Crowther, 36 was so ill with a rare condition called Gaucher’s Disease she had to miss her daughter Kaitlyn, 12, in numerous competitions.
All the while, Kaitlyn was struggling to perform to her best without her proud mum there to support her.
Nicola was told by doctors she probably would not live beyond 30 after battling the type 3 form of the illness which affects every one of her internal organs except her heart. It also affects her bones and parts of her brain.
But after months of being bedridden, Nicola’s symptoms started to ease in the last few days.
And an overjoyed Kaitlyn went back to the hobby she loved - and danced her way to three first places, telling the judges: “I did it for my mam.”
The heartwarming story was revealed by Nicola, who said: “I could not be more proud of her. All of the family was over the moon when she won.”
Kaitlyn’s successes came last weekend at the Nissan Sports trophy day in Sunderland.
The Hartlepool youngster, who dances with the Kimberley Gough Dance Academy, was up against 37 other competitors in her division yet she still managed to take top spot in under 12 fast solo, under 12 slow solo and o under 12 intermediate of the day solo star.
Nicola said: “She won a huge trophy as well as three others, as well as a balloon, Easter egg and £30.
“She takes a lot on herself. I have been really poorly for the last few months. I couldn’t get out of the house and I was bedridden.
“But last week, I got the good news that things had eased off a bit, my blood count was up and I could see Kaitlyn dance for the first time in months.”
She said her daughter’s performances are understandably affected when she is seriously ill.
“When it happens, she becomes a parent and she takes a lot on her shoulders.
“I haven’t been able to get along and watch her dancing, so when I was there for this one, it was such a relief for her.
“She hadn’t danced well for a long time because of what was happening to me, but this time she was saying ‘I’m doing it for my mum’.”
Despite her tender years, Kaitlyn has proudly helped to care for her mam in her darkest days.
She was even her mum’s young carer for a time fr when Nicola’s partner was at work.
Kaitlyn ran baths, cleaned, vacuumed, helped with cooking and got her young brother Alfie Turner, seven, ready for school.
Nicola, of Wingfield Close in Hartlepool, has the most serious form of Gaucher’s which is a genetic disease in which a fatty substance accumulates in cells and certain organs.
The condition is so rare, she has to make trips to a specialist doctor in Cambridge for treatment once every three months where she receives enzyme replacement treatment.
Incredibly, she has lived with Gaucher’s Disease for 28 years. Nicola previously told the Mail: “They said I wouldn’t live beyond 30 but here I am.”
Nicola was first diagnosed as a seven-year-old. She needed a hernia operation and could not stop bleeding afterwards. Later, X-rays showed she had no ball at the top of her hip.
She has since needed three hip replacements and needs another one in the next two years.