Winner: Marie White
Nominator: Sonya Duggan
“The doctor told me he’d give me a medal, feeding a child for two hours, for five years. All I had was a tea maker waking me up.”
This Year’s Boots Special Merit for Courage and Compassion winner is a woman who, throughout her life, has exhibited unrelenting charity and generousity to all who have met her.
As the first-born in her family, Marie White has always exhibited a talent for taking care of others. Throughout her life, Marie has given as much of herself as humanly possible to those around her and for that reason she has been awarded our Boots Special Merit for Courage and Compassion.
Five years after her marriage to husband Raymond, Marie received the happy news that she was pregnant. Unfortunately, due to complications at birth, her little boy became brain damaged and after five months passed away. Marie went on to have three more children, Marcus, Katrina and Jerome, whom she cared lovingly for every day. When Marcus was only one year old, he took a seizure and unfortunately fell into a coma. While he soon woke, the seizures continued and before long, Marcus was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. Marie took care of her son diligently, undertaking the awe-inspiring task of feeding him every two hours, for five years.
She says, “The doctor told me he’d give me a medal, feeding a child for two hours, for five years. All I had was a tea maker waking me up!” Two years later, tragedy struck again as Marie and her husband lost their little girl to a car crash. She recalls, “The came to the door and said, ‘Your little baby is gone to heaven.’ I’ll never forget it, it’s the worst nightmare for any parent.”
Marie later discovered that her youngest son, Jerome, also suffered from hypoglycemia and had to be nursed. During this time in her life, Marie also took care of the ailing mother and uncle, while working as a sacristan in her local church and holding down a third job at a local shop. Marie undertook all of this, in almost impossible circumstances, without a word of complaint. For this reason, she has been awarded the Boots Special Merit for Courage and Bravery award. Nominator Sonya says, “Her life has been tragic in some respects and one cannot imagine the grief she has been through, but the strength, bravery, perseverance, and positivity she continues to have is nothing short of admirable.”