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07.03.2005 Diaspora News

A 'mum' in a million

By waltham forest guardian.

Walthamstow, UK -- THE heart-warming story of a young woman who gave up her studies to be 'mum' to her sister and disabled brother featured on television last Thursday, winning the award for Britain's Best Mum.

Rosemary Nketsiah-Larsh, 22, of Walthamstow, took over caring for Jessica Larsh, 16, and her brother Rodney, ten, after the close-knit family lost their mother to cancer last year.

Rosemary was nominated by Jessica to take part in GMTV's Best Mum competition.

The six finalists took part in a tense countdown when viewers phoned in their votes. Jessica, who goes to Willowfield School, Clifton Avenue, said her sister dropped out of Oxford Brookes University to come home when their mum, Ruth Nketsiah, became ill.

Looking after Rodney, who goes to Whitefield School, Macdonald Road, and is unable to talk, is a full-time job for Rosemary.

Jessica said: "We've been trying to cope and my sister has had to be so strong for us.

"She has supported me all the way through the most important time of my life -- my GCSEs.

"I'm pleading for your help and for you to make my strong, caring, warm-hearted, loving sister Britain's Best Mum," she said before the vote.

As part of the competition, which was sponsored by Tesco Home Phone, Rosemary was presented with a cordless phone and bouquet of flowers at the Leyton branch of Tesco earlier this week. As the winner, Rosemary enjoyed a luxury lunch and day at a health spa, as well as Tesco vouchers.

The nomination surprised Rosemary who said that she would have loved to have been able to put her mother forward for the award instead.

"It has been difficult for all of us since losing our mum, but I have a strong faith and I know that she's watching over us.

"I would have loved to have been able to put her forward for Britain's Best Mum because she did so much for us.

"I would like to go back to university at some stage because she used to encourage us to strive to do well, but looking after my brother and sister is my main priority," said Rosemary, who is also a member of the Christian Life Centre Church, Walthamstow, and is studying on a part-time computer course.

The family are now hoping that their older brother will be granted a visa to travel from Ghana and help them out.

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