Presenting our Best Mum & Best Dad Awards winners!


 

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF MALTA BABY & KIDS DIRECTORY BEST MUM & BEST DAD AWARDS 2016

 

Following an overwhelming response to our appeal to 'like' your favourite shortlisted candidate on Facebook, our Malta Baby & Kids community played a large part towards assisting our panel in deciding who will be crowned this year's Malta Baby & Kids Directory's Best Mum & Best Dad. As usual, our annual incentive, now in its sixth year, generated a large number of entries. Once we had whittled these down to the shortlisted six- it was still no easier to choose a winner from such a great bunch of heartwarming stories.

The team at Malta Baby & Kids Directory wish to thank so many of those fans who availed themselves of the opportunity to send in their nominations & voice their opinion for their favourite mum and dad through our social media page- giving them the chance to win some fantastic prizes!   

The Malta Baby & Kids Directory Best Mum & Best Dad Awards have been established to honour those mums and dads who make that special effort to do one of the most difficult jobs in the world….bring up their children and do amazing things which often go unnoticed. We wanted to honour and celebrate these unsung heroes. The Awards for Best Mum and Best Dad were presented during the book launch party for the 10th edition of Malta Baby & Kids Directory, by the Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs. Michlle Muscat, on Tuesday the 28th of June.

 

                                          And the Best Mum 2016 is…

Congratulations to Lorinda Mamo who was nominated by her friend Fleur Fenech Xuereb

Lorinda is very passionate about art and design especially baby and kid related.  She is mother to a boy of 3 and has her own blog ‘A Bird With a French Fry’.  Lorinda battled and survived cancer while raising a child with a very rare syndrome and chronic kidney disease.  Whilst she was receiving chemotherapy, her son was and is still undergoing many serious and life-threatening surgeries.  She stays positive and strong through it all and continues to inspire and motivate others via her blog. Fleur describes Lorinda as “...an outstanding woman who keeps fighting no matter what life throws at her!”

 Lorinda Mamo

Son: Henry, 3 years

Those with even a shred of empathy, know how distressing it can be to see a child suffer, especially ones own. Lorinda is no stranger to that feeling.

Her son Henry was born with Chronic Kidney Disease, and Prune Belly Syndrome a condition where the muscles of the belly do not develop properly. The abdominal area is lax, severely impairing the functionality of the organs.

Lorinda and her husband watched helplessly as Henry battled through the first few months of his life. In his fragile state, even a common cold was life-threatening.

Thankfully, Henry made it through the ordeal of those critical months, and doctors declared him stable. Unfortunately, the respite was short-lived as Lorinda discovered a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. With barely enough time to emotionally catch her breath, Lorinda started her new battle, undergoing chemotherapy. 

But things took an even darker twist as Henry suddenly grew ill and feverish. One of his kidneys had become infected and had to be removed.

Due to her chemotherapy treatment, Lorinda was forbidden from going anywhere near Henry. I couldnt comfort him when he needed me most. It was heart-wrenching. But Lorindas determination, strengthened by the love and support of her husband, family and many friends, helped her pull through the ordeal. 

Now, thanks to medication and regular check-ups, Henry is doing well. Despite the looming ordeal of an upcoming kidney transplant, and the gruelling preparations for his dad to donate a kidney to his son, the family remains positive and hopeful.

Lorinda finds refuge in writing on her blog, A Bird with a French Fry. To her, happiness is simple. I dont think about tomorrow, she says. Things have changed so often in seconds, that I only want to concern myself with today.

 

                                            And the Best Dad 2016 is…

Congratulations to Martin Grech who was nominated by a friend Caroline Grech Mallia.

Martin is a nurse and together with Elaine has 2 lovely children both on the autism spectrum.  Both parents show the true meaning of partnering with their sacrifices in their daily routine.  Difficulties are endless especially when people unknowingly judge their sweet girls’ behaviour, however both parents are always with a smile and a positive attitude.  Martin  and Elaine are always ready to help others.  Caroline says “I have personally experienced this a few months ago when I had my baby boy...they were always a call away 24/7 with their professional advice”. 

  

Martin Grech

Daughters: Amy, 7 years & Julia, 4 years

We often take normal life for granted. But for Martin and Elaine, and their two children Amy and Julia, even something as mundane as dining out at a restaurant or going to a family barbecue, cannot be taken for granted.

Amy, 7 years old, and Julia, 4, have both been diagnosed with autism, albeit on opposite ends of the spectrum. For Julia, things are even more complicated due to an unknown condition that has caused her to experience a drastic increase in weight.

Martin explains that due to their autism, both children have developed very different and strict routines. The slightest disruption can trigger a very strong emotional reaction. Even something as simple as going to work, involves a delicate preparation process. A few hours before starting his shift as a nurse, Martin needs to sit down with his daughters and explain in detail, where he is going, why he needs to work, and how long hell be away. More importantly, he needs to reassure Amy and Julia that he is not abandoning them, and that he'll be returning home after work.

Night shifts bring an added challenge. I need to time my return perfectly, he says. I have to make sure I get home before they go to school, to show them that I have returned. People often fail to understand what autism is about, says Martin. They will often misjudge the childrens behaviour, thinking they are spoiled. Social settings are particularly challenging. For a time, we even started shying away from social situations, he admits.

That said, thanks to the therapy and support from the Malta Autism Centre, as well as Martin and Elaines dedication, the children are now doing better at school, and can even enjoy a simple pleasure such as going to a restaurant.

 

The winners of the Best Mum & Best Dad Awards were presented with awards at our celebratory party in June at the Malta National Aquarium. For news about the ceremony refer to https://www.maltababyandkids.com/content.php?section=section1

maltaBabyandKids.com

Interviews by Cedric Debono

 

The winning Mum & Dad have received a very generous package of prizes!    

 

Prizes Include:

Two nights on a bed and breakfast basis in a deluxe sea view room at the luxury five Star Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay.

A meal for 2 adults and 2 children at the winner of The Definitive(ly) Good Guide Best Children Friendly Restaurant Award – iPlace in Marsaxlokk

A delicious Busy Bee Cake

A hamper of Nestle’ goodies

 

 

 

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Malta Baby & Kids Directory is created by mums for mums and childcarers.
Lisa Grech is the founder of the Malta Baby & Kids Directory and website. Together with Denise Briffa and Crysta Darmanin we combine work on the publication and website while bringing up lots of children (seven between us!).


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