A Sheffield woman has been recognised by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield for her contribution to the community after being diagnosed with early onset dementia.
Mary Frain, aged 58, was given a reception at the Town Hall in honour of her ‘outstanding’ contribution for the help she provides to the elderly and her charity fundraising.
The mum-of-three enjoyed tea in the Lord Mayor’s parlour and had a guided tour of the Town Hall as part of the presentation of her award.
Mrs Frain was diagnosed with early onset dementia last year after two years of ‘misdiagnosis and false hope’.
As a member of the St Vincent DePaul society, Mrs Frain would visit the elderly in their own homes and provide transport on a regular basis.
She has also been a fundraiser for the Carmel Centre in Hillsborough, which helps people with problems such as stress and depression.
And Mrs Frain also regularly helped organise a party for the elderly at the Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough, catering for up to 120 people. Mrs Frain lives with her husband Mike, aged 60, at Yews Close, Worrall.
The couple have three children, Daniel, aged 38, Kieran, aged 33, and Rebecca, aged 29, and two grandchildren.
They originally grew up in Pitsmoor but moved to Worrall. The two have lived in Sheffield all their lives and Mr Frain said he was pleased the award would help avoid his wife being defined by her illness.
He said: “Understandably, the focus from her family and friends seems to be on her disease and it is easy to forget the great good that Mary has done over the years.
“Her contribution to her community has been immense and this presentation makes sure that her life is defined by that rather than by her illness.”
Earlier this year, Mr Frain and their children put together a life history for Mrs Frain, a bound book full of ‘photographs and memories’.
Mr Frain added: “In the book, Mary’s two grandfathers are featured, who fought for the duration of the World War Two. But Mary is also a soldier – a true soldier of humanity, somebody who has always put others first.”