Chick raffle Pic 1BUNDLES of Easter joy are up for grabs in a raffle to raise vital funds for a hospital asthma unit.

The fundraising initiative was the brainchild of Nasreen Younis who lost her mother to the condition 16 months ago.

The 36-year-old wanted to show her gratitude to staff at North Tees University Hospital and raise funds for the local NHS Trust’s Respiratory Fund.

Rehana Nazir was 68 when she passed away in November, 2013 while on her way home from a holiday in Pakistan.

Mrs Nazir had been a severe asthmatic who contracted the condition only in later life.

She was able to manage the condition to a considerable degree day to day, but it took its toll and left her less able to pursue her love of gardening or walking.

Mrs Nazir’s asthma worsened progressively over the last few years of her life, resulting in one serious admission to the ICU department at the University Hospital of North Tees.

Nasreen, a regeneration project manager with Middlesbrough Council, said her mother had lived life to the full in spite of the condition.

She said: “She was a smart, clever and ‘full of life’ character who was loved by all from little kids to elderly people and from all walks of life. She was the lady who would befriend someone on a train journey or bus as they instantly warmed to her.

“She left a big hole when she died, not just for her immediate family but many of her friends throughout the world including Pakistan and Canada.

“We lost our father at a young age so mum spent 20 years without him bringing us up – she dedicated all her energy, time and effort to us.

“She could be so ill some days and you could see that in her face, but she wanted to get dressed, put on her favourite lippy, matching accessories and cook us all a meal!”

Nasreen’s own daughter Zoya was just four months old when her nanny passed away, but will find out all about her as she grows up.

Nas added: “Mum taught us many things, but most importantly always be brave and be strong and to never give up – that will always stay with me.

“Not a day goes by without me thinking of her or missing her.

“She left a void in our lives which can never be filled, but I’m determined to keep her memory alive and do positive things to benefit others, which is what she would have wanted.”

A collection of soft toy chicks – started as something of a joke when Nas was in her 20s – grew and grew, finally giving Nas her fundraising idea.

She said: “My mum was always giving to charity here and in Pakistan, so I wanted to do something positive in her memory.

“I felt the chicks deserved to go to good ‘homes’ and to be enjoyed and loved by others, hence the raffle.

“The care given to my mum by the staff at the ICU department and on the respiratory ward at North Tees was invaluable, and afterwards we were supported by the asthma nurses, in particular Catherine Hodge who would frequently visit my mum at home.

“We learnt so much from them in a short space of time, and it really made a difference.

“I want the money raised in this raffle to help asthma unit to continue providing this invaluable support to the community.

“Asthma is prevalent in my mum’s family, her mum and sister also passed away from the disease, so it is a worry for us all, but I don’t think people realise just how dangerous it can be.

“So I really hope people will dig deep in aid of a really good cause, and put themselves in with a chance of winning some gorgeous chicks as well as chocolates, toiletries, and other gifts in hampers.

“Special thanks must go to my friend Brenda who volunteered to wrap the prizes and sell tickets, as well as all the local businesses who have done their bit to support a good cause.”

Asthma specialist nurse Catherine Hodge from the University Hospital of North Tees said: “Nasreen’s mum was a lovely lady who we got to know very well during her illness.

“It is really lovely of her to fund raise for our service in her mum’s memory.”

 

The raffle is due to be drawn in early April, with all funds raised going to the Respiratory Fund for the benefit of asthma patients looked after by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Tickets are priced at £1 a strip and are available from:

Party Planners 52a Cargo Fleet Lane, Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. Contact Nicola on 07925 871587

Aspire Hairdressing and Beauty 155 Linthorpe Road, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, 9am-6pm, Thursday, 10am-8pm. Contact 01642 941413

Nasreen Younis Email nasreen.nazier@gmail.com, mobile 07814 635717 or alternatively donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/Nasreen-Younis