International Women’s Day: Julie Forster
Myself and my husband are self-employed and run two businesses with a small staff. We share the responsibilities for both the businesses and our home life, childcare etc. In the main, we look after the kids ourselves with family support. My youngest daughter Ruth was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at three weeks old having been unwell from birth, she has regular hospital appointments, medications and treatments but she’s 5 now and doing amazingly well thankfully. I’ve two older kids, Tom is 6 and Shauna is 17. She’s an amazing support to the family too bearing a lot of responsibility at times. My own cystic fibrosis was diagnosed following my daughters, just 4 years ago at almost 42 years old. I have and have always had some minor health issues that are now being attributed to cystic fibrosis but in the main, I’m very lucky in that I’m really well.
Why Julie was nominated:
My cousin Julie is an incredible woman. She is a mother to three kids, Shauna, Tom and Ruth. Both Ruth and Julie have cystic fibrosis. The whole family and Ruth herself have to put up with a lot, due to hospital visits, medication, etc (although Ruth is doing really well, thank God) and do so with such grace and dignity, especially Julie herself. Despite Ruth needing a lot of attention due to her condition, Julie never allows her to feel any different, and she never lets her other kids go without the love, care and attention they deserve. Added to this, she and her husband Karl work hard running a business, and the whole family, their friends, and all of those we have gotten to know in the CF community work tirelessly to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, and they were instrumental in the fight to get the drug Orkambi for CF sufferers in Ireland. Also, along with her husband, she works so hard for her town and community, and along with several other members of the family, has been involved in Slaney River Rescue too. All this and Julie still finds time to cares and helps for her family, friends and neighbours. I know, because I have had some dark times, and even with all she has on her plate, she was one of the people who were there for me, and always makes me feel included, and make sure I am ok… I am an only child, but I am lucky to have been raised with Julie and her sister Lisa, and they always treat me like a brother, and I feel like they are my sisters. She is a woman who is driven by love and care for others, and I think she deserves to know that we recognise how amazing she is, and how much she means to everyone. I’m biased of course because I love her very much. But I still think that she is truly amazing, and deserves to be recognised as a woman of the year.
How Julie Feels:
I’m absolutely stunned and honoured and so touched to have been nominated for this. I don’t think of anything I do as exceptional, I just get on with my lot in life. As Myles says myself and my sister are very close to him and consider him to be our brother from another mother!