In 1995, Jess, 78, from East Kilbride, lost her husband, Phillip, at the age of 60 to leukaemia.
He witnessed atomic bomb testing on Christmas Island in 1957 while on National Service with the Royal Engineers.
At the time the veterans had no idea about the effects of the bombs and were just told to hide their eyes or turn away when the bombs went off.
Jess, who is a member of the Moncreiff Parish Church in East Kilbride, and has two sons, Stephen, 50, and Fraser, 44, has been fighting to raise awareness of nuclear veterans' plight to get compensation for them.
In 1983 Phillip and Ken McGinley, a friend who also served on the island, founded the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association to campaign to get the British Government to recognize that veterans were suffering from conditions caused by their exposure to nuclear radiation during testing.
Phillip and Ken had always planned to go back and visit the island, but a year after her husband's death Jess instead travelled to the island with Ken.
They toured Christmas Island, now called Kiribati, in the Pacific, met with locals and erected memorial plaques in two churches.
In October and November last year Jess and Ken went to the Scottish Parliament to debate the issue of nuclear veterans with MSPs.
Jess was praised by the veterans' minister Keith Brown, and East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani, for her work to seek recognition and compensation for veterans.
Supported by her family, Jess still campaigns to raise awareness about the effects exposure to nuclear testing had on these veterans.
MARY Hepburn is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Princes Royal Maternity Hiospital.
But she is much more than a doctor.
She set up the Glasgow Women's Reproductive Health Service for women with social problems and remains in charge of the unit now known as the Glasgow Special Needs in Pregnancy Service.
It helps women with problems such as alcohol or drug use, HIV infection, mental illness, learning disability, experience of violence or rape, homelessness and previous parenting problems.
Mary's work started in 1985 when she set up a clinic in Possilpark for pregnant women with social problems.
But she has helped mums further afield than Glasgow.
She has worked as a consultant with the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organisation in Kosovo, Moldova and Ukraine, plus co-chairs an annual seminar in Austria providing training for health professionals from Eastern Europe, Asia and former Soviet countries in management of drug use in pregnancy and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
She has also worked to improve medical education in Bangladesh and HIV services in Romania.
Mary was awarded a lifetime achievement award by Zero Tolerance for her work in the field of violence against women and is a member of boards including Scottish Drugs Forum and Art in Hospital.
SPORTY Morvern McDonald thought her netball coach was being cheeky when she asked if she was pregnant.
But then the Paisley girl realised the bloated stomach she'd put down to eating too much at Christmas could be something more serious.
It was then she went to her GP – and was given the news she had a tumour the size of a football on her right ovary.
After surgery to remove it, doctors broke the devastating news it was cancer.
Morvern, 24, was shocked, as ovarian cancer usually affects older women.
She started chemotherapy at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.
She lost her long auburn hair and was left sick and tired.
But Morvern, who had been working as a football physiotherapist for St Mirren's Under 19s team, has remained fiercely upbeat.
With her family, she's raised £26,000 for the Evening Times-backed Beatson Pebble Appeal, a £10million campaign to raise funds to build a new Cancer Research Centre.
Her dad, dentist Alasdair Reid, 52, even climbed Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, to boost the funds, while her pals and sister Susie ran the Paisley 10k.
Other family and friends – even some of her dad's patients – have taken on their own challenges to help, including running half marathons, holding bake sales, raffles and sponsored walks.
Morvern has also spoken out to former First Minister Lord Jack McConnell, of the benefits of the TCT ward, which offers young people a place to be treated away from kids or older adults.
Morvern's mum Pamela Reid, 50, says her daughter "an inspiration".
THEY are the women who make a difference but never look for rewards. But now their hard work, determination and selflessness has been recognised in their nominations for Scotswoman Of The Year 2011. SARAH SWAIN and MATTY SUTTON tell of the three latest nominees.