A DEVOTED mum made special plans for her husband and family to care for her three young children when she knew she did not have long to live.

Nicola Lawrenson was only 34 when she died, leaving Amber, now aged two, and her brothers, Lewis, aged five, and Joshua, aged seven.

She was about to make them a memory box the day before she lost her fight against cancer at her Widnes home in September 2013.

Her family is now raising funds for cancer research. They are supporting the charity’s dryathlon, giving up alcohol in January.

A rugby match is being planned in West Bank, where her husband, Greg, aged 34, from Chedworth Drive, was a coach.

He has returned to work as an electrician and plays football, whilst relatives look after the children.

His sister, Michelle Simpson, aged 37, from Farnworth, said: “Nicola was so young. She was very caring and loving, fun to be around.”

Nicola, who worked at Gus, was first diagnosed with malignant melanoma, skin cancer, in 2012 after she discovered a mole.

Michelle said: “She had a big operation in March, 2012 to remove lymph nodes. We thought she was OK but by March, 2013, it spread to her stomach and liver.”

When Widnes players discovered her three children were season ticket holders, they gave them a VIP treat as part of the Vikings Dream Maker initative.

Amber, a pupil at Willowdene Nursery, joined her brothers, pupils at St Basil’s Primary School, for a stadium tour, a game of rugby and dinner with the Super League stars.

Mick Cassidy, Hep Cahill, Adam Lawton, Cameron Phelps, Willie Isa, Steve Pickersgill and Danny Galea chatted to the youngsters at a special meal prepared by the stadium chef.

Michelle added: “It was brilliant. I’d like to thank Widnes Vikings for making their day so special. They have had a sad time with their mummy dying. They miss her greatly but doing special things like this makes them happy.”

To sponsor Michelle and her family’s dryathlon, visit justgiving.com.Michelle-Simpson-dryathlete