A NURSE is hoping to help fund a minibus and extra treats for patients at the hospice where she works to celebrate being five years free from cancer.

Viv Culleton, head of clinical services at Halton Haven, raised £921 at a craft fair and is organising an afternoon tea and charity night.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2009 but specialists had failed to determine the severity of her condition.

Mum-of-two Viv, aged 51, from Ditton, said: “I had a radical hysterectomy but had they realised the risk factor they wouldn’t have operated.

“I had to have radiotherapy, chemotherapy and internal radiotherapy. It was very intense. I’m fortunate I had youth on my side.”

She returned to her job as manager of a learning disability service in Widnes after only five months.

A nurse for 30 years, Viv has worked in hospitals, theatre, senior care and mental health.

She only spotted the vacancy at the hospice browsing for a job for her 25-year-old daughter, Jessica, who is also a nurse.

Viv, who has another daughter, Erin, aged 26, joined Halton Haven a year ago.

She said: “It is a privilege to work here.

“It is a magical place. People come in feeling so low. They have a laugh and a joke and look forward to coming back.

“We are a very professional team and tailor everything to suit each individual patient.

“It genuinely is a very special kind of caring.”

Viv is sharing the proceeds of her events between Halton Haven and Clatterbridge Hospital.

Families can release baloons in memory of their loved ones at her tea at three on August 17. Her charity night is at St Basil’s Club, Hough Green Road, on August 29.

To find out more, visit facebook.com/5yearscancerfree.

For more details about Halton Haven, visit haltonhaven.co.uk.