Littleborough nurse's 40th birthday raises £1,250 for Springhill Hospice after beating cervical cancer

Date published: 03 February 2024

A Littleborough nurse who survived cervical cancer has raised £1,250 for Springhill Hospice in lieu of donations for her 40th birthday – and is sharing her story to urge others to attend their cervical screenings.

Despite having no symptoms, Janine Larkin was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April 2022 after attending her regular screening that January.

“2022 was possibly one of the hardest years of my life,” the mum of three said. “I went for my regular smear in January; I’ve always attended every three years without fail. I never felt any different and had that usual feeling of ‘I can’t wait for this to be over’.”

However, the letter she received five weeks later with her results, advised her of the need to go to the colposcopy clinic due to “high grade changes.”

She explained: “Everything was being actioned really quickly, so yet again that gut feeling was telling me something wasn’t right.”

Janine underwent a biopsy and a LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone) to remove the cells and wait for the results. On 27 April, Janine was informed she had stage 1B1 adenocarcinoma – which develops in glandular epithelial cells – of the cervix.

She said: “To be honest I knew I had cancer, but I wanted to be wrong.

“My name was shouted and a lady with a grey uniform was there in front of me. I was trying to weigh up the uniform – it was grey – it was only when i got closer and read the name badge of ‘Macmillan nurse’ that it was confirmed without actually telling me actually I had cancer.

“She took me through to the consultant who was brilliant, really empathetic, and then verbally confirmed I had cancer.”

Resulting CT and MRI scans showed the cancer was contained to one area with Janine undergoing a radical hysterectomy at St Mary’s Hospital on 30 June. Lymph nodes were also removed from her pelvis.


Janine Larkin


Janine said: “I went from being so active and independent to relying on others to support me to wash and dress and even walk. It was so hard to go from nursing patients to being the patient.

“Initially I felt like I was going to be vulnerable for the rest of my life. Those first few weeks felt like years then I found the fight to push myself and slowly I was getting back to myself.”

In July, Janine was told there was no evidence of the disease left. “The hell was over. The day I was told was the day I told my partner that I was going to have a massive party which would be my 40th.”

Janine celebrated her 40th birthday on 10 January, requesting donations for the local hospice, which cared for both her grandmother, Jean, and her fiancé Barry's mum, Betty, who both had cancer.

Janine and Barry presented the hospice with a cheque on 25 January.

Janine continued: “The hospice is such a close-to-our-heart charity for us.

“In 1993, my nanna died of breast cancer. She was 58 and she was my world; I was distraught. Thanks to Springhill Hospice, my nan died with such dignity and my lasting memories of her are peacefully going to sleep.

“In March 2018, my wonderful partner and his family were grieving for his mum. Betty was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and after a short illness, she died peacefully with the utmost respect at Springhill. His memories of his mum’s final days will be engraved into his memory forever.”

Janine added: “I was lucky; I fought and survived cancer and continue to do so. I don’t need any presents for my 40th because I’ve been given the gift of life and have everything I need.

“My cancer journey has given me a new outlook on life: I work hard in my job, I love my job, I love helping people and nursing people, I empathise more as I have been the patient so I have better understanding on how it feels.

“When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family and travelling more. When I was diagnosed with cancer, the first thing I thought was I can’t go anywhere yet, I’ve not done enough so that’s all changed.

“I am still closely monitored and will be for a further three years. I am frightened it could have returned but I definitely do not let the cancer rule my life.

“I live for today and deal with whatever life throws at me as I always have done.”

She said: “This has been so overwhelming. I would like to say a massive thank you to each and every person you donated; especially being so generous after Christmas and New Year.

“I really am so touched by everyone’s generosity.”

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online