A NURSING associate who was given just a 50/50 chance of surviving cervical cancer 13 years ago has been named a 'Teesside Hero' for her fundraising and campaigning efforts.

Lisa Tomlinson, from Billingham, has earned an award from Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2006 at the age of just 31 and has single-handedly raised thousands of pounds for a whole host of Teesside charities since being given just a 50/50 chance of survival all those years ago.

She has also spent the past decade fiercely lobbying parliament to reduce the age for women to be able to access cervical screening programmes, with her latest petition receiving more than 100,000 signatures.

More than that, though, says her fiancé Colin Cowie, she has a zest for life and an ambition to live it to the full after going through gruelling treatment to beat cancer not once, but twice.

She’s now studying for a nursing degree and is set to achieve her ambition and graduate in 2020 – when she and Colin will also tie the knot.

Lisa was presented with her award by Dave Nicholson of Philanthropic Foundation patrons, the Nicholson Group, in front of the Accident and Emergency Department at North Tees Hospital, where she is currently working on placement.

“I don’t feel as if I am worthy of the title,” said Lisa. “There are so many people who do so many amazing things out there on Teesside, I’m just a little person getting on with my life. I didn’t know anything about it at all – but it seems all the staff in A&E knew before I did too!”

It was Colin who nominated Lisa for the award. “She always said she would pay the people back who helped her and she continues to fundraise every week for all kinds of charities,” he said.

Her cancer came back in 2015, this time in her appendix, but the tumour was removed. A scare two years ago saw part of her liver removed, but thankfully tests proved a growth was benign.

Lisa has also adopted Colin's daughter Freya, who has Down's Syndrome, as her own. He said: “She always thinks of others, never herself. Her energy, enthusiasm and passion for life is phenomenal and we couldn’t imagine life without her.”