In our latest hello My Name Is.... our lead cancer nurse shares his life, background and the very personal reason he didn't become a postman! And also, bravely, a work snap from 31 years ago.
Hello my name is…Christopher Button. I am 50 years old and live in Ripponden with my partner Des, who is a headteacher in a primary school in Bradford. We have been together for nearly 28 years and he really is the best thing about me. We live on a non-working farm where keep chickens and grow our own veg!
What is your position?
Lead Cancer Nurse
Summarise your career background
I started my training as nurse more than 31 years. I knew when I qualified I wanted to work in oncology and very quickly landed, at that time, my dream job, on an oncology ward in Bradford. Over the following 12 years I worked in oncology at both Bradford and Leeds hospitals moving into oncology research towards the end of that time.
From there I worked between Leeds and London supporting the development of national research networks in stroke, diabetes, medicines for children, mental health, dementias & neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. I took a year out in 2012 and moved to Canada. On my return, in late 2013, I started at CHFT in the role of Macmillan Lead Acute Oncology Nurse before taking on this new role.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
It is difficult to pick out a career high. I have truly loved and have felt privileged in every single role I’ve held!
Sum up your role in three words
Challenging, visionary and rewarding
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
As a youngster I always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and be a postman! In my teens my younger brother died, it was at that point I knew I wanted to be a cancer nurse.
Who is your hero/heroine and why?
My younger brother, through him I am where I am today. My mum also played a big part in that too, she will always be my hero.
When you are not at work how do you relax?
I love trail running and belong to the Trail Tuesday ‘Social’ Running Club in Ripponden, the hills and scenery in that part of county are breath taking. I get out running two or three times a week and find it extremely relaxing and peaceful.
What is your favourite place?
If we’re talking holiday destinations then I would have to say Goa. Other than I would have to say home. There I feel safe, secure and loved.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
In 2012 I worked in Starbucks in Canada for 6 months – I can make a mean Caramel Macchiato!
The NHS is 70 on the 5th July. How does that make you feel?
I am always proud to say I work in the NHS. This really is a public service organisation that makes a positive difference to thousands of lives each day. It is highly valued and contentious at times – I believe it will be around for at least another 70 years!