Our wonderful colleague Linda Shears is a proud supporter of our Tickled Pink charity appeal in support of Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! and says it's so important for both men and women to check themselves.
Fifty-seven-year-old Linda, who's worked at our Gosforth store for 21 years, said: "Tickled Pink is such a great campaign which is so close to my heart. So everyone, please, please check yourself regularly – t's so important to catch anything as early a possible."
Linda, who's married to Dave and has a son, Joseph, 23, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2013.
She said: "I got a letter in the post inviting me for a mammogram. I was 49 which is quite young for a mammogram but I went. It was a mobile unit and actually in the car park in our Asda, so I literally went for my mammogram before I went into work.
"They took images and then I waited a couple of weeks for my letter. When it came they said they'd found something to be concerned about. Then I had to go to the breast unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where they did a biopsy. To be fair, me and my husband weren't worried. whatsoever. Then I had to wait again and I was invited to an appointment for the results and honestly we were gobsmacked.
"I was totally shocked. You just don't think it's going to happen to you. Thank God I went for that mammogram that day as it could've developed into something more serious.
"Fortunately, because it was an early mammogram the lump on my left breast was tiny – only 7mm. I would never had felt it where it was. I didn't need chemotherapy ,only radiation treatment. I had a lumpectomy and they took my lymph nodes out, but I was lucky as it hadn't spread.
"It was diagnosed on 26 March, 2013, and I think started the radiation treatment in the May/June time. It made you a bit tired, but I was okay."
Linda, who works in our George department, says she really appreciates all the support she's had.
She said: "The support I had was unbelievable. The support of family, friends and colleagues is absolute key and I certainly got it off everybody. Asda were brilliant. I remember vividly that Liz, the people manager at the time, put on a buffet for me in the canteen. I was on the sick and going through my treatment and she did it so that I could see my work colleagues. I will never forget it."