Our much-loved colleague Nina Hardy is proud to support our Tickled Pink campaign, which raises money and awareness for CoppaFeel! and Breast Cancer Now, and knows from personal experience how important it is to check yourself regularly.
Nina, who's worked at our Plymouth store for 14 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer the week before her 50th birthday after spotting a pea-sized lump. She's since made a great recovery and says that regularly checking yourself for anything unusual is the key to an early diagnosis and better chance of recovery
She said: "I know a lot of women may not like to check themselves because they are scared as to what they might find. But you must check yourself, you really must. It can be dealt with if you catch it early enough."
Fifty-three-year-old Nina, who works in our chilled department, found a lump on her left breast during a routine check while she was in bath.
She said: "I had a frozen shoulder so I went for a soak in the bath. I checked myself as you do and that's when I came across it. It was pea sized but quite prominent. It isn't uncommon to find a lump with a frozen shoulder though so I just thought it could be just a cyst or something. It all happened the week before my 50th birthday."
Her GP referred her to hospital and Nina had a biopsy. The results came back to say it was Grade 2 breast cancer.
She said: "I was shocked. I just thought it would be something to do with the frozen shoulder. I then thought 'let's just get it out and get on with it'. At the end of the day there's no point in dwelling on it.
"They took the lump out the week before Christmas. I then had radiation treatment, but had to wait three months before I could start this because of my frozen shoulder. Luckily, I didn't need to have chemotherapy. I've now been three years clear of cancer and I'm feeling on top of the world."
Nina, who's been married to Mark for 31 years and who has two sons and a grandson, says the support from her colleagues meant so much.
She said: "The support I got from Asda when I had breast cancer was absolutely brilliant. I could not have done it without my mates and colleagues.The store is my family from family. My colleagues were always phoning me or coming round to see me. That's what friends do.
"I think me having breast cancer hit them more than it hit me. As there's nothing hat they can do except be by your side. But they were terrific!"