Jan shares her breast cancer experience to help others
Our colleague Jan Duncan is a passionate supporter of our Tickled Pink breast cancer charity campaign and always gets behind the fundraising efforts for Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! at our Chorley store, where she works.
It's a cause that's close to Jan's heart, as she's seen first hand the progress that's been made with breast cancer treatment and care since she was diagnosed with breast cancer 25 years ago.
She said: "Tickled Pink feels personal to me. Lucia, our community champion, is always amazed at how many tickets I want to buy when she organises raffles, but it's so important to support this. It's amazing what's been achieved over the years since my diagnosis – and Tickled Pink really helps with that."
Jan, who's 65 and has worked in the store's cash office since June last year, went into the former Hope Hospital (now Salford Royal) for an operation just two days after she got married to her husband Phil in February 1997. She has a son, Jonathan, and grand-daughters Lucia and Maya.
"I was diagnosed 25 years ago when I was 39, said Jan. "That was towards the end of January and my operation was scheduled for two weeks later. I got married on the Saturday and went into hospital on the Monday, so I'll never forget when I got married as they're both dates that are firmly imprinted in my memory!
"I was having a bath when I noticed something. It wasn't a lump, but puckering on my breast. I was referred to the specialist, and she said 'I'm 99 percent sure it's cancer but I would like to do a biopsy to be certain'. That was on the Friday, and I knew on the Monday.
"They took the lump out two weeks after I got my diagnosis but found more so I went back in a month later and had a mastectomy followed by 18 weeks of chemotherapy. I've been clear since then."
The store's community champion Lucia Taylor is really busy with a series of fundraising and awareness-raising events to support Tickled Pink.
She recently teamed up with Jo Hilton from the nearby Clayton Green store to complete a 10,000 steps a day challenge, which has raised £600 so far, and in October she's organising events including a bake sale for colleagues, a breast screening awareness event with the NHS on October 14, and a 100-mile static bike ride.
Lucia says Jan's example is an inspiration to everyone at the store and a real motivation to do more.
She said: "Having listened to Jan's breast cancer journey definitely gives me extra motivation to fundraise for Tickled Pink. It also motivates me to spread the word about what our amazing breast cancer charity does to help people and how the money is used to raise awareness and research. Jan's story is not only emotional but it also shows what a strong and inspiring person she is."
Colleagues like Jan are sharing their own personal stories to embolden all men and women to become Real Self-Checkers and highlight the importance of having a regular breast checking routine.
A recent survey among our female customers showed that 9% have never checked their breasts and of those who have breast checked before but not on a regular basis, 24% are forgetting to check regularly.
The Asda Tickled Pink campaign works with charity partners Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! – and they’re on a mission to make checking your boobs, pecs and chests, whoever you are, as normal as doing your Asda shop. The aim is to raise funds for breast cancer treatments, education and support. Together, they’re putting breast cancer awareness on everyone’s list. The annual campaign is the longest running UK corporate charity partnership and over the past 26 years has raised over £77million.