'Just keep checking yourselves' – why Clare from Asda Ayr is backing Tickled Pink
Checkouts colleague Clare Andrews from our Ayr store is getting behind our Tickled Pink campaign – a cause that's particularly emotional for her coming soon after she "rang the bell" to signal the end of her own breast cancer chemotherapy treatment.
Clare, who's 55, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago following a routine mammogram.
She said Tickled Pink, which raises money and awareness for our charity partners Brest Cancer Now and CoppaFeel, is so important.
"Tickled Pink is such a worthwhile cause," said Clare. "Anything that raises awareness and fundraises for more research into breast cancer is a good thing."
One of the key themes of Tickled Pink is the importance of being a real self-checker and making checking your boobs, pecs and chests – whoever you are – as normal as doing your Asda shop. Download our handy guide to the signs and symptoms of breast cancer here.
Clare, who's been married to John for 22 years and has a 20-year-old son, Ian, says it's a message that's so important.
She said: "Just keep checking yourselves regularly ... and keep going for mammograms. If I hadn't of gone to my mammogram I wouldn't have known. It was just sheer luck.
"If you do find anything unusual when you are checking, no matter how small, please go to your doctor straight away. The sooner it's looked at the better."
After Clare had her mammogram she was called back for a biopsy as they found some dense tissue that the doctors weren't happy about.
She said: "I was kind of gobsmacked to be honest when they told me it was breast cancer. I didn't know what to think."
Clare had courses of chemotherapy and radiation and also had her left breast removed.
She said: "Since then I've had mammograms and blood tests everything has been fine. I'm feeling fine now. I rang the bell at Ayr Hospital in June after I'd finished by chemotherapy, which was a great feeling."
Karen Fulton, the store's community champion, regularly holds events in store for Tickled Pink. She said Clare's story proved how vital raising awareness of breast cancer was.
She said: "Everyone here at Asda Ayr all want Clare to know how proud they are of her."