Sharon Harvey from our Tipton store always helps to fundraise for our Tickled Pink breast cancer campaign – and knows from her own experience why its message of checking yourself for anything unusual is so important.
Sharon, who's 61 and has worked at the store for 34 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2017.
Sharon, who's a grandmother and a great-grandmother, said: "I tell people – even my colleagues here – to check their breasts, their necks and under their arms too. Know your norm and if you find something unusual see your GP straight away.
"It's the same with your mammogram – if you get a letter to go, you go! Many customers who come in here know that I've had breast cancer and I've become good friends with some of them. One girl last week said to me that she'd had a letter about her mammogram and I said 'have you been for it?' and she said 'no, I'd forgotten all about it' and I said to her that was something you must never, ever forget."
Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer after she discovered a small lump in her right breast and the following month she had a lumpectomy and a course of chemotherapy. A year later, cancer was detected in her lymph nodes and they had to be removed.
She said: "I set myself a goal. I never stayed in bed, not once. Even if it was just to polish the coffee table I would go round on my hands and knees and I would do it. And every Sunday I cooked lunch for all my family.
"My advice to all the people who are now going through breast cancer is to stay strong, stay positive and be yourself every day no matter what people say. Every positive day makes you stronger and happier.
"It's brilliant that I can be here again working with my colleagues. I give thanks that my husband, Paul, has always been by my side and has seen me as beautiful as the first day we fell in love."
Sharon regularly helps community champion Maireny Quinchia with Tickled Pink fundraising activities supporting Tickled Pink's charity partners Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! and recently joined her on a tombola and bucket collection.
Sharon said: "I think Tickled Pink is brilliant. The more money we make the better. Our customers here are so generous and supportive too."
Maireny says everyone at the store is so proud of Sharon's determination and outlook on life.
She said: "Sharon has inspired me with her personality and the positive attitude that she always brings to the work place with a beautiful smile.
"She's very supportive of my role as a community champion and has helped me with different activities and events in the store. Recently, in her own time on her day off, she baked cupcakes for Tickled Pink. She always brings the colleagues together and encourages them to donate."