Our fantastic colleague Kim Kilgour has just been given the three-year all-clear from breast cancer – and now she's urging everyone to get behind this year's Tickled Pink campaign.
Our campaign raises awareness of messages including the importance of regularly checking yourself, as well as raising money for Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now. So Kim has this advice for both men and women: "Check yourself regularly. I can't shout about it enough. You know your own body. If you feel that something is not right and you have a niggle of doubt go and see your doctor!"
Kim has worked on the checkouts at our Carlisle store for 16 years and will be playing a central role in the Tickled Pink activities at the store.
She said: "It's a wonderful event. The more people who are made aware of breast cancer the better. We can fight it!"
Kim felt an unusual lump in her breast just after taking a shower in 2016, shortly before her 50th birthday.
She said: "I was fast-tracked to hospital and, after a biopsy, I was diagnosed with breast cancer within a couple of weeks – everything happened so quickly."
The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, so she had to have those taken out too.
She started her chemotherapy treatment in January 2017, followed by 20 sessions of radiotherapy. In between that she got life-threatening sepsis.
Kim's children Kira, now 19, and Joel, 21, have been her rocks throughout her cancer treatment.
She said: "They have been totally amazing – they always have been. Joel did not sleep for three months when I had my treatment, he said he wanted to check that I was breathing ok."
During her treatment, her children created this moving YouTube video in which Kim talks about her treatment and gives advice and support to others:
Kim's always willing to chat to people about breast cancer and would be offering advice during the Tickled Pink events.
Kim said: "I want to tell them they are not alone. I am a born hugger, so will be giving out plenty of hugs. I will be telling those who are in treatment to keep fighting. Don't give up! You are stronger than cancer!"