Everyone at our Hayes store was delighted when colleague Angela Gidda – who's undergoing treatment for breast cancer – came in to support their Tickled Pink fundraising and encourage people to check themselves for early signs and symptoms.
Angela said it was stickers put up by the store's community champion Sam D'Souza earlier this year that prompted her to check herself at home and find a lump.
She said: "I want to say a huge thank you to Sam – the stickers saved my life."
Angela has had two operations and is now having radiotherapy. She said: "Where possible, finding cancer early is important. Because I found it early, my future prognosis is very promising."
As part of our Tickled Pink breast cancer charity campaign our colleague put 'Be Your Breast Friend' stickers on produce and in stores to remind people how important it is to regularly check yourself.
Sam put the stickers up in the Hayes store's colleague changing rooms.
"I saw these stickers while looking in the mirror everyday while I washed my hands," said Angela. "For those first few days I looked at the stickers and read how to check your breasts – but I did nothing.
"Then at the end of the week I said to myself 'I'm going to check myself' when I have a shower tonight.'
"Well, I pressed quite quite hard and I found a lump that I didn't know was there. I went to the doctor who referred me to hospital and then I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Cancer is not as scary as I thought, I am getting through treatment and feel optimistic. In fact it’s changed my life – I appreciate each day!"
Angela said she wanted to call in to show her support during our Tickled Pink campaign. She handed out leaflets reminding people to check themselves to customers.
Angela said: "Asda Hayes is doing a great job helping to spread the message to the public and colleagues about doing monthly checks.
"I'm so very grateful for the effort taken by Sam to put up the stickers. That reminder turned out to a crucial step in my life.
"It’s a five-minute job to check the breast area for any lumps or bumps and please don’t be afraid to go to the doctors if you’re worried about anything you find. I am 49, one year younger than the standard age for mammograms.
"I found my lump, it was 3cm and fairly deep in the tissue so don’t be afraid to apply some pressure. This applies to men too! Although rare, breast cancer can effect men too. It takes a few minutes to mark up a monthly reminder on your calendar, diary or phone!
"If I can raise the importance of checking yourself and help at least one lady then I will be happy. "
Sam says Angela is an inspiration and the whole store is behind her. She said: "I hadn't seen Angela for a while and presumed she had been away on a long holiday. Then I saw her in the store and she pulled me aside and asked for a chat, which is when she told me what had happened. We were both in tears on the shop floor at this time.
"I was overwhelmed how she just wanted to keep thanking me and Asda for something as simple as putting the awareness stickers on the mirrors.
"Angela is a true lioness in her attitude towards looking to fight this. I visited her and took her some treats, including a toy Nala from the Lion King. This mascot travels with her to all appointments and procedures and has become a favourite in the hospital."
Store manager Stuart Harness says the whole store is supporting Angela.
He said: "Angela has worked in Hayes since it opened four years ago. From the start she has worked on our music, video and games department and is hugely knowledgeable about this section.
"She always has a smile and hello for colleagues and customers alike and is a true asset to our store. Both myself and Hassan, our trading manager, are very proud of Angela."