Three women who work at Asda in Leamington are fundraising in support of a breast cancer charities having helped one another to fight the disease themselves.
Carol Gibson, who now works at the Asda Royal Leamington Spa store as a customer service colleague was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.
Then colleagues Rosie Bayliss was diagnosed and treated some years ago and Anne Patmore shortly afterwards.
A close team already, the trio’s shared experience has brought them even close together and now stronger supporters than ever of the Tickled Pink charity appeal which aims to raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care.
Carol said: “I remember the devastating feeling when I was first told I had breast cancer, but I had loads of support.
I had one daughter at university and another doing her A-Levels, but they were great.
“Telling them was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. When I lost my hair I remember them saying, ‘You’ve got a nice head!’ – it made me determined to do what I wanted to do and to not worry about what people thought.
“I was able to draw on my experience to support Anne when she had chemotherapy.
I was there for her to say, ‘look – do what’s right for you’ because I think one thing that happens when you’ve got cancer is that people tend to tell you how you should feel and what you should do.
So, I think she appreciated that I was speaking from experience when I said to her to do what’s right for her.
“Years ago, you wouldn’t even say the word, and if you said to someone that you had cancer you were treated like you were dying. I think women have really empowered themselves in terms of dealing with breast cancer and getting it out into the open.
“Attitudes have changed too. It’s not automatically seen as a death sentence and you can live a normal life afterwards.
“Carol has worked for Asda for the last 35 years and since her diagnosis finds the annual Tickled Pink fundraising drives even more moving.
Every year, Carol, Rosie and Anne are at the head of the store’s fundraising, contributing vital funds as best they can to those in need.
Carol said: “I like to join in with fundraising activities in the store and will be supporting this year’s appeal.
"The team here looked after me which was fantastic, and I feel that if I didn’t live my life as they would expect I would be letting them down.
“So now, I make the most of every single day.
“Success with cancer doesn’t mean going off and walking the Great Wall of China – it’s being able to go back to doing what you enjoy, what you used to do before, and spending time with the people you love.”
Asda Leamington Spa is holding a host of fundraising activities instore and in the community up to and including Sunday.
For more information on how to get involved, please contact Jo Clements, the store’s Community Champion, on 01926 311 656 extension 222.