Colleagues from Asda Gosforth are calling on the local community to help support them in their fundraising efforts for its Tickled Pink charity campaign ‘Proud to be Pink’, supporting Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.

The store has helped to raise thousands of pounds for Tickled Pink in recent years – and customers can help support this year’s fundraising efforts either by making a donation online, or in store – or by purchasing Tickled Pink products available throughout October.

As well as fundraising throughout October, colleagues in Gosforth have been dressing in pink and are holding a host of fundraising activities in-store during October, with everything from a fundraising ‘Pink Day’, Tickled Pink Tombola and fun in-store games for customers on the agenda.

The cause is particularly important to all those at the store as colleagues Linda Shears and Sharon Morrison are both battling breast cancer. 

Michelle Castledine, Asda Gosforth Community Champion, said: “Tickled Pink’s an important event every year, as everyone knows someone who’s affected by cancer. But this year in particular we’re all thinking of our colleagues and want to do as much as we can.

“It’s amazing to see everyone coming into the store dressed in pink and there’s a great atmosphere. Everyone’s joining in and having lots of fun while helping this important cause. They’re both amazing, inspiring colleagues and all our love goes to both of them.”

Sharon, who’s worked on the checkouts at the store for 22 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, having recovered from leukaemia 20 years before. She lives with her husband Michael and they have two children – Chris, 21, and Nicole, 19.

Sharon said: “Tickled Pink is great fun for a great cause. It’s wonderful to see everyone getting involved, dressing up in pink and baking cakes and it’s lovely for me to see people in the store supporting it because obviously it’s a cause very close to my heart”.

In 2004 Sharon found a tiny lump under her right arm, so small her doctors praised her for having even found it. The examination revealed stage three breast cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes.

Store colleagues were a brilliant help as she underwent chemotherapy – and then when she was well enough to return to work, Sharon continued“Initially everyone was very shocked when I told them I’d been diagnosed, as I was. I’d always been fit and healthy since the leukaemia, horse riding and mountain biking and running. After the shock they were very sympathetic and wanted to do everything they possibly could to help me and support me.

After undergoing a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in 2011, Sharon’s colleagues remained supportive and stayed in contact during her period of recovery, welcoming her back with open arms upon her return to work.

Sharon says she’s happy to talk about her experience and hopes it helps others: “Some of the regular customers know me and ask how I am, and I don’t mind telling them about it all.

“You have to stay positive. After my radiotherapy for the leukaemia, I was told I couldn’t have children, but I’ve got two so you just never know what’s going to happen.

“I’ve been told that because of the type of cancer I got, it will return at some point, probably in another part of my body. But you can’t let that stop you getting on and enjoying life.

Launched in 1996, Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign has raised over £55 million to support breast cancer charities Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now. 

Through ‘Proud to be Pink’ fundraising activity in October, Asda will help to achieve improved care, support and information for anyone affected by breast cancer, as well as funding vital research to help stop women dying of the disease in the future.

Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Care and Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, said:

“We would like to thank Asda’s colleagues, customers and suppliers for all they have done to support those affected by breast cancer.

“We’re so proud of everything Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign has achieved over the past 21 years. Funds raised for Tickled Pink are vital to the work of both charities; to provide specialist support and care for people living with, through and beyond breast cancer, and to invest in world-class research to stop women dying of this devastating disease once and for all.”

For more information on fundraising in your local area please contact the local community champion in-store, or visithttp://your.asda.com/tickled-pink