Colleague Kim Kilgour is the Tickled Pink cheerleader for Carlisle after her own breast cancer diagnosis
Colleagues at the Asda Carlisle store have taken the ‘Pink Pledge’ – an online initiative set-up by the retailer to help drive awareness around the importance of regular breast checking and the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
Across all departments, colleagues have been dressing in bright pink Tickled Pink t-shirts and tutu’s in aid of raising awareness of the fantastic cause and raising as much money and awareness as possible.
It’s not just the colleagues that have gone pink for the occasion but so have the till receipts which also highlights the Asda Be Your Breast Friend campaign and the importance of checking yourself for signs of breast cancer.
Kim Kilgour, a checkout colleague who has worked at the Chandler Way supermarket for 15 years, is a cheerleader for Tickled Pink after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, just before her 50th birthday.
Kim said: “I was having physio for my multiple sclerosis at the time and at my next appointment I told the physio about a lump I’d found whilst I was in the shower. She told me to phone the doctor straight away.
“I saw the doctor, went to the hospital for a biopsy, and was diagnosed within a couple of weeks – everything happened so quickly. It was grade three cancer and had spread to my lymph nodes, so I had to have those taken out, and had a lumpectomy too.”
In January 2017, Kim began her chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy sessions at the Cumberland Infirmary where the ‘absolutely brilliant’ team went out of their way to provide support and reassurance for Kim throughout her treatments.
Kim credits the support of her colleagues Tim Wallace and Nyree Doyle for helping her get through such a difficult time and was eager to get back to work and normality as soon as possible.
Tim said: “Kim’s an inspiration – she’s absolutely fantastic. We’ve been friends for years and she would do anything for anybody.
“She’s had so much to deal with and she’s a great advocate for checking yourself. She’s always reminding people about it and everyone at the store is supporting her by telling everyone who’ll listen why it matters so much.”
Since returning to Asda, Kim has been championing the Tickled Pink cause and is a huge fan of both the pink till receipts and the cheeky stickers splashed across various fruits and bread baps as a reminder to customers to check themselves.
Kim continued: “I wish I could get a megaphone, stand up on the checkouts and shout about the message for women – and men – to regularly check themselves. I can’t stress it enough.
“The new receipts catch your eye, and from that, conversations start about why we’ve got them and how important it is to check yourself. If just one person checks themselves because of them, they’ve done their job.
“Even before I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was always aware of the risks, and I’ve always told my daughter Kira to check herself regularly. I’ve also told my son Joel to check himself because men can get breast cancer too.”
Even whilst out of action from a hip operation in August of last year, Kim was getting involved in the store’s step-a-thon fundraiser and took part in a 5k race to raise money for Cancer Research.
It’s five years from diagnosis until cancer can be classed as being in remission and Kim has had the all clear for half of that time, with further tests every year until the five-year mark.
Kim finished: “With everything I’ve been through, I do get tired, but I won’t let things beat me. I’ve fought the hardest fight of my life and I’m still here, still positive and still smiling.”
Part of Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, which has been supporting charities Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now for more than 22 years, the pledge aims to address the fact that 1 in 2 women don’t check their breasts regularly*.
The earlier breast cancer is found the more likely treatment is to be successful, so it is vital women are aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, what to look for, and feel confident to visit their GP should they find anything unusual.
With ‘forgetting to check’ cited as the most common reason for women not checking their breasts, Asda’s ‘Pink Pledge’ campaign activity instore – and in the community – will aim to remind customers and colleagues to ‘Be Your Breast Friend’.
For more information on Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, and to make the ‘Pink Pledge’, please visit www.asda.com/tickledpink