Eva has worked at M&S for over 20 years, supporting their partnership with Breast Cancer Now whenever she could. She shares how her family became even more involved with the partnership after her own diagnosis of breast cancer.
I thought breast cancer happened to older women
My name is Eva Dibble, I’m a Customer Assistant at the Marks and Spencer Bluewater store and I’ve worked for M&S for over 20 happy years.
I’ve worked in the lingerie department at M&S Bluewater since 1999, and so have always been aware of our partnership with Breast Cancer Now, joining in with fundraising and supporting the partnership wherever I could.
I had seen and read about how important it is to regularly check your breasts for signs and symptoms of breast cancer, from the mirror stickers and from bra fitting appointment cards in our changing rooms. So, when in the spring of 2013, M&S sent me a letter encouraging me to attend a routine mammogram I thought nothing of it, and attended.
I thought that breast cancer was something that happened to other women - to older women, I was only 48 at the time, but a week later I was diagnosed with DCIS, the earliest possible form of breast cancer.
My daughter has been commited to spreading awareness
After rounds of radiotherapy, a lumpectomy, doses of tamoxifen and months away from work, I had recovered. It had been an incredibly difficult journey for our entire family, yet thanks to M&S’ reminder and my knowledge of the importance of early detection, I was one of the lucky ones who had caught cancer in its earliest stages.
Three years later, my cancer had unfortunately returned. My husband, son and I spent three months quietly battling the disease for a second time before we told my daughter, Jane, as we wanted her to be able to focus on the final stages of university worry-free. I will always remember Jane’s first trip home and her seeing me on the sofa, weak but recovering.
Since then, Jane has been determined to play her part in making sure that more women detect breast cancer early and live the best lives they can. I was so proud when Jane decided to work for Breast Cancer Now, helping to deliver their partnership with M&S, inspiring even more M&S customers and colleagues, like me, to regularly check their breasts and raise vital money for pioneering breast cancer research.
Four years on, I am also alive and well, providing daily bra fittings (in more normal times of course) to other women who have been through what I have – it is a pleasure to be able to inspire and encourage women to feel more and more like themselves after undergoing treatment for breast cancer. I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone at M&S and Breast Cancer Now – without our partnership, my story may have been a very different one.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month continue the good work and show yourself some TLC and Touch, Look, Check your boobs.
Together Breast Cancer Now and M&S has raised £13million, funding over 330,000 hours of pioneering breast cancer research – and it’s all thanks to you!
You can continue to support our partnership by choosing Breast Cancer Now as your chosen Sparks charity and M&S will donate every time you shop.