This year, Asda's Tickled Pink Campaign celebrates its 20th anniversary. The charity initiative raises funds to support breast cancer charities Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.
The Asda Tickled Pink campaign and has grown in support each year since 1996, raising £48 million to date, helping us to create and develop the UK’s first ever national breast cancer Tissue Bank, which officially launched in 2012. The Tissue Bank is a unique national resource for researchers in the UK and Ireland.
Our dedicated fundraiser, Jason Guy, and Principal Investigator (PI) of the Leeds centre of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank, Professor Val Speirs, are proud Proud to be Pink in support of this year’s Asda campaign for Tickled Pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2016. Read their stories below.
Jason lost his beautiful wife, Lucy, a model, to breast cancer just four months after their wonderful wedding.
In early 2013, Lucy was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer after spotting a lump in her breast during a romantic trip to Paris, a year in to the couple’s relationship. After chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiotherapy, Lucy went into remission in April 2014. But two months later, Lucy found a lump while on holiday in Brazil. Back home, a biopsy confirmed her breast cancer had returned. Despite a high dose of chemotherapy, the tumour doubled in size and spread to her back, meaning it had become secondary breast cancer, the terminal form of the disease.
Jason had already bought an engagement ring but brought his proposal plans forward following the news. Five months later the couple exchanged their vows, and Lucy broke down in tears for the first time through the experience. Jason believed that Lucy put all her focus and strength in to their wedding. Once she had achieved that target she became weaker. Jason said from the very next day he could see how tired his wife was and they cancelled their Monaco honeymoon.
Instead, Jason focused on arranging end-of-life care so he could keep Lucy’s wish that she die at home. Jason and her parents were with her when she passed away in June 2015. There wasn’t a spare seat at Lucy’s funeral, with everyone wearing bright clothes as per Lucy’s wishes. Jason wore his wedding suit.
Jason is a Managing Director for First4Staff, a company he founded himself at 23. He is dedicated to continuing the fundraising he and Lucy began following her diagnosis. After already reaching the £100,000 target he is determined to hit £250,000 and more in Lucy’s name.
Professor Val Speirs
Professor Val Speirs plays an active role in the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank and is PI of the Leeds Centre. Professor Speirs was the inaugural chair of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank operations group, overseeing the launch of the Tissue Bank in 2012.
In addition to this, she is also a Professor of Experimental Pathology & Oncology within the Leeds Institute of Cancer & Pathology at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on oestrogen receptor biology, endocrine resistant breast cancer, male breast cancer and developing improved in vitro models of breast cancer to explore the role of the stroma.
Professor Speirs is also a former member of the Breast Cancer Campaign Scientific Advisory Board, the Wales Cancer Bank Scientific Advisory Board and the British Association for Cancer Research Executive Committee and a current member of the NCRIs Molecular Biomarkers Advisory Group (2015- ) and, since 2016 the CM-Path, Discovery theme. She is Associate Editor, BMC Cancer (2012- ), OncoTarget (2015- ) and Corresponding editor, Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation (2010- ).
You can find out more about the Tickled Pink campaign and read more supporter stories on Asda's Tickled Pink website.