Raising funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer

Wear It Pink

Staff at a Paignton opticians turned themselves all shades of pink to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help towards beating breast cancer.

The conscientious colleagues at Specsavers Paignton were taking part in Wear It Pink Day as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the store being decked out in bright pink, collection pots available so customers could make donations, and pink hampers on offer as raffle prizes.

The fuchsia-coloured fun event came after store joint-director Karen Stone had recovered from breast cancer, having undergone a single-side mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to save her life this year.

Karen says: ‘The fundraising in store was great fun. We haven’t done a charity event instore for a while, so everyone really enjoyed it.

‘But of course there was a serious message to what we did. Anyone can get cancer. I am a keen runner, am fit and healthy, and I didn’t fall into any at risk category for someone who’d be likely to get cancer, which is why my diagnosis was such a shock.

‘I hadn’t needed to see a doctor for years, except when I had children. But as soon as I found the lump, I knew it wasn’t part of my normal body.’

Karen is now urging women across South Devon to check themselves regularly and seek medical help immediately if they find a lump in their breast.

Karen, who is the joint-director the Specsavers Paignton and Totnes stores, was referred to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital for her treatment, and was unable to work at times during the treatment.

She adds: ‘There’s a big knock-on effect when you’re diagnosed. It affects your friends and family and your colleagues. I am very grateful to everyone who supported me through such a difficult time.

‘Thankfully, I’m okay now. The treatment I had at Derriford was amazing. They are special people who work in the NHS, and they are one of the reasons we wanted to do the event at the store – to give something back.

‘We’re very grateful to all our customers who donated on the day. By giving whatever they could spare, they really have helped to make a difference.’

Wear It Pink Day has been going for more than 20 years and is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK.

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Team account for We Are South Devon.