Fashion For a World Without Breast Cancer

Bosom Buddies X Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign started 23 years ago by Ralph Lauren. After losing a dear friend to breast cancer, he set up the campaign to encourage the fashion industry to contribute to breast cancer research funding through clothing sales..

Marks & Spencer has been a long time contributor to this campaign; since 2001 M&S has raised £29 million for breast cancer research and Breast Cancer Now.

The 2019 Six-week Bosom Buddies campaign out now is part of Marks & Spencer's commitment in 2015 to raise £13 million by 2020. And for the third year running, Ive been fortunate to be one of the faces of the campaign!

The campaign's message is simple - a Bosom Buddy is:

💞 Is someone who’s got your back at any given time

💕 The buddy you turn to when you were going through breast cancer was there for you.

💞Friends who come together to support you when in the depth of breast cancer.

💕Those who maintain positive relationships with you, who do not turn their backs on friends and family members going through breast cancer.

💞 There for you, so you know that are not alone.

I’m PROUD to support the Bosom Buddies X Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign and to have the chance to share my story about my Bosom Buddy Sue who stepped up beside me through the trauma of my breast cancer diagnosis.
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Clover

When Clover was told by doctors that the lump in her breast was benign, she hadn’t felt the relief that she was expecting. Despite receiving negative results to the biopsy, mammogram and ultrasound, Clover insisted on having the lump removed. For months, prior to finding the lump, she had a strong feeling that something wasn’t quite right with her chest, and became increasingly concerned that it was something serious. 

It was this gut feeling that ultimately led to her insisting on a lumpectomy. When the results came back, it was revealed that the lump was triple negative breast cancer, a highly aggressive and hard to treat form of breast cancer, common in younger women. 

Clover 

“And with that, my life as I knew it went completely upside down and changed forever, it was devastating.

“My changed body image was one of the hardest parts for me. My reconstruction had failed and that was a particularly tough time. I found it hard to dress, I stopped going out, I was very depressed. On one hand the breast cancer had gone and my life had been saved but on the other hand, I didn’t feel good about how my body looked.

“Telling Sue, my best friend, was difficult but I knew that she was one of the safe people that I could rely on and I knew that she wouldn’t lumber me with her own emotions. 

“On a practical level, Sue was able to just be present without being obtrusive whist my treatments were going on. When I was at appointments, feeling overwhelmed, she was a second set of ears in the room, listening. It’s things like that that are so invaluable at the time.”

Sue

“My job as a birth and post-natal doula means I’m used to supporting women, so I’m good at listening and cracking inappropriate jokes. And that’s what I did for her. We are really close – like sisters.”

Clover and Sue were already very close, but going through all of this together has made them true #BosomBuddies. 

You can dress in solidarity with Clover and Sue by shopping our amazing M&S collection, with 30% of the purchase price of each item donating to Breast Cancer Now to help us to fund life-saving research. 

Campaigning and Breast Cancer Now

The Bosom Buddies Campaign for Breast Cancer Now is a six-week campaign. And like any contemporary marketing campaign links in with influencers and celebrities to get the spread of people aware of the campaign as far as possible, aiming to get the most significant reach as it starts, with the story of the campaign unfolding during the rest of the campaign.

Breast Cancer Now is the leading breast cancer charity in the UK. They are the main charity several I’ve been supporting for the last seven years (shortly after I first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010). Why? Because I respect their impact and their vision that I want to do my part to help them achieve: that by 2050, everyone who develops great cancer will live, and live well.

I’m really grateful that through Breast Cancer Now I’ve had many opportunities to get involved creating a future without breast cancer:

💥I’ve joined several events lobbying politicians in Parliament

Clover at the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London UK

Clover at the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London UK

💥Gathered signatures, and handed in petition Roche Pharmaceuticals to get life-extending secondary breast cancer drug Kadcyla approved by NICE

💥 Spoken to retailers Marks and Spencer to thank them for their long-term actions supporting fundraising for Breast Cancer Now and its impact on their funding has on people with breast cancer.

💥 Modelled and was the one of the ‘real woman’ supporters, and was heavily featured in the last three Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaigns in 2017 (Fashion Strong) , 2018 (Make a Statement), and 2019 (Bosom Buddies)


💥Contributed to a book created by Breast Cancer Now to hand into Mark Hancock (Health Secretary, currently in charge of government allocation of £10 billion into the NHS) to give real faces behind the statistic of 55,000 women being diagnosed each year.

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💥Spoken with Mark Hancock face-to-face, alongside Breast Cancer Now staff and supporters. Our aim was to explain why the NHS Long Term Plan must invest in breast cancer services. We were able to stress to Mark Breast Cancer Now’s 10 Priorities for the NHS, including highlighting the priority need for Clinical N urselves Specialists to support people with secondary breast cancer. Also the need for innovative effective cancer treatments being quickly available to the NHS.

💥 I’ve raised awareness in Parliament when MPs were discussing fund allocation for breast cancer funding by sitting in the discussion as a visible presence of the faces of breast cancer, so they knew they were dealing with real people, not just statistics

💥 Volunteered as a patient advocate with Breast Cancer Now, who set up the first national patient advocacy groups in hospitals. Advocates with breast cancer (like me) listen and hear the voices of people going through breast cancer and their concerns. The charity Used the information gathered to help the NHS to improve its support for people undergoing breast cancer treatments.

💥 And ultimately through campaigning have made some amazing friends

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Though many cancer charities are doing their best to fundraise, They are crying out for volunteers to support Breast Cancer Now to reach its fundamental goal by 2050 will need the support of many.

To stop people dying of breast cancer cost money. Lots of it.

Along with retailer collaboration campaigns, breast cancer charities offer other volunteering opportunities, where people like you and I can help put money into the pot to find cures and treatments for breast cancer.

Whenever a chance to to support Breast Cancer Now, I say yes, no matter what. I make the time, because these campaigns bring in money for research, support and policy influencing for breast cancer. Please do your bit by picking up a phone to get behind the charity; find out how to become a volunteer ( or continue to do so) and channel some of your time into supporting cancer charities. Support their commitment to raising fund drugs, treatments, palliative care, and training people to work with people with breast cancer.

#55000Reasons Campaign Book: Why the NHS Long Term Plan must invest in breast cancer services

#55000Reasons Campaign Book: Why the NHS Long Term Plan must invest in breast cancer services

By any means necessary, be part of the wave of change challenging breast cancer!

Thank you, Clover