A woman who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in December is taking part in a new campaign supported by her employer M&S which is urging women to show their bra strap.
Helen Bliss who lives in Northamptonshire and works at M&S head office, took part in a photoshoot earlier this year wearing a new lingerie range from Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Rosie also directed the lingerie photoshoot which featured seven women from all over the UK whose lives had been affected by cancer.
Helen, aged 37, was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump. She has since undergone a mastectomy, axillary node clearance and six rounds of chemotherapy as part of her treatment. Helen finished her radiotherapy treatment the morning of the M&S photoshoot.
Helen is due to have reconstructive surgery in December. While going through her breast cancer experience, Helen decided to write a blog so that she could keep friends and family updated on her progress. She found it to be therapeutic and it has grown bigger than she ever thought, reaching over 105,000 views. Helen said that she has an amazing husband and gorgeous four-year-old daughter who have both given her the strength to face this disease head on.
Helen’s blog is at helenblissblog.blogspot.com
The campaign aims to raise £13 million over the next five years in a bid to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025. M&S has joined forces with Breast Cancer Now as part of its Spark Something Good initiative.
The money raised will go to the development of a new risk assessment model which will be available to all women so they can calculate their individual risk of developing breast cancer – currently only ‘high risk’ are entitled to a full check up.
To support the campaign on social media organisers are calling on people to take a selfie showing their bra strap with #ShowYourStrap and encouraging them to nominate and donate.