I am sat here trying to think of someone I know who hasn't been affected by cancer in some way. I cannot think of anyone, and I imagine all of you reading this have had some sort of encounter with cancer in your lifetime. Despite this, despite us knowing the statistics that 1 in 3 people will have cancer in their lifetime, despite having such a strong understanding of the devastating effects it has... we don't always think the diagnosis would be for us. I know I certainly don't, it's completely natural to have a 'it will never happen to me' mindset. Especially when you're young, healthy, happy, and with a lot of experiences yet to come. So when my friend Lauren was diagnosed with breast cancer at 30, it was one heck of a shock. The qualities Lauren has make her the best and worst person for this to happen too. She is so full of life, ambitious, fun loving, loud, and hard working - not the kind of person you want to see slowed down by anything. But these qualities are also the reason she is beating cancer, and enjoying life as much as she can despite it all. Through chemo, FOMO from the lack of social life, and recent allergic reactions to her medicine.. she has met it all head on and never, ever put on anything but a brave face for the rest of the world to see. And I do mean the rest of the world; she is sharing her story on her blog, and her daily life on her Instagram stories.
While the ideal situation would leave Lauren only worrying about her health in these circumstances, situations like this serve to remind we do not live an ideal world. At the time when you want to enjoy life at every moment you can, you are also at a time when you can't work and earn a living. Statutory sick is just £88.45 a week, for up to 28 weeks - to just survive on that is difficult enough, never mind thrive. Now, as I said, Lauren isn't a sit back and take it kinda gal. She's been working hard to help herself as much as she can. The most inspiring people in the world are always those who refuse to be a victim - those who never blame the world or anything else for their problems. And despite being in a situation where that mindset would be completely understandable, Lauren has been getting out there and finding a solution to her problems wherever she can. This is where the fact I am wearing a t-shirt that say 'knockers' on it comes into the mix. Lauren has opened up a little online shop where you can help support her, and other women battling breast cancer. Whether you fancy getting your 'knockers' out like me, or flaunting your 'fun bags' (which was Harry's choice) - there is a t-shirt for all! They cost £28 each, 25% of which goes to the Breast Cancer Haven, and the remainder to Lauren. I got mine in a medium for an oversized fit, and wore it with pride last week in Leeds. They are all 100% cotton, slightly oversized, and look amazing tucked into denim!
If you guys fancy one for yourself, then I urge you to order yours here. Whether you feel inspired to support Lauren directly after reading my post (and her own story here), or just fancy wandering about in an amazing t-shirt that also goes to an amazing cause, then pleaaseeeee get ordering one. If you share anything on Insta then tag @girlstolelondon and #GIRLvsCANCER 'cos it cheers Lauren right up to see it on there too!
Thank you for reading to the end of this post. This one is for Lauren, someone I am so proud to call my friend.