Two friends from south Wales fronted an M&S campaign to support the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now. Keeli Morgan, from Cwmbran, and Michelle Llewellyn, from Bridgend, were one of five pairs of friends, relatives and partners who shared their experiences and realities of breast cancer. It brought together the women affected by the disease and the loved ones who provided vital support to them.
They modelled a selection of M&S pink lingerie and sleepwear and 20% of the sales made from 27 September to the end of October are being donated to Breast Cancer Now. Now in its fourth year, the M&S and Breast Cancer Now partnership aims to raise £13 million over five years to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025.
Best friends for ten years and diagnosed with breast cancer just three months apart
Michelle, 43, and Keeli, 43, are best friends and have worked together for 10 years.
Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2017. She has had a double lumpectomy with three lymph nodes removed from each side, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She is taking Letrozole daily tablets and receiving Zoladex 4 weekly injections. She is awaiting further surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes as a precautionary measure.
Michelle said: “When I discovered the lump in my right breast, Keeli was the first one that I confided in, knowing that she would be concerned for me and would be there as a source of support for when I needed to speak to someone.
“Since my diagnosis, I’ve never thought about what I can’t do, but instead about what I can do. I don’t worry about the little things anymore, but try to be happy and live my life the best that I can.”
Keeli was diagnosed with breast cancer just three months after Michelle, in January 2018. She had a lumpectomy in February and two
Keeli said: “Every time Michelle went through anything following her breast cancer diagnosis, we would talk it through, so naturally when I found a lump I told Michelle. It wasn’t until she told me about her breast cancer, and nagged me about checking that I did – I just never thought it would happen to me, but it did. Ever since we both started our treatments, we have been comparing notes, boobs, scars, skin, discussing moisturisers and feelings about Tamoxifen. We’ve been really open and honest with each other, but also with others around us.”
Michelle said: “Keeli and I are the same age and have the same outlook on life, positive and always up for a challenge and willing to help others with a big smile on our faces. We bonded even more when she dragged me up Pen-y-fan mountain a few years ago for my 40th birthday with balloons strapped to my
back,because no matter what we do, it’s always with a smile and the aim to make others smile with us.”
Keeli said: “Michelle and I have worked together for ten years and have always been close, but a stronger bond has developed between us from this shared experience of breast cancer that we have both been through.”
chiefexecutive of Breast Cancer Now, said: “Money raised in October will enable our scientists to spend more precious time undertaking world-class research, which could eventually lead to preventing the disease occurring in the first place, sparing those affected by breast cancer the fear, uncertainty and despair a diagnosis of the disease can bring.”
Laura Charles, lingerie director at M&S, said: “Your support means more research time and together we can make a difference for all those affected by this devastating disease.”
Find out more
To find out more about how you can support the M&S and Breast Cancer Now partnership, visit www.marksandspencer.com/s/lingerie/breast-cancer-now