A mum who beat breast cancer did the honours as she opened Cancer Research UK’s first North East store in Sunderland.
Lisa McGlynn, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday, cut the ribbon at the Pallion Retail Park site.
Lisa, a nursery nurse from Sunderland, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer when she was 34 shortly after having son Harrison, who’s now seven.
The cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes and Lisa went through six months of chemotherapy, had a mastectomy, surgery to remove her lymph nodes under her armpit and then radiotherapy.
However, Lisa’s just celebrated her five year all clear and her 40th birthday in October last year - a milestone that she was determined to see.
Lisa said: “We had Harrison through IVF and I’d been breastfeeding him when I found the lump.
“When I was given the diagnosis, I cried, but knew I needed to be strong for my family.
“I was determined to see in my 40th and to live.
“I went through gruelling treatment - losing my hair, having no energy to get myself out of the bath and feeling sick, but my family pulled me through.
“My husband was my rock.
“I had a fight in me and knew that I wanted to live and be able to take my son to Disneyland.
“I was prepared to do what I needed to do to live and it’s such an honour to open the new superstore. Cancer Research UK’s work is helping us survive cancer.”
The new superstore, close to the new Northern Spire bridge, has clothing, accessories, books, DVDs and CDs, homewares and small electricals on sale.
Store manager Helen Turner-Walker said: “We’re delighted to have Lisa opening our store.
“She’s an inspiration and a great example of how our research can save lives.
“All profits raised will go towards funding Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work to help more men, women and children survive the disease.
“We’re also looking for volunteers to come and help us in the store.
“Local people, who would love to spend time helping our great customers, or those who’d like to get experience of working in retail would really benefit from volunteering.”
Customers can speak to a cancer nurse using the confidential helpline in the in-store engagement room.
Head of trading Julie Byard said: ”This superstore is our 17th to open across the UK.
“Sunderland is a great location for it and we’ve had such wonderful support from shoppers today.”