Introduction from Emma Kennedy, Founder of Lions, Tigers & Bears Ltd

The idea for Lions, Tigers & Bears came after my own diagnosis in 2017. Being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer just a few months after my 40th birthday, I was plunged into a whole new world – a world where I was a cancer patient.

I didn’t feel like a patient, I felt like Emma, who also just happened to be a patient. I hated that all of a sudden I seemed to be defined by my diagnosis.

There were so many things that I needed to help me manage my treatment and cope with the resulting side effects of an intensive regime of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy, and I found it hard to find somewhere I could find everything I needed/wanted – trying to find things that expressed my personality and made me feel like “me” was even harder.

I was frustrated by the lack of choice and style as it seemed to me that many companies assume that just because you have cancer, you no longer care about your appearance or have somehow had a style lobotomy on the day you started treatment – when in my opinion, feeling better/more confident about how you look has a massive impact on your mental well-being.

Specialist products were scattered far and wide across the internet, and difficult to track down. I wanted to create a website that brought together all of these things – the products that are genuinely useful as you go through treatment, or that help you to feel like yourself again, the independent brands (often set up by people who have first-hand experience of cancer), and the stuff that helps you to manage mind, body, soul, and life with and after cancer. The things that make you feel better, physically and mentally, and most importantly, enable you to retain your sense of identity during a time when your whole life is tipped upside down.

Creating an online hub for people affected by cancer

I soon realised that it was about more than simply creating a shop, it was about creating an online hub for people – somewhere that yes, you could find a fabulous hat, a gift for a loved one or a cream that will help reduce the impact of radiotherapy burns, but where you could also find support, advice, and recommendations to help you navigate this overwhelming new world of treatment, side effects, and life as a cancer patient.

I wanted to bring together all of the tips, advice, insights, and recommendations that I had found so useful so that others could benefit – the wealth of knowledge that exists within the cancer community, from those that have been there too. The blog and directory was launched to offer access to this information, and the local businesses that help people every day as they manage the physical, emotional and practical aspects of dealing with cancer.

The idea for Lions, Tigers & Bears was born out of a desire to turn my experience of a negative situation into something positive to help other people affected by cancer.

A social enterprise for the cancer community

The primary aim of Lions, Tigers & Bears is and has always been about providing somewhere that people affected by cancer can find what they need to help them manage their diagnosis and their personal cancer journey with style, sass and attitude.

To help them feel good, to feel confident and to feel empowered in the face of cancer – to help them find their roar!

We reinvest our profits to create an online hub that supports and empowers people affected by cancer, and connects them with the products, services, businesses and support that they need, and in our chosen partner charities who focus on helping cancer patients feel good.

We aim to do all of this in a sustainable and socially responsible way, and this guides our all of our day to day decision-making and the running of Lions, Tigers & Bears.

Creating a community

Lions, Tigers & Bears is built from the experience of others who have been affected by cancer and is based around creating a community.

All of the products within the shop are hand-selected by people who have first-hand experience of cancer treatment and its side effects. The tips and advice within the blog have been gleaned from personal experience and advice from the wider cancer community, and the businesses featured within the directory have been recommended by people with direct experience of dealing them.

If you would like to contribute to our community or have a business recommendation for the directory, please get in touch.