herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Pals vow to keep Jade's legacy alive

Jade Goody's loved ones still "miss her every day" a year since her death from cervical cancer, the late reality star's bridesmaid said today.

Jennifer Smith said Goody's friends wanted to continue to raise awareness of the devastating illness.

Family members, including her mother Jackiey Budden and widower Jack Tweed, yesterday attended a memorial service for the Big Brother star and visited her grave.

The mother-of-two's public battle with the disease encouraged thousands more women to go for smear tests, with the number being screened rising by 12pc last year.

Ms Smith said: "It's been a year since Jade died and we all miss her every day. We know that Jade's cancer battle raised awareness of cervical cancer, especially among younger women, and we're eager to ensure that more people are educated on the signs, symptoms and risks of cancer."

A Race For Life charity run will be held on June 6 in memory of Goody in Basildon, Essex, to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Yesterday, charity Jo's Trust raised concerns that, after a peak, the number of women having smear tests was falling.

Director Robert Music said: "It looks as if these numbers are coming down dramatically, perhaps almost to levels before Jade was diagnosed.

"We need to remind women that cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease and one where they can take proactive steps to reduce their risk."

The UK's Department of Health also stressed the importance of screening and the HPV vaccine, which helps protect against 70pc of the forms of cervical cancer.

Goody's doctor Ann Coxon spoke out at the weekend, claiming that NHS medics should have diagnosed her earlier.

The Harley Street consultant said Goody failed to have smear tests because she was scared that doctors would tell her she was infertile.

She said: "She really wanted a little girl and she did not know that cervical smears were about cancer. She said to me, 'I am not stupid -- if I'd have known, I would have gone'."

The Big Brother star died on Mother's Day last year, aged 27.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News