I wrote a few weeks ago about Jade Goody, the highly controversial reality TV star who was diganosed a couple of months ago (live, on air, during the taping of Big Brother India) with cervical cancer.
Since she had lived much of her adult life in the public eye, she elected to end her life the same way, and invited cameras to tape her marriage to another controversial figure a couple of weeks ago, and to ultimately tape her death.
Jade had said she did it for two reasons - to ensure the financial future of her two children, ages 5 and 4; and to raise awareness for cervical cancer, and the tests that can save lives. What emerged in England over the past two months has been stunning: the government has decided to review it's policy of not offering annual pap tests to women via national health care until the age of 25. England had seen a decline of women between the ages of 25 and 30 in getting pap tests and since Goody's public battle, women in England have flocked to get tested - the numbers are up an unprecedented 20%. Most have acknowledged that the reality star's pleas for all women to get tested was the push they needed.
Goody acknowledged that she had abnormal cells on her cervix in her teens and had preliminary treatments but elected to ignore letters sent from her hospital, urging her to have immediate surgery but did not proceed with treatment due to her fears of cancer - the very reason she spent the last six months of her life asking other women not to do the same thing.
"They had sent a letter to me ages ago, telling that I needed to go in for an operation, but I had been too scared to do anything about it,” Goody said.
She wanted to ensure women know that their fear of testing, or of the results, are small, in comparison to ignoring results or not getting tested at all.
However controversially she lived her short life - her untimely death will probably save many others from the same fate and for that we are thankful to her.
Jade died early this morning at the young age of 27, leaving her two children behind. Today is Mothers Day in the UK.
Will Jade's story help you to take better preventative care of your health?
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