AN event to raise awareness about cervical cancer is being held in Oldbury on Saturday (May 24) in memory of young mum Jessica Evans who died from the disease.
The 22-year-old from the town, who was refused a smear test nine times, because she was not old enough, lost her year-long battle in February.
Family and friends are determined to carry out her dying wish that other women should not suffer the same fate.
Close friend Sam Chatwin has organised the awareness event at the Sandwell Christian Centre, Langley Crescent, starting with a balloon launch in memory of Jessica, who had a son Riley, aged two.
“We will let off 100 teal and white balloons – the colour for cervical cancer – with message cards attached,” said the 26-year-old mother-of-two.
Jessica’s brave mum Marie Evans, aged 46, will talk at the event, which is open to women and girls aged from 16, and flyers outlining signs of the disease will be handed out.
Miss Chatwin, of Hall Street, Old Hill, said: “Twenty per cent of British women do not go for smears and we hope to tell them how important they are and to raise awareness about the symptoms of cervical cancer.”
There will also be the chance to talk over any worries about symptoms and food and drink will be available at the event which will run from 4.30pm until 7.30pm.
The Justice for Jess campaign is also calling on the NHS to “treat the symptoms not the age” and an epetition has been drawn up calling for women under 25 with symptoms to be allowed a smear test.
They need 10,000 signatures before the Government will consider the call and Miss Chatwin urged people to add their names to the epetition which has so far attracted nearly 1,200 names.
The Department of Health guidelines were put in place because there is a one in three chance of a false positive result in under 25s and the department argues the screening test is not diagnostic and so not appropriate for women with symptoms.
To sign, go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63765