A GRIEVING mum, who is determined to carry out her daughter’s dying wish, has taken her campaign to drive down cervical cancer deaths to Halesowen shoppers.
Marie Evans joined her daughter’s friends and other supporters at the Cornbow Shopping Centre on Monday and Tuesday to promote their campaign.
The 46-year-old from Oldbury lost her 22-year-old daughter Jessica Evans to the disease in February, and is leading a two-pronged campaign to stop other young women suffering the same fate.
Jessica, who had a two-year-old son Riley, was refused a smear test nine times because she was under 25. By the time her cancer was diagnosed, it was too late to save her.
The Justice for Jess campaign is urging the NHS to “treat the symptoms not the age” and an epetition has been drawn up calling for the guidelines to be changed so that women under 25 with symptoms can have a smear test.
Jessica’s family and friends are also encouraging women who are eligible to take the test to do so, after figures revealed 20 per cent of British women choose not to have it.
Close friend Sam Chatwin, from Old Hill, said they were also raising awareness about the symptoms of the disease while at the shopping centre.
She said: “We had quite a few women coming over to have a chat and there was quite a lot of interest.”
The team plans to spread its message again at the shopping centre on Saturday,cat Oldbury's Mecca Bingo Hall on Saturday evening and at other events across the region.
They need 10,000 signatures before the Government will consider the call to lower the age limit for smear tests and Miss Chatwin urged people to add their names to the epetition which has so far attracted almost 2,300 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