You've probably been reading reports about the British reality TV star Jade Goody, who’s dying of advanced cervical cancer at the age of 27. Goody is a massive star in the U.K., and is dealing with the imminent end of her life the same way she lived her best years – in front of a camera for the whole world to watch. (Even U.S. media outlets like People magazine have picked up on the gripping story.)
In Ireland, where Jade was also a big celebrity, her plight has inspired a huge increase in women seeking cervical cancer screenings. “There has been an increase of about 60% over the last four weeks,” Alison Begas of the Dublin Well Woman centers told the Sunday Tribune.
Apparently the test is available in Ireland free of charge since last September, but until now few women availed of the potentially life saving offer. Now, Begas thinks that the uptick is due to a “combination of reactions to the coverage on Jade Goody (and) television advertisements.”
Goody in her prime was one of those larger than life characters seemingly born to create tabloid headlines. She came from a broken family, had two sons with an ex-boyfriend in her early twenties, and really made a name for herself as a loud and obnoxious contestant on that Big Brother show that everyone seems to love in Ireland and the U.K. Falling out of clubs drunk and getting into catfights also burnished her credentials as a tabloid heroine.
But, God love her, all is certainly forgiven now, as cameras document her brave march towards the end of her life. She even got married a couple of weeks ago to a 21-year-old thug who she had an off/on relationship with before she was diagnosed, and OK! magazine forked out in the region of $2 million for exclusive photo rights.
Last June Jade was in Ireland doing publicity on RTE for something she was involved in, and she looked the picture of health. So very sad.