Entertainment

Jade Goody: Big Brother star who raised awareness of cervical cancer

The tabloid regular died 10 years ago, on March 22 2009.

Jade Goody was propelled to fame in 2002 as a contestant on Big Brother.

Despite only coming fourth, the outspoken dental nurse – who died 10 years ago this week – captured viewers’ attention.

She went on to become a regular in tabloid newspapers and glossy magazines, and appeared on a number of other reality TV shows.

In 2007, she returned to the Big Brother house for the celebrity edition of the show and became embroiled in a well-documented race row, attracting thousands of complaints about the treatment of Indian contestant Shilpa Shetty.

Such was Goody’s fame her publicist billed as “the world’s first reality television star”.

When she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008 – which she received while she was on the Indian version of Big Brother – it soon became clear that, fittingly, she would take on the disease publicly.

The star was open about her illness from the start and was clear she was using the media interest in her battle to secure the financial future of her young sons.

She was also keen to raise public awareness of the disease.

Jade Goody
Jade Goody was billed as ‘the world’s first reality television star’ (PA)

Her publicist Max Clifford said at the time: “Jade has been very vocal because of what happened to her.

“Her message is ‘don’t let what happened to me happen to you’.”

Goody had a hysterectomy and lost her hair as she underwent chemotherapy.

Early in 2009, she was given the news tumours had now been found in her liver, bowel and groin.

Soon afterwards she had emergency surgery to have a rumour removed after doctors discovered a blockage in her bowel.

Goody tied the knot with her boyfriend Jack Tweed in February 2009 while she had stage four cancer and had a christening ceremony for herself and her sons at a chapel at the Royal Marsden hospital in London.

Jade Goody ahead of her wedding
Goody had a  (PA)

On March 11 2009, Goody returned home to spend her final days with her loved ones.

She died in her sleep 11 days later, on March 22, at the age of 27.

After her death, cancer organisations reported an increase in people seeking information about the disease.

On the day Goody was diagnosed in August 2008, Cancer Research UK had 10 times the usual number of hits to its website.

In October 2009, a report from the NHS Information Centre revealed that Goody’s high-profile battle with cervical cancer helped to dramatically reverse the downward trend in women going for screening.

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