THE younger brother of cervical cancer victim Jen Goodridge will take the first steps on the road to fulfilling the promise he made to his dying sister tomorrow (Friday) when he meets MP Cheryl Gillan.
David Sidebottom, 22, and Jen's widower, Tony Goodridge, 28, will meet the Chesham and Amersham Conservative MP in her constituency to talk about the Jen's Final Wish campaign.
Mr Sidebottom is deeply passionate about the Advertiser's campaign and is determined to ensure the age for compulsory screening letters for cervical cancer to be sent out is reduced from
25 to 20. Jen died of cervical cancer aged just 24 on August 31 and her dying wish was for her family to raise awareness about the disease, the HPV ( humanpapillo -mavirus) vaccine for teenager girls and the screening letter age issue.
He told us: "I want to help spearhead this campaign. I made Jen a promise before she died that I would make sure that the smear test age in this country is lowered to 20 again and I will not stop until that is achieved. I am looking forward to speaking to our MP."
Mrs Gillan, who is also Secretary of State for Wales, was quick to back the Jen's Final Wish campaign before it was launched on October 7. At the time she said: "I sympathise with the families who have lost relatives to cervical cancer. If we have ways to prevent unnecessary deaths from this disease then it is important to consider matters like vaccination. We do need to look at all ways of protecting young people.
"I would also urge women to take up the invitations for cervical screening."
Mr Sidebottom is now hoping to convince the cabinet minister to lobby Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to reduce the screening letter age so it is in line with Wales and Scotland.
* There will be a full report on the meeting and the response to the Facebook petition in next week's Advertiser.