Cancer sufferer Nicola Craffey says “We must keep Jade Goody’s Legacy campaign alive”
During her final months, Jade filmed a number of reality TV programmes for Sky that chronicled her fight to live, but of course, when she discovered her condition was terminal, what remained of her life was dedicated to her children, and to raising awareness among young women that cervical cancer isn’t a disease that only affects the middle aged.
And though at the time, countless lives were saved when young women presented themselves for screening and discovered they had the disease, the years since have seen a steady decline in the number of women attending their doctor’s surgeries or clinics for smear tests.
As a consequence, the number of deaths from cervical cancer are once again rising, which we’ll hear about in Jade’s Legacy: The Fight Goes On, which airs on Sky Living on Thursday at 8pm…
However, one cancer sufferer Nicola Craffey – who spoke to The Sun as part of their Jade’s Legacy campaign – who was diagnosed with the same disease as Jade, and at the same time and same age, reveals how she’s coped with her illness.
She first explained how she was diagnosed, saying, “I went upstairs to run myself a bath and the rest was just a blank.
“I was rushed to Oldham hospital with really heavy bleeding. The next thing I knew I was having lines put into my hands and my clothes were being cut off.
“I was rigid with fear and asked him to tell me straight away but he wouldn’t. It was six hours before I was finally seen but it felt like eternity.”
Then of the frightening diagnosis, Nicola said, “I asked the doctor if I was going to die. His reply was: ‘I’m so sorry, I can’t answer that’. I was in pieces.”
Of Jade being diagnosed at the same time as her, Nicola said, “Jade’s fight was documented in every magazine and newspaper…
“But I banned anyone bringing the celebrity mags to my bedside because I couldn’t cope with seeing it all — it was too close to home.
“I couldn’t afford to get upset when I knew I had to fight.”
Nicola’s treatment for her cancer included having radiotherapy and a hysterectomy, which of course induced a premature menopause.
Of that, brave Nicola said, “The full impact of the cancer is sinking in now.
“All my friends are having babies and getting married and I’ve been left questioning what’s left for me.
“It has got quite lonely the past few years and dating has been a nightmare.
“I can’t just omit that part of my life, nor can I blurt it out on the first date — when is the right time to bring it up in conversation?”
However, recently, Nicola has found romance with boyfriend Richard Wild, or whom she said, “We’re now officially boyfriend and girlfriend and things are fantastic.
“We’re off on holiday next week — my first holiday in five years.”
And of the status of her cancer right now, Nicola said, “I have check-ups every 12 weeks but have been given the all-clear.
“I have to take hormone replacement therapy, and water tablets for my leg, but other than that I’m okay.
“I hope to get married and adopt children in the future but mainly I focus on how lucky I am to have my health.
“I also want to highlight how important it is for women to get smear tests — it is a few minutes of discomfort and embarrassment but could just save your life.”
As mentioned, Jade’s Legacy: The Fight Goes On, is on Sky Living on Thursday at 8pm, and for more information about cervical cancer, you can visit the Jo’s Trust website or call 0808 802 8000.
Here’s a preview of Jade’s Legacy…
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