gillan jen's last wish
MP CHERYL Gillan has promised personally to raise the Advertiser's Jen's Final Wish campaign with Prime Minister David Cameron - and hand our petition to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
The MP for Chesham and Amersham is a cabinet minister in the coalition government - giving us access to the most powerful people in Westminster.
Jen's widower, Tony Goodridge, and her brother, David Sidebottom, joined the Advertiser in a meeting with the MP to discuss the campaign and how to bring our fight to Westminster.
We left the meeting last Friday with a series of promises from Mrs Gillan:
* To hand over the Advertiser's petition to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley
* To invite the Advisory Committee on Cervical Screening, the body responsible for helping set the screening age, to meet Jen's family
* To hand over any correspondence from the family to the Prime Minister personally
* To write a letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove asking to clarify the level of education about cervical cancer currently taking place in schools.
Mrs Gillan urged parents to give consent for their daughters to have the HPV vaccine, which protects against 70 per cent of cervical cancer strains.
She said: "I think education is everything in this. The vaccine has made girls a lot more aware of it, but more needs to be done.
"The trouble is girls don't like to talk about issues like this, so when they get the symptoms later on in life they put up with them.
"It's about overcoming this very private thing."
On the issue of women being fearful of going for smear tests, Mrs Gillan added: "It can be a painful thing to do, but so necessary - it's about putting your health first and getting over your inhibitions."
Mr Sidebottom, 22, welcomed the MP's support and has vowed to continue to fight in Jen's memory.