A BELLY dancer used her best moves to help raise awareness of the disease which killed her sister.
Sara Smith has dedicated herself to highlighting cervical cancer since it contributed to the death of her sister Anne Stamp, in July 2012, and has raised £10,000 so far.
The 41-year-old had two hysterectomies after being diagnosed with cervical cancer, but after getting the all clear, was diagnosed with melanoma and died within weeks.
Mum-of-one Anne, of Ashbrooke, wanted to highlight the importance of being tested for cervical cancer, and set up a group called Bellydance Moves Sunderland, with sister Sara, 46, of Roker, before her death.
Now Sara is spreading the word further and organised an event as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – which ends today – to raise awareness of the potentially-fatal disease. Forty members of the Bellydance Moves class at the Chester’s pub, wore red on Wednesday to mark the week-long campaign.
Mum-of-two Sara said: “If this hadn’t happened to Annie I would probably ignore my letter from the doctor telling me to go for a smear test.
“But I think we have to be aware and go for checks.
“It’s said that when bad things happen, positive things come out of it, but since Anne died, it has made me more aware.” Sara said Bellydance Moves isn’t just about exercise, but is somewhere for women to go when they aren’t feeling well, or are recovering.
She added: “Anne was an upbeat, bright girl.
“She wanted more people to know about the illness.
“And it amazes me when you find out how many people have actually had cervical cancer.
“At the event on Wednesday, people were telling me that they had had it, and how they felt great after the class.”
Sara set up charity Annie’s Dream in September 2012, and is hoping to hold an event every year, on January 19, during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
She said: “We are going to do it. It was horrible to lose a sister.
“I think she is just on a long holiday and I will see her again soon.
“I go for checks regularly now, and I’m aware of my body, and lumps and bumps.
“Although I do get sad, we don’t get down about it. I just think what can we do about it today?”