KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Support the Amber petition

Amber Rose Cliff.
Amber Rose Cliff.
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I couldn’t write this week’s column without giving a special mention to the beautiful Amber Rose Cliff, who sadly passed away last week after battling cervical cancer.

I met Amber around five years ago when she attended some of my classes with her mam, and she was absolutely lovely. I can’t even begin to imagine how her family, friends and colleagues are feeling and I and so many send them love and deepest sympathy.

Last week I watched a video by Amber’s brother Josh, urging people to sign the online petition that has been set up to push to have a new law passed. Amber’s Law would enable any women under the age of 25 who is not eligible for cervical screening, and goes to the doctors with any kind of problem/symptom related to cervical cancer on two occasions to have the option to have cervical screening.

I signed the petition straight away, and I would encourage everyone to get involved. It literally takes less than a minute to fill in and the petition needs 100,000 electronic signatures before it can be considered by the government...every signature counts, so please show your support.

This last week I’ve a lot seen a lot of women posting on Facebook that they have booked in their long over due smear tests or even their first one.

It’s so important that you get it done, don’t ignore it and give yourself the chance that sadly so many others don’t get.

I had mine five weeks ago, and as the date got closer I considered cancelling it and rearranging the date...essentially I was trying to put it off. But I didn’t and I’m so pleased I didn’t, because it’s never as bad as you expect it to be or remember it being. Often we build these things up in our head to be far worse than they actually are. The nurse at the doctors was lovely, totally put me at ease and it was over in a flash.

Having your smear test done may not be the most pleasant experience you’ll ever have, and the word ‘smear’ itself isn’t exactly nice sounding, but it is done in a minute...literally one little minute, and it could save your life. If you have the option to have it done, there is no question that you should.

Thank you for reading my column again this week and don’t forget to sign the petition to help pass Amber’s Law, you can find the link on social media by using #amberslaw.