The mother of a young woman who died from cervical cancer is handing a petition in to Downing Street today. Sandra Cousins is campaigning to get the age of cervical screening lowered. Her daughter Mercedes Curnow, who was from Crowlas in Cornwall, was 23 when she died.
Before her death Mercedes created the Mercedes Curnow Foundation for the Detection of Cervical Cancer along with her mother. It pays for private screenings for young women who are worried about the disease. Ms Cousins has collected more than 100,000 signatures on paper since the campaign was started to allow women to be tested for the disease at a younger age.
She believes her daughter could still bealive if women as young as 20 were offered smear tests in England. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland regular screening is offered to women from the age of 20 but in England it is 25.
Mercedes first started showing symptoms, including excessive bleeding, when she was 20 and visited doctors several times. When she was finally diagnosed with cervical cancer on 21st April 2010 it wastoo late. She died 20 months later.
Almost 6,000 people have joined the foundation’s page on Facebook since it launched.