After apologizing for her in 2007, Brown praised Goody’s public fight after her death, speaking of her efforts to raise awareness about the disease, the need for screening, and the fact that cervical cancer can hit a woman at any age. He said:
She was a courageous woman both in life and death, and the whole country has admired her determination to provide a bright future for her children.
Since Goody’s public diagnosis, reports indicate that more women between the ages of 25 and 35 have been seeking out smear tests for cancer screening in the UK. In most cases, cervical cancer can be cured if caught early enough. Goody’s fight captured the UK’s heart because she chose to turn the cameras on herself. As a result, those who normally ignore such things have taken action. Already there is news that a film will be made about Goody’s life.
In a celebrity-obsessed culture, celebrities can have a bigger impact on their fans than politicians. Case in point: President Barack Obama’s mother died from cervical cancer at the age of 55, but that hasn’t led to a rise in cervical cancer screening since Obama’s election. So it would be refreshing if celebrities like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian (whose own father died from esophageal cancer in 2003), would use their celebrity status to bring awareness to something like cervical cancer in the U.S.
Goody died tragically, yet she managed to use her celebrity status to do something positive. She could easily have focused on herself and railed against her death sentence. Instead, she put her children and her nation first and chose to do something positive for her fellow countrywomen. Goody may be one of the few examples of “celebrities for nothing” that actually did something worthwhile with their lives.
Come on Paris and Kim. Follow suit.