Almost a decade ago, reality TV star Jade Goody’s untimely death left the nation distraught.
The 27-year-old star, who shot to fame on Big Brother in 2002, was often chastised by the press while alive, frequently landing herself in hot water for her outspoken opinions.
She was even once being dubbed the "most hated woman in Britain" after being accused of racially bullying Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.
However, when the news of her cervical cancer diagnosis hit in 2008 – amid her TV comeback on India’s Big Brother show ‘Bigg Boss’ – the mum-of-two captured the world’s hearts as she candidly shared her difficult journey with them.
Jade Goody’s battle with cancer sadly only lasted eight months, but her last days are fondly remembered by both her loved ones and her fans.
Jade Goody was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August 2008 while appearing on Bigg Boss in India.
It is believed the show was a bid to repair Jade’s image after her well-documented row with Shilpa Shetty, and she was rumoured to be bagging a whopping £100,000 for her appearance.
However her time on the series was cut short as she was given the news in the Big Brother diary-room chair, and subsequently flown back to England for treatment.
The devastating moment aired on TV, showing Jade breaking down in tears as she learned of her diagnosis.
Her spokesman, Mark Thomas said at the time: “It is pretty obvious that she was looking forward to her time in the house, but her health is the first priority and she is flying back for treatment and more tests.”
Treatment and hair loss
Filming her Living fly-on-the-wall series Jade Goody: The Next Chapter just months after her diagnosis, Jade let fans in on the moment she lost her hair after beginning chemotherapy.
In the heart-wrenching scenes, her mother Jackiey had to persuade her to look at herself in the mirror, and when she eventually agreed she wept.
“Oh, no Mummy, no. I look like I’ve got cancer," she said at the time.
However, Jade soon learnt to accept her new look, often sporting colourful scarfs on her head, and was hailed an "inspiration" for her positive attitude.
In a later episode of the show, she joked: "I prepared myself for looking ugly and disgusting but I’m pleasantly surprised! I think I look all right. I carry it off!"
The star also candidly talked about the worst side effects of her radiotherapy treatment.
Wiping away a tear, Jade went on to describe the emotional and physical pain she endured, as well as the complete loss of any personal dignity.
She said: "I am not in pain but the radiotherapy gurgles in my stomach.
"One of the side effects is that it just comes on and gurgles in my stomach and I need to go to the toilet. It’s the worst thing in the world – in fact the most embarrassing thing in the world."
Jade’s vow to share her journey
As a reality star, Jade was used to sharing her whole life with fans – and continued to do just that throughout her battle with the illness.
Despite undergoing emergency surgery in February 2019 as her cancer spread, Jade vowed not to stop sharing her journey with fans.
Her publicist Max Clifford said at the time that her openness with fans helped her to cope.
Marrying Jack Tweed
After being told she tragically had months to live, Jade announced that she would be marrying her beau of four years Jack Tweed – who had only recently been released early from an 18-month jail stint.
Jack proposed at Jade’s hospital bedside on Valnetine’s Day, and days later they set out on a trip to Harrods where they were gifted a stunning wedding dress by the store’s owner Mohamed Al Fayed.
Ahead of the special day, the whole world got behind Jade and Jack’s emotional nuptials.
The reality star was even sent well-wishes from Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, and Jack Tweed’s curfew was changed by The Ministry of Justice to reflect the "exceptional" circumstances.
The pair’s big day – which was covered in OK! magazine and aired on Lifetime – took place at Down Hall County House Hotel in Harfield Heath, Essex, with around 200 guests, including Richard Madeley, Paul O’Grady and Judy Finnigan, looking on.
During Jade’s speech, she thanked the "special people" in her heart who’d helped to plan her wedding in such a short amount of time.
She said: "Looking at that, makes me want to go on forever and for nothing to happen to me."
Telling her sons
Jade was loving mother to two sons, Bobby and Freddie, then 5 and 4 years old, who she shared with TV presenter Jeff Brazier.
Speaking in Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine, Essex-born Brazier discloses that he co-wrote a "script" with Goody, which she delivered in private at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital.
In it, said explained that she would become a star in the sky, which the boys would always be able to see.
"She didn’t want to tell them, but she knew she had to do it because she wanted them to know the truth," he says. "The thought of that always reduces me to tears. Our poor boys, Poor Jade."
Getting christened alongside sons Freddie and Bobby
At the beginning of March 2009, Jade was sadly told she only had weeks to live.
The star then organised a "short and emotional" christening ceremony for sons Freddie, Bobby and herself.
While Jade had originally hoped the ceremony would take place in a church, it was eventually held in the chapel of Royal Marsden Hospital, due to her deteriorating condition.
Jade had a drip in as she was christened, and was wearing a hospital gown.
"She finds it very hard to stay awake for more than a few minutes but she stayed awake for the 20 minutes of the service," her publicist Max Clifford said at the time.
The reality star passed away on March 22 in her sleep, after returning to her home in Upshire, Essex.
Her mother announced the emotional news, simply stating: "My beautiful daughter is at peace".
After her passing, hundreds of stars shared emotional tributes for the Big Brother star, and the NHS even posthumously thanked Jade for the impact she had made by sharing her journey.
Thanks to her, the number of women aged between 25-29 asking for a smear test increased by a third in 2009.
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