Jade Goody was born in London, England on June 5, 1981. She became well-known when she appeared on the UK version of reality show Big Brother in 2002. Her time on the series was controversial because of remarks she made against another contestant, Shilpa Shetty. However, after she was evicted from the show, she publicly apologized and she and Shetty had made peace. Jade has two sons, Bobby Jack, 5, and Freddie, 4. She was able to marry her sweetheart, Jack Tweed, just last month, in a televised ceremony.
In August of last year, Jade appeared on Big Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother, but left the show early when she found out she had cervical cancer. Last month, her cancer spread and she was told she had months, maybe weeks to live. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, Sunday, March 22. Ironically, that date is UK’s Mother’s Day.
Jade wrote her autobiography in 2006 titled Jade: My Autobiography. She also launched her own fragrance in 2005, called Shh… Jade Goody. She released several fitness DVDs as well.
Jade became a media sensation after her diagnosis and subsequent battle with cancer. Everyone from politicians to celebrities to the general public hoped she could beat the disease. Sadly, she didn’t, but she put up a good fight and because she was outspoken, more public awareness has been brought to cervical cancer, which may lead the age of screening in Britain being lowered from 25-years-of-age to 18.
Here are some tributes to Jade, lead by Prime Minister of the UK:
“I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Jade Goody’s death. She was a courageous woman both in life and death and the whole country have admired her determination to provide a bright future for her children. She will be remembered fondly by all who knew her and her family can be extremely proud of the work she has done to raise awareness of cervical cancer which will benefit thousands of women across the UK. Every death from cancer is a tragedy and my thoughts go out to her two sons, husband and family at this time.”
Rev. Jonathan Blake, who officiated Jade’s wedding ceremony:
“Jade has become for us, so many different things, a saint from Upshire and a princess from Bermondsey, an exemplar of biblical proportions. [She] laughed in the face of death and given us a completely different approach to the way we deal with cancer. The wonder of Jade was that she was raw, honest and genius deep within. Not a superficial person as so much of life is now. She spoke what she thought sometimes to the shock and outrage of others.”
Actor/comedian Stephen Fry:
”I suppose she was a kind of Princess Di from the wrong side of the tracks. Jade lived life under a magnifying glass. Magnifying glasses magnify (obviously) but they distort and they burn. I warmed to her immensely. All impulsive spirit and smiles. What a life.”
Max Clifford, Jade’s publicist:
“Living in the public eye was natural to her and of course dying in the public eye was the way that she wanted to do it. She was doing things her own way. It might not suit you, it might not suit me but it suited her. I think she’s going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and will, save an awful lot of lives. She was a very, very brave girl. And she faced her death in the way she faced her whole life