Annual smear tests ‘should be Fiona’s lasting legacy’

Thirty-year-old Fiona Mathewson died in April 2020 after fighting cervical cancer for two years.

Annual smear tests ‘should be Fiona’s lasting legacy’ Facebook message

Family and friends of a 30-year-old mum who died from cancer are calling for women to get annual smear tests.

Young women are currently screened every three or five years unless issues are detected.

But the family of Fiona Mathewson, from Kelso in the Borders, believe her life could have been saved if her cancer had been detected earlier.

Her husband Andrew told STV News: “My wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 2018 from a routine smear test.

“If the tests had been yearly, perhaps the abnormal cells may have been picked up between October 2015 and April 2017.

“These dates coincide between having our first child Ivy and Fiona falling pregnant with our second child, Harry.”

Fiona – described by her younger sibling Caitlin Miles as the “perfect big sister” – died in April 2020.

The Fiona’s Law petition was started by a good friend of the family, Melanie Ford from Oxfordshire.

After a slow start, it suddenly gathered more than 15,000 signatures and they hope to reach 100,000 to secure a parliament debate.

Caitlin added: “It would be amazing to have Fiona’s name against something that could potentially change so many lives.

“Something that when her children grow up they can see that, unfortunately their mum didn’t make it, but because of her, many other women will.”

Caitlin said making annual smear tests for young women a reality would be a fitting legacy for her sister.

“Fiona was everything you wanted,” she said. “She really was my best friend. As kids we’d come up with dance routines and dress up together.

“Sometimes she was like a second mum, always looking out for me.

“Fiona always wanted to be a mother, ever since she was a little girl herself.

“She worked as a nursery nurse for years before meeting and marrying Andrew. She then went on to become a mother herself to Ivy, now five and Harry, who’s nearly three years old.

“Her dreams came true when she got to be a stay at home mum to her two beautiful happy babies.

“They were always up to something whether it was baking, crafting or taking silly photos and videos, which now are so much more precious than we would have imagined.

“We had a party for her 30th birthday last year, she wanted to take this opportunity to invite everyone she’d basically ever come across as a final fling.

“The place was packed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one hall, it was overflowing.

“She was a very loved young woman.”

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