The family and friends of the late Sorcha Glenn have held a remembrance service in Derry for all those affected by cervical cancer.
Crowds gathered at the Peace Garden beside Guildhall Square in memory of Sorcha and all those affected by cervical cancer.
Sorcha’s mother Christine released 23 teal balloons, one for each year of Sorcha’s life before releasing 50 lanterns in memory of all those who had lost their lives due to the disease.
While there, members of the crowd were able to sign a petition which has been set up by Sorcha’s family and friends to campaign and address the refusal of smear tests based on age. All details about the campaign are available on TeamSorcha Facebook and www.Teamsorcha.com
The service is the latest in a series of events to raise awareness on the issue of smear tests. Sorcha’s friend Lauren Kyle has also taken sky-dive in aid of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, a charity which helped Sorcha with advice and support while she was undergoing treatment.
Sorcha faced the fight of her life after being diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of just 22 and despite her ordeal she remained steadfastly positive and determined to share her story to raise awareness of her condition.
She fought for women under the age of 25 to have cervical screening and her family and friends are determined to carry on the fight in her memory.
After fighting cervical cancer for over a year, Sorcha Glenn died in her boyfriend’s arms on October 24, 2014. Her family was devastated by the loss, but Sorcha has also left more than happy memories and a determination to help other young women from dying of the same disease. In the weeks before she died, Sorcha completed all of her Christmas shopping for her friends and family. Her loved ones have not opened the presents yet.
It was a typical gesture. Speaking at Requiem Mass Fr. Chris Ferguson said she was ‘a true friend with a big heart.’
He also said, “Once she had decided on a course of action Sorcha developed tunnel vision. She remained totally focused and this was never truer when she was battling her illness. It was Sorcha who was able to carry her family and friends; she was the one who remained strong.
“Sorcha was always thinking of others and in this spirit through her interviews with the Derry Journal and the Mark Patterson show on Radio Foyle highlighted the need for a greater awareness of cervical cancer.”
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ just two months before her death, she told why she wanted the law to revert to 20 as the age for screening.
She said, “If anyone has any concerns at all, regardless of what age they are, insist on a smear. In my opinion if a woman wants a smear she should have one - and she shouldn’t have to fight for it.”
In the same interview she continued, “There are only so many times you can ask why?
“And then you have accept you are never going to know why and just get on with it,
“Perhaps the why was just so that I could help other women - to talk about cervical cancer and urge women to go for their smear tests.
“Ten seconds of being uncomfortable is so much better than going through what I am going through, “ she said.
Sorcha is survived by her mother Christina, father Vincent, sister Orlagh, brothers Emmett, Keelin and Cahir, niece Clodagh and partner Matt.