Tragic Amber Rose Cliff can not be replaced – but the story of her death from cervical cancer will help save lives.
That’s the view of her heartbroken dad Darren, who has spoken publicly for the first time since his daughter’s death.
Amber died in January 2017 aged just 25 after a four-year battle with the disease, which first started showing symptoms in her late-teens.
Routine smear testing is only carried out for women aged 25 and over, and a private test when Amber was 21 revealed cancer had been developing for years.
Darren has paid tribute to his ‘shining star’ who had her whole life ahead of her and admits the family is still struggling to cope with their devastating loss.
Amber spent years undergoing gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well as several operations, but the cancer spread to her lungs and throat and claimed her life.
A study from Cancer Research UK shows thousands of women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with younger women being disproportionately affected.
The majority of health experts agree routine screenings of women under 25 would be ineffective, but working with his son Josh, Darren believes the age for testing should be lowered to 18.
Campaigning for Amber’s Law, more than 366,000 people have signed a petition backing the call for change, and Darren says his daughter’s heartbreaking story has already made a ‘massive’ difference.
He said: “Because of the massive awareness Amber’s Law has created, we have received calls and messages from all over the UK, France, Spain, and even Australia with various stories.
“The main recurring theme of them is if they hadn’t read about Amber, they wouldn’t have gone for an overdue smear.
“Some have been lucky and have tested clear, others have had cancerous cells detected.”
Working with established Sunderland charity Hope 4 Kidz, Darren has thrown himself into fundraising and using Amber’s story to raise awareness of the importance of smear tests.
So far, the campaign has donated £10,000 to Ward 34 at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital – where Amber was treated and passed away – and to several families battling the disease.
Many more thousands have been raised at events such as Amber’s Ball and a Hollywood Glam Ball, as well as a charity football match between Bradley Lowery United and Ambers Law FC.
Darren has also pushed himself to the physical limit by taking on the Total Warrior course in Leeds with colleagues back in June.
Darren added: “I personally won’t ever stop fighting on her behalf and we have such an awesome backing.
“Let’s get the law changed for Amber and for all of the young ladies out there who deserve better medical care.
“We can never replace Amber but we will make sure her legacy will be to save lives, and we believe she has already achieved this.”