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Jade Goody dies in her sleep

Fans, politicians and celebrities praised Jade Goody's courage today after the reality TV star lost her battle with cervical cancer in the early hours of Mother's Day.

The 27-year-old died with her mother Jackiey Budden and husband Jack Tweed at her side at her home in Upshire, Essex, shortly before 4am.

Ms Budden told reporters: "My beautiful daughter is at peace. Family and friends would like privacy at last."

Asked by well-wishers outside her daughter's home this afternoon how she was coping, she replied: "I'm not."

The father of Goody's two sons, Freddie and Bobby, TV presenter Jeff Brazier, said: "I'm grateful the boys were able to say their goodbyes and spend that precious time with their wonderful mother.

"Bobby and Freddie are my absolute priority and I will be doing everything I can to be their rock and to give them all my love and support to get them through a confusing and upsetting time."

Cancer campaigners and politicians alike have paid tribute to the way Goody raised awareness of cervical cancer and the issue of screening before she died.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "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."

Conservative leader David Cameron said: "I was very sorry to hear the sad news about Jade.

"Her brave fight has raised awareness of this terrible disease and her legacy will be to save the lives of more young women in the future.

"My thoughts are with her family and particularly her two young sons at this terrible time."

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said of Goody: "What she did in terms of her dying is very brave and very challenging because it's about different kinds of making peace.

"We ought to honour that."

"I don't think there was any way sadly in which she could avoid the public attention.

"But I think it was used not to aggrandise her but to tell people what mattered to her and say something about the values that she tried to live with at the end of her life.

"If in her earlier career it was all about her then I think at the end it was about something else."

Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "Her brave battle with an aggressive form of cervical cancer has received widespread public attention and encouraged thousands of women to seek advice on how to prevent the disease.

"It's critical that young women take up their invitations to cervical screening if we are to avoid more tragic cases like Jade's. She has done a great public service by raising awareness of the importance of screening during her last few months of life.

Her publicist and friend Max Clifford said: "She died the way she lived.

"I think she's going to be remembered as a young girl who has, and who will, save an awful lot of lives.

"And she faced her death in the way she faced her whole life - full on, with a lot of courage."

Mourners started arriving at the house to pay tribute to Goody within minutes of the news breaking. They left floral tributes at the gates of her home.

Ms Budden took a bunch of flowers from six-year-old Kiara Gascoigne - who had travelled with her mother Jenny, 30, from their home in Woodford Halse, Northamptonshire, to pay their respects.

Marjorie Loftus, 78, from Barnet, North London left a card which read: "You may not have known where East Anglia was but you knew the way to our hearts."

"It seems to me that Jade Goody has saved hundreds of lives because of the publicity her cancer has had," said Mrs Loftus.

"Who would have thought that? I think she has done more to raise awareness of cervical cancer than all the politicians put together and we have to thank her for that."

Goody faced a storm of controversy over her treatment of fellow Celebrity Big Brother contestant Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty in 2007 but the pair later became friends.

The actress said today: "I am deeply saddened but I am glad Jade is out of pain and that she died peacefully with her family around her."

Model and presenter Danielle Lloyd who also shared the house with Goody said: "I am shocked and upset to hear the sad news about Jade.

"We got to know each other really well over the years. She was a brave and courageous human being.

"I have been praying for a miracle these past few weeks and now she has been tragically taken away from us. I know that her boys will grow up to be great men and do their mum proud."

Goody's family now faces the task of finalising arrangements for her funeral which friends have said will be a celebration of her life and open to all.

She selected Bermondsey funeral directors, F.A. Albin and Sons and wanted the service to take place at St John the Baptist Church in Buckhurst Hill with facilities to allow fans to hear the service.

Well-wishers will have a chance to pay their respects as the funeral cortege passes through nearby Loughton on its way to a burial site which has yet to be chosen.


From Belfast Telegraph