FOR Stacey Rodgers, April 20 is always a difficult day.
But yesterday had a particular poignancy for the bereaved mum, as it marked the day her son Dominic would have turned 18.
The youngster died from carbon monoxide poisoning at the family home at Spaines Road, Fartown, in February 2004.
Since then Stacey, now 33, has campaigned to raise awareness of what she calls “the silent killer”.
And yesterday, in honour of her son’s birthday, she took her campaign to Dewsbury Market in a bid to get her message across to the people of north Kirklees.
She said: “I felt I had to do something for Dominic rather than sitting at home crying all day.
“I get a buzz being around people and I still keep hearing Dominic’s voice saying, ‘go on mum’.”
Dominic was just 10 when he inhaled lethal fumes from a neighbour’s faulty boiler as he slept.
After his death, Stacey, who now lives in Deighton, set up The Dominic Rodgers Trust to warn people about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
At her stand at Dewsbury Market yesterday she asked shoppers to fill in questionnaires to find out how much they knew about the issue and handed out advice.
She also urged them to get their appliances serviced and to have carbon monoxide detectors fitted.
She said: “I have good days and bad days, but life doesn’t get any easier.
“His birthday’s a sad day but it’s also a good day because I have friends and family around.
“Being able to talk to people is really good. There are quite a lot who know about carbon monoxide and the rates of carbon monoxide poisoning are coming down, so we must be doing something right.”
According to statistics, there were no carbon monoxide-related deaths in Yorkshire last year – but the region is still in the top four in the country for cases of poisoning.
Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing is supporting Stacey’s campaign.
Spokeswoman Penny Allison said the organisation serviced tenants’ appliances every year.
But she added: “If their neighbours don’t service theirs, it can still be a risk.
“Even though we didn’t have any deaths in Yorkshire last year, the region is still one of the country’s top four hotspots for carbon monoxide poisoning.
“I don’t know how Stacey does what she does and I’m massively impressed by what she has achieved.
“I think Dominic would be really proud of her. Our message is, nobody has to go through what Stacey has been through.”