Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding has sadly died aged 39 from cancer, her mum Marie revealed today. Sarah, who made up one fifth of the popular band along with Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts, announced in August 2020 that she had been diagnosed with the disease and that it had spread to other parts of her body.
In a post shared on Sarah's official Instagram page today, Marie said Sarah passed away "peacefully" this morning.
"It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away," she wrote. "Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day. She slipped away peacefully this morning."
Marie continued: "I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
"I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead. – Marie x".
When revealing her cancer diagnosis last year, Sarah acknowledged that she had been silent on social media for some time, explaining it was because she had been quietly dealing with the news over the past few months.
"My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes," she wrote at the time.
Earlier this year Sarah released a memoir, Hear Me Out, where she opened up about how she initially dismissed the pain she felt before her diagnosis and also spoke about not being able to have children, due to chemotherapy impacting her fertility.
The singer, who shot to fame in 2002 when Girls Aloud was formed, also wrote that she hoped that sharing her diagnosis publicly would encourage others with concerns to be seen by a doctor. "There had been so much reporting on the news about people missing out on check-ups during COVID lockdown, even though they might be worried about something," she said.
"People who had left a cancer diagnosis until it might be too late. Maybe if I spoke out, as a public figure, a celebrity, it could help get the message across how important it is to get checked out if you have concerns."
Our thoughts are with Sarah's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.
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