Cheryl: I want to remember Sarah Harding as she was before her cancer diagnosis
Cheryl has said she wants to remember Sarah Harding before her breast cancer diagnosis, rather than when she was experiencing her “darkest of days and nights”.
The remaining members of Girls Aloud are hosting a fundraising gala for cancer research in October that will feature performances from the likes of Olly Alexander as well as a live auction.
In a piece for British Vogue, Cheryl revealed that Harding, who died aged 39 last September, had hoped to attend the event in person before her death.
She said: “I asked her over and over again how we could help. Was there anything she truly wanted or needed?
“Finally she said to me: ‘I would love you to create an evening, a gala of some kind for me. If I am here and can attend I will be able to thank those who have helped me through all of this, and pay that forward in a way that will help others when I’m gone.’
“Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. Eight weeks later, Sarah passed.”
Cheryl, 39, said she wanted to “move forward by remembering Sarah before her illness”.
“Her fun, bubbly side, her close-to-the-edge risky side, and her deeply soft and vulnerable side are some of the intricacies that made up Sarah in all of her glory,” she added.
“In the last few days spent with her, we got to laugh, cry, reminisce, cook, watch spiritual programmes (our shared love) and pray together.
“Those are the parts I will keep in my heart as I let the illness recede into the background.
“Now I want to commemorate her by helping to give thanks to those who kept her going in her darkest of days and nights.
“The darkest nights create the brightest stars.”
The Primrose Ball will be held at The Londoner hotel in central London on October 8.
Cheryl, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts will host the event, with Fearne Cotton presenting and broadcaster Johnny Gould hosting the auction.
The charity gala will raise funds for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK, as part of the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal.
The Primrose Ball has been organised at the request of Harding and named after her lyrics from their hit song The Promise where she sings “here I am walking Primrose”.