Watch: Girls Aloud to participate in charity run in honour of late bandmate Sarah Harding
Girls Aloud are teaming up to run a special Race For Life to honour their late bandmate Sarah Harding’s wish that they raise money for breast cancer research.
Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Cheryl will be fundraising throughout this year, with their efforts to include a 5km run named the Race For Life For Sarah, which will celebrate Harding’s life as well as raise money for the cause.
The singer died aged 39 in September last year, after revealing that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.
The 5km event will take place on Sunday, 24 July, at Race for Life in Hyde Park, London, and Race For Life For Sarah will begin at 11.30am as a special addition, and will be attended by Cheryl, Coyle and Roberts.
Walsh will be completing the 5km at her home, and is encouraging those who cannot make it to London for the event to do a Race for Life at Home for Sarah whenever suits them.
Posting on her Instagram story, Cheryl said: “So around this time last year when Sarah was really sick, we were all desperately trying to find ways to help her, to comfort her, to do whatever she wanted.
“You feel so helpless in times like that.
“And one of the only things she really wanted was a gala dinner, so while that is under way and we are doing that, we felt like we could be doing more and we have decided to do Race For Life For Sarah at Hyde Park on the 24 July.
“And I know so many of you wanted to support her, you were helping her all the way through the illness, and we would really love it If you could join us there.”
Roberts and Walsh both shared the poster for the event on their Instagram pages.
“Come and join us at Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life for Sarah in Hyde Park On Sunday the 24th of July," Roberts accompanying caption read.
“In memory of Sarah, together we’ll raise money for Vital breast cancer research.
“Let’s come together and make it a beautiful day for and contribute towards making a difference for other women too.
“‘Race for Life for Sarah’ Hyde Park London 11:30am. x”
Meanwhile Walsh wrote: “I have some really amazing news to share. Me and the girls have teamed up with Cancer Research UK to raise money for breast cancer research projects and one in particular that Sarah really wanted to help fund.
“There will be a ‘Race For Life For Sarah’ which will take place at Hyde Park on July 24 at 11.30am and everyone is welcome.
“It’s a 5k race you can run or walk and if you can’t be in London on this date you can take part remotely from wherever you are.
“We would love for you all to join us and help us raise money in Sarah’s name.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to come together and celebrate her life and also make a huge contribution to the future outcomes of those affected by cancer.
"We hope you will sign up and share this moment with us.
“You can sign up here: www.raceforlife.org will add this link to my bio.”
The event is non-competitive, and participants can run, walk or jog the 5km route.
Race For Life For Sarah is part of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life event series, in partnership with Tesco.
The fundraising efforts will conclude with a large gala dinner later in the year.
Harding first revealed her cancer diagnosis in August 2020 before further detailing her health battle in her memoir, Hear Me Out.
In the book, the singer revealed that she'd overlooked a potential symptom of her cancer, dismissing pain around her breast as a cyst.
In an extract, Harding explained: "At first I thought it was just a cyst. I’d been playing my guitar a lot, and I thought the strap had probably irritated an area around my breast.
"The trouble was, the pain was getting worse. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep in a bed any more. I slept on the sofa, popping painkillers like they were Smarties. I really overdid it, but the pain was overwhelming. Eventually, my skin started to bruise, and by now I was terrified."
According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer survival has doubled over the past 40 years, with the survival rate now at 76%.
There are many things you can do, including regular checks, to give you the best chances of early diagnosis.
Mammograms are offered to women aged 50 and older every year, and this helps to boost early detection. Women as young as 30 will also be offered the screening if they’re deemed higher risk.
For others, Coppafeel recommends that checking your breasts should become a monthly habit.
How to check your breasts
The NHS recommends doing your monthly check in the bath or shower, using the soapy water to make the process a little easier to spot anything out of the ordinary.
You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.
Feeling your armpits should be a key part of your monthly check, too.
The NHS Breast Screening Programme has produced a five-point plan, making it easier than ever to know what you’re looking out for.
The five simple points are:
Know what's normal for you
Look at your breasts and feel them
Know what changes to look for
Report any changes without delay
Attend routine screening if you're 50 or over
Sign up to Race For Life For Sarah at raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.
Additional reporting PA.