'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Cheryl reflected on losing her late bandmate Sarah Harding and said she wants to remember her friendship with the 'bubbly' star rather than her illnessThe Girls Aloud star, 39, spoke about spending some of Sarah's last days together where they 'laughed and cried'Sarah died aged 39 in September last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of her bodyReflecting on Sarah's tragic death, Cheryl said she wants to remember her friend from before her cancer diagnosisCheryl previously said Sarah's last wish was for her bandmates to create a gala in her memory, leading to them planning Sarah's Primrose Ball

Cheryl has reflected on losing her late bandmate Sarah Harding and said she wants to remember her friendship with the ‘bubbly’ star rather than her cancer battle.

The Girls Aloud star, 39, spoke about spending some of Sarah’s last days together where they ‘laughed and cried’, and said she wants her illness to ‘recede’ in her mind in place of happier memories.

Sarah died aged 39 in September last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of her body.

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Grief: Cheryl has reflected on losing Sarah Harding and said she wants to remember her friendship with the star not her illness (both pictured with Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle)

Reflecting on Sarah’s tragic death, Cheryl said she wants to remember her friend from before her cancer diagnosis, as she spoke ahead of a gala dinner in memory of Sarah next month.

In an article for Vogue, Cheryl said: ‘I would like to move forward by remembering Sarah before her illness.

‘Although memories of that time do exist and are hard to shake, they hold no weight against the light she so brightly shone in the years beforehand.’

The singer said she has many more happy memories of their friendship to focus on, rather than Sarah’s illness, adding that she wants to remember her friend’s ‘fun, bubbly and deeply soft’ personality instead.

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Tragic: Sarah (pictured in March 2018) died aged 39 in September last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of her body

Cheryl also revealed that she spent some of Sarah’s last days with her, where she said they ‘laughed and cried’ together while reminiscing about their friendship.

She said: ‘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.’

Cheryl also spoke about the moment she found out about Sarah’s cancer diagnosis, saying her friend told them while they were planning celebrations for Girls Aloud’s 20th anniversary.

She admitted she felt completely helpless and numb when Sarah told her about her illness, saying she tried to help however she could, by sending care packages including Sarah’s favourite items.

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Memories The star, 39, spoke about spending some of Sarah’s last days together, and said she wants her illness to ‘recede’ in her mind in place of happier memories (pictured in 2003)

Cheryl previously told MailOnline that Sarah’s last wish was for her bandmates to create a gala in her memory, leading to them planning Sarah’s Primrose Ball.

Sarah’s Primrose Ball is due to take place at The Londoner Hotel on October 8 and will be hosted by Fearne Cotton and feature performances from Olly Alexander, Ricky Wilson and Chrissie Hynde.

Funds raised at the gala dinner will go to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal research project, which will be conducted by Sarah’s oncologist Dr Sacha Howell.

Cheryl last spoke about losing her friend Sarah when she joined her fellow Girls Aloud stars Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts on a podcast in July.

She admitted that she still feels her late bandmate Sarah’s presence as she detailed an emotional moment.

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Emotional: Cheryl also spoke about the moment she found out about Sarah’s cancer diagnosis, saying she felt completely ‘helpless’ (pictured at the Race For Life in Sarah’s memory)

The singer recalled a time when Hear Me Out – the Girls Aloud song that Sarah named her autobiography after – began mysteriously playing on her car radio.

Speaking on the BBC Sounds 5 Minutes On podcast with her bandmates, Cheryl explained how it ‘doesn’t feel like Sarah’s gone at all’.

After completing the Race For Life in her honour, Cheryl began: ‘I was driving to Newcastle last year and for weeks I had been fiddling around with my car to try and get the Bluetooth working and I couldn’t.

‘I was so infuriated with it I gave up, I let it go for a couple of months. Then, I got into my car and Hear Me Out was playing, my phone wasn’t on.’

She continued: ‘My phone was not on! The music hadn’t been fiddled with, nothing. I hadn’t even plugged it in yet, it was playing through the Bluetooth, Hear Me Out.’

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Fundraising: Cheryl previously told MailOnline that Sarah’s last wish was for her bandmates (pictured in 2006) to create a gala for her, leading to them planning Sarah’s Primrose Ball

‘I laughed and then I cried. What did she name the book after? Hear Me Out, it was her thing.

‘It doesn’t feel like she’s gone at all. To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief.’

Cheryl, Nadine and Nicola all recently completed the Race For Life in Sarah’s honour, while Kimberley Walsh completed the walk remotely.

Kimberley did make an appearance later as she did an Instagram Live with the other girls following the race.

The event comes soon after Cheryl told MailOnline her feelings of ‘helplessness was extremely overwhelming’ when Sarah disclosed that her cancer couldn’t be cured.

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Fundraising: Cheryl, Nadine and Nicola all recently completed the Race For Life in Sarah’s honour, while Kimberley Walsh completed the walk remotely

She said: ‘I asked her so much to give me something I could do to make her happy or comfortable, anything at all.’

Cheryl continued: ‘Towards the end, she asked me to create a gala in her honour to fund a crucial study that her doctor was working on so I am committed to doing just that.’

Nadine added: ‘She talked to us all about this several times. Sarah felt really passionately about wanting to help other people in the same situation as her, or who could be at risk of finding themselves in the same situation she was in.

‘She really wanted to do some fundraising herself, but sadly just wasn’t well enough, so we promised her we would do it for her.

‘She’d have loved the Race For Life – she’d have loved to have been involved. We know for sure she will be there with us in spirit on July 24 in Hyde Park.’

'I would like to remember her before her illness': Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding's cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

Event: Sarah’s Primrose Ball is due to take place at The Londoner Hotel on October 8 and will be hosted by Fearne Cotton and feature a performance from Olly Alexander

Source: ‘I would like to remember her before her illness’: Cheryl says she wants to forget late bandmate Sarah Harding’s cancer and focus on their friendship as she speaks ahead of gala fundraiser

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