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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sam Elliott-Gibbs

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding's dying wish fulfilled as major project gets the go-ahead

Sarah Harding's final wish will be fulfilled as a major cancer research project in her memory was given the green light.

The pop legend tragically passed away in 2021 aged just 39 after a year-long battle against the disease.

The Girls Aloud favourite wanted to find new ways to spot early signs of breast cancer in young women when it is more treatable - and two year on, big progress has been made.

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The new Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Young Women project will become one of the first in the world to identify which women in their 30s are most at risk.

Sarah made clear her dying wish before she passed away in 2021 (PA)
The pop star was treated at the Christie cancer hospital in Manchester (INSTAGRAM)

The project - supported by her bandmates Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts - will be based in Greater Manchester.

The idea is being made possible thanks to funding from the Christie Charity, Cancer Research UK and the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal.

Sarah spoke about the study in the months before her passing.

She said: “Research is incredibly important in the fight against cancer.

“Although this research may not be in time to help me, this project is incredibly close to my heart as it may help women like me in the future.”

Nicola Roberts, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle all take part in Race for Life for Sarah last year (PA)

One of the first people to take part in the new trial is Catherine Craven-Howe, 33.

She said: “Although I don’t have breast cancer myself and I don’t have a history of it in my family, I know just how important clinical trials and research are.

“I hope my participation will help devise a simple test to detect the likelihood of breast cancer for young women like me in the future."

It will look at risk factors most commonly found in young women with the disease and form a model to identify them in future.

It is hoped all women will eventually be able to have a risk assessment when they reach 30.

The study will take place using money from Cancer Research UK, the Christie Charity, and the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal.

Sarah's passing rocked the showbiz world after mum broke the sad news of her daughter's death on Instagram.

She wrote: “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away. 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. 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.”

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