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Girls Aloud take part in Race For Life 5K run in honour of bandmate Sarah Harding


The members of Girls Aloud reunited in Hyde Park on Sunday for the first time in nine years as they paid tribute to the life of their late bandmate Sarah Harding.

Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh took part in the Race for Life for Sarah 5k event in order to raise money for breast cancer, marking their first public appearance together since 2013.

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

Reunited: The members of Girls Aloud reunited in Hyde Park on Sunday for the first time in nine years as they paid tribute to the life of their late bandmate Sarah Harding

Reunited: The members of Girls Aloud reunited in Hyde Park on Sunday for the first time in nine years as they paid tribute to the life of their late bandmate Sarah Harding

Cheryl, Nadine and Nicola were all in Hyde Park for the event while Kimberley completed the walk remotely. 

Kimberley appeared remotely via video link on Nicola’s phone just as they started the race by sounding air horns.

Thousands of fans gathered in the park to take part in the cause, with the band hoping to raise funds for a medical kit to help detect cancer earlier.

Cheryl gave a candid speech to the crowd before the race where she admitted she didn’t anticipate the level of grief she would feel following Sarah’s passing.

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

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

Event: Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh took part in the Race for Life for Sarah 5k event in order to raise money for breast cancer, marking their first public appearance together since 2013

Event: Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh took part in the Race for Life for Sarah 5k event in order to raise money for breast cancer, marking their first public appearance together since 2013

She said: ‘To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief. 

‘You know, I’ve lost grandparents when I was younger and I lost a friend when I was younger but nothing like this, the feeling of shock and disbelief and it still lingers now to be honest. I still can’t quite believe it’s real.’

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.

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

Together again: Nicola, Cheryl and Nadine were all in Hyde Park for the event while Kimberley completed the walk remotely

Together again: Nicola, Cheryl and Nadine were all in Hyde Park for the event while Kimberley completed the walk remotely

Stage: Thousands of fans gathered in the park to take part in the cause, with the band hoping to raise funds for a medical kit to help detect cancer earlier

Stage: Thousands of fans gathered in the park to take part in the cause, with the band hoping to raise funds for a medical kit to help detect cancer earlier

Emotional: Cheryl gave a candid speech to the crowd before the race where she admitted she didn't anticipate the level of grief she would feel following Sarah's passing

Emotional: Cheryl gave a candid speech to the crowd before the race where she admitted she didn’t anticipate the level of grief she would feel following Sarah’s passing

She said: 'To be honest, I've never experienced or anticipated this grief' (pictured with Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK)

She said: ‘To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief’ (pictured with Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK)

‘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.’

Cheryl added: 'You know, I've lost grandparents when I was younger and I lost a friend when I was younger but nothing like this, the feeling of shock and disbelief and it still lingers now to be honest. I still can't quite believe it's real'

Cheryl added: ‘You know, I’ve lost grandparents when I was younger and I lost a friend when I was younger but nothing like this, the feeling of shock and disbelief and it still lingers now to be honest. I still can’t quite believe it’s real’

Good cause: Nicola sported a Race For Life T-shirt and black leggings as she took part in the run

Fundraiser: Nicola said the girls would have raised funds for breast cancer even if Sarah hadn't asked them

Good cause: Nicola sported a Race For Life T-shirt and black leggings as she took part in the run

Heartbreaking: Cheryl told MailOnline her feelings of 'helplessness was extremely overwhelming' when Sarah disclosed that her cancer couldn't be cured

Heartbreaking: Cheryl told MailOnline her feelings of ‘helplessness was extremely overwhelming’ when Sarah disclosed that her cancer couldn’t be cured

Kimberley said: ‘She talked to us about this when we were all together and individually. 

‘We all want to be as proactive as possible to help raise as much money in her name as we can. We promised her we would.’ 

Nicola said the girls would have raised funds for breast cancer even if Sarah hadn’t asked them, as it will help their many fans who are ‘in the same fight she was in’. 

When asked why it was important for The Promise hitmakers to come together for the race, Cheryl said: ‘Sarah was such an integral part of us all.

Together: The trio looked in good spirits to be together again as they welcomed their fans to the park

Together: The trio looked in good spirits to be together again as they welcomed their fans to the park

Cheryl said of Sarah: 'I asked her so much to give me something I could do to make her happy or comfortable, anything at all'

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

She added: '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'

She added: ‘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'

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’

Radiant: Cheryl was all smiles as she began the race alongside hundreds of supporters

Radiant: Cheryl was all smiles as she began the race alongside hundreds of supporters

‘It is the most natural thing to do for Sarah and her legacy to come together in support of her and others who may be going through the same devastation we experienced.’

Nadine added: ‘When we were asked if we’d like to do this we all said yes straight away. I think it’s such a crucial cause and we’d like to do all we can to help.’

Kimberley chimed in: ‘When Sarah was sick we all felt so helpless. I think she’d be really happy we’re all doing this.’

She continued: ‘Sarah wanted us to raise money for the Christie Hospital where she was treated.

‘Beyond that we’ll always do what we can to help raise money and awareness for cancer and breast cancer awareness.’

Girls Aloud are planning other fundraising activities in 2022, culminating in a huge gala dinner in the next few months, with more details coming soon.

Cheryl explained: ‘We have a gala dinner planned for later this year in Sarah’s honour and at her request. We will be collaborating with Cancer Research UK to raise funding and awareness.’

Success: Sarah and the rest of Girls Aloud rose to fame when they were put together on the show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (pictured in 2006)

Success: Sarah and the rest of Girls Aloud rose to fame when they were put together on the show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (pictured in 2006)

Nicola detailed how they’ve been ‘asking big companies to put their hands in their pockets’ in order to support the crucial cause.

She said: ‘I’m happy with what we have planned and feel we’ve successfully set out to do what we wanted in making everyone feel included but make a big monetary difference for the charities.’ 

Sarah and the rest of Girls Aloud rose to fame when they were put together on the show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.

Sarah’s mother Marie confirmed her daughter’s passing in an Instagram post, saying she ‘slipped away peacefully’ and called her a ‘bright shining star’.  

Heartbreaking: Sarah's mother Marie confirmed her daughter's passing in an Instagram post, saying she 'slipped away peacefully' and called her a 'bright shining star' (pictured in 2018)

Heartbreaking: Sarah’s mother Marie confirmed her daughter’s passing in an Instagram post, saying she ‘slipped away peacefully’ and called her a ‘bright shining star’ (pictured in 2018)

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