DEEP HEARTBREAK’: Girls Aloud singer, 39, dies after breast cancer battle as mum pays tribute to ‘shining star’
The Girls Aloud star was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer last August and underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy in a bid to prolong her life.
Sarah released a book called Hear Me Out which documented her life as a pop star and chronicled her fight with cancer earlier this year.
Her mum Marie today confirmed the heartbreaking news on Sarah’s Instagram alongside a touching picture of the star.
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.- Marie x”.
Friends told The Sun Sarah, who would have turned 40 in November, had passed away at home this morning.
A friend said: “Sarah slipped away with her family around her.
“She was very much loved.”
Tributes have already started flooding in from her showbiz pals.
TV star Fearne Cotton wrote: “Oh my gosh I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m sending your family so much love and strength.
“She was always kind and so much fun to be around. I’m very sorry for your loss. Prayers and love to you.”
While Sheridan Smith said: “So sad. What a sweetheart she was. Life is too short!”
Sarah shared the news of her diagnosis with her social media followers and fans last August.
From then on she kept them up to date with her progress and wrote about her experiences in Hear Me Out, which went on to be a bestseller.
In the book, Sarah wrote about reuniting with her Girls Aloud bandmates Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh and Nadine Coyle and said they had become close again.
She also spoke candidly about her experience of living with cancer and told how she had almost died following a battle with sepsis while in hospital.
At the time she wrote: “I’m just grateful to wake up every day and live my best life, because now I know just how precious it is . . . nothing is certain any more.”
Sarah had thought chemotherapy was working until the secondary tumour destroyed her hopes.
She added: “The disease has worsened, as has my prognosis. This tumour is the thing that scares me more than anything because I think it will be the thing that affects me the most.
“I don’t know what it’s going to do, but it’s there. There’s an option for radiotherapy on my skull but I don’t want to go through that and lose my hair at this stage, especially with no guarantees at the end of it.
“It might seem vain thinking about my hair, but my thinking was that if there’s a chance I’ve only got six months, then I’ve got six months.
“Losing my hair probably wasn’t going to change that, so if there’s another way to manage the disease or treat it, then let’s do that. I don’t want to feel like I have to spend whatever time I have left hiding away.”
Sarah also wrote about being told how the Christmas just past would be her last and explained she had asked doctors not to give her a time.