Celeb News

Friday 1 August 2014

Cheryl Cole was given 24 hours to live while fighting malaria

Aishling Phelan

Published 21/03/2014|07:50

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Undated handout photo issued by Sport Relief of Cheryl Cole who will address viewers of the Sport Relief on BBC's charity night spectacular to encourage them to donate money to help efforts against the disease, paying for medical supplies and mosquito nets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 21, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Relief Cole. Photo credit should read: Gary Moyes/Sport Relief/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
'I was told I had 24 hours to live' - Cheryl Cole Photo:Gary Moyes/Sport Relief/PA Wire
Cheryl Cole

Pop star Cheryl Cole was told she only had 24 hours to live during her battle against malaria four years ago.

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After contracting the disease on a trip to Tanzania, the former Girls Aloud star was left fighting for her life in hospital.

‘‘It was the scariest thing you could ever imagine for me and for my friends and family,’’ she said in a video for Sport Relief.

‘‘The pain I felt and went through, it’s what so many people go through, all because they don’t have a mosquito net which could save their life,’’ she added.

Almost a year before she fell critically ill, the star climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity to raise funds for those battling the mosquito-borne disease in third world countries.

‘‘When I climbed Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief five years ago it was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,’’ she said.

‘‘I didn’t for one minute think that only a year later I would get malaria myself and become so ill that at one point I was given 24 hours to live.

‘‘The motivation lay in knowing it could help in eradicating malaria and ultimately saving lives by providing mosquito nets,’’ she added.

The pop princess is lending her voice to Sport Relief to raise awareness for malaria and raise funds through the live show that will be broadcast tonight.

‘‘I was lucky; I had the best care I could get. Some people are not so lucky. A £5 mosquito net could keep a child safe and really does help,’’ she will tell viewers in an effort to encourage them to donate.

‘‘In 2009 when I climbed Kilimanjaro a million kids a year were dying of malaria, now five years later it’s 150,000 less per year. That’s 150,000 kids saved so we are beating malaria,’’ she explains.

‘‘I’ve decided to speak out about this again now because having experienced it, it’s obviously very close to my heart and I want people to know how easy it is to help.’’

The Sport Relief Weekend takes place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd. All the money raised goes to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and worldwide.

Viewers are encouraged to vote during a night of celebrity performances, comedy sketches and highlights from this year’s fundraising challenges.

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