Sarah Harding rose to fame as one-fifth of Girls Aloud, who were among the most successful UK pop groups in recent history.
After revealing she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that the disease has advanced to other parts of her body, her former bandmates were among thousands of people posting messages of support on social media.
Formed on ITV’s reality show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, Girls Aloud went on to have continued chart success with hits including Sound Of The Underground, Love Machine, Biology, Call The Shots and The Promise.
They went on hiatus in 2009 before splitting in 2013, but there had been speculation earlier this year of a reunion in 2022 to mark their 20th anniversary.
When Harding announced her diagnosis, Cheryl responded by posting a simple broken-hearted emoji on Twitter.
Nadine Coyle and Kimberley Walsh replied to Harding’s own Instagram post, with Coyle posting: “I love you!!! You have always been able to achieve miracles when needed!! I am here for all the way & always will be!!”
Walsh said: “My heart is broken. You are so strong and brave and we are with you every step of the way.”
Nicola Roberts shared her message of support on Twitter, saying the news had been “blindsiding”.
In her message, Harding, 38, shared a selfie from her hospital bed and wrote: “There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes.
I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these uncertain times. I’ve not posted on here for so long, thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on me, it really does mean a lot.
I feel now is the right time to share what’s been going on. pic.twitter.com/gxzOAl71vS
— Sarah Harding (@SarahNHarding) August 26, 2020
“Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body.
“I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can. I understand this might be shocking to read on social media and that really isn’t my intention.
“But last week it was mentioned online that I had been seen in hospital, so I feel now is the time to let people know what’s going on and this is the best way I can think of to do so.
“My amazing mum, family and close friends are helping me through this, and I want to say a thank you to the wonderful NHS doctors and nurses who have been and continue to be heroes. I am doing my very best to keep positive and will keep you updated here with how I’m getting on.
“In the meantime I hope you’ll all understand and respect my request for privacy during this difficult time. Sending you all so much love….xx.”
Other stars sending positive messages to Harding included Steps singer Ian H Watkins, actress and singer Michelle Gayle and Fifi Geldof.
Loose Women panellist Carol McGiffin and Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor, who have both been treated for breast cancer, also sent messages of support.
Alongside her success in music, Harding also stepped into the acting world, appearing in Coronation Street and the St Trinian’s film franchise, and in Ghost – The Musical in 2016.
She went on to win Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cases of the disease with around 150 new diagnoses every day in Britain, according to Cancer Research UK.
More than three-quarters of people survive for a decade or more after their diagnosis, the charity’s figures show.