The heartbreaking death of SARAH Harding from breast cancer saved her best friend’s mom’s life, prompting her to get screened.
Girls Aloud star Sarah died at the age of 39 last September after a brave battle with illness.
The tragedy convinced the mother of her closest friend, Jean Sapiano, 67, to finally get the little bump she’s had under her arm for over a year checked out.
Doctors diagnosed Jean with aggressive breast cancer and performed a mastectomy last month.
Much loved pop star Sarah was godmother to her longtime friend Joanna’s three boys.
And Jean’s mom said last night, “Sarah has proven she’s the best fairy godmother ever.
“She saved the life of her godson’s grandmother.
“What could be a more special gift than this one? Even when she’s gone.”
Sarah, who rose to fame in a girl group after auditioning for the ITV reality show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, was a regular member of the Sapiano family during the girls’ teenage years.
Jean added: “Sarah and Joanna were inseparable. At the time, they met in the Stockport area through their boyfriends. They quickly became like sisters.
“Sarah has always been in our house. She came on a family vacation with us and all that.
“She was really great to have around. I always sing. Joanna went with her to all the auditions for Popstars. The girls were together at every turn.
“When Joanna got married, Sarah was a bridesmaid, and when she had boys, she became their godmother.
“She got on very well with the boys, always buying them clothes and visiting them when she came back from the south.”
The news of Sarah’s death shocked the family and left Jean worried about a small bump under her right armpit.
Speaking from her home in Stockport, Jean recalled: “We were all in shock. It seems unrealistic that someone so young and beautiful could be taken from the world.
“I was lying in bed at night and suddenly I started thinking about the bump. It’s been there for over a year, but I didn’t worry about it. .
“I WANT TO THANK SARAH”
“I know it sounds silly, but in fact, Sarah suddenly said to me:“ Look.
“So I went to the doctors and she immediately referred me for further examination.”
Jean’s surgery went well and she hopes to get permission from the doctors this week.
She added: “I was told that if I had left it much longer it would have spread to the lymph nodes and I would have been much less likely to survive.
“I would like to thank Sarah. I hope my story will help other people get tested too.
Sarah died just 12 months after she was diagnosed.
In her biography, Listen to Me, she described how she initially put off seeing a doctor when she first discovered bumps under her arm in December 2019.