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Malaria-struck Cheryl Cole was given 24 hours to live

CHERYL COLE ... will address viewers of Sport Relief after her own experiences with malaria.

CHERYL COLE ... will address viewers of Sport Relief after her own experiences with malaria.

GEORDIE singer Cheryl Cole has told of the “pain” of her near-death malaria experience as she helps to raise funds to fight the disease through Sport Relief.

The singer and returning X Factor judge claimed doctors gave her just a day to live at one stage when she was struck down by the illness - spread by mosquitoes - in 2010, after contracting it on a holiday in Tanzania.

She will address viewers of the BBC’s charity night spectacular to encourage them to donate money to help efforts against the disease, paying for medical supplies and mosquito nets.

Cheryl will introduce a film, shot in a hospital in eastern Uganda.

Her previous charity efforts have included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief to help with malaria efforts, a year before she had her own health scare.

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

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

“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.

“It was the scariest thing you could ever imagine for me and for my friends and family.

“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.

“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.”

The number of children dying annually of malaria has dropped by 150,000 since the one million who were dying in 2009.

But she said: “There are still hundreds of thousands who still need our help.”

 

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