Cheryl Cole is set to become a charity ambassador to raise awareness of malaria in Africa after her recent battle with the disease, according to a U.K. report. The Girls Aloud star was treated in an intensive care unit last month after she fell sick with the deadly tropical disease, which she is believed to have picked up on a trip to Tanzania.
Cole canceled all of her imminent work commitments but has since returned to the recording studio in Los Angeles. The recovering singer has decided to highlight the dangers of malaria by becoming an ambassador for U.K. organization Comic Relief - and she's intending to return to Africa for a charity trip when she finishes her upcoming duties on Simon Cowell's TV talent show "The X Factor", according to Britain's Sunday Mirror.
A source tells the publication, "It is a very brave decision. Cheryl has thought long and hard about it. This is a life-changing, landmark experience for her. She's seen how malaria destroys people's lives and now has firsthand knowledge of just how serious it is. Cheryl got the best care possible when she got back from Tanzania and she is very grateful for it. But she is aware that millions of Africans are not so lucky."
"After what she has been through, you might have thought Africa was the last place she'd be wanting to go to. But the reverse is true. She wants to get out there as soon as The X Factor has been wrapped up."
Cole has previously been involved with Comic Relief - she scaled Mount Kilimanjaro last year to raise awareness of the need for mosquito nets in Africa.