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LENA ZAVARONI Former child singing star Lena Zavaroni died, aged 35. I watched her growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I wanted what she had! She died at 35. What a tragic waste of a life. She showed incredible potential in her early years and then she was struck down by this terrible disease anorexia nervosa that I suffered from in late 1993, early 1994.. She was destroyed by something as ridiculous as an eating disorder. Surely something more can be done to help these young people who have this terribly serious problem? Lena Zavaroni fought a long battle with anorexia, and had been in hospital for several weeks. She developed an infection after an operation, and members of her family were with her when she died at the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff. A hospital spokesman said: "We are sad to confirm that Miss Zavaroni died at our hospital where she had been receiving medical treatment for the past four weeks. "All the medical staff and nurses who cared for her send their sympathies to the family. Lena Zavaroni shot to fame after appearing in Opportunity Knocks in 1974, where she had an unprecedented five-week run. This was followed by the chart-topping 'Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me' and at the age of 12 she sang for the Queen at a Royal Variety performance. But the following year she developed the slimming disease that was to plague her for years. Her cousin Margaret told the press after Lena's death: "The whole family is devastated". She said Lena's father, Victor, could hardly speak when he told relatives of the death. "Lena developed anorexia aged just 13 and fought the disease as hard as she could," she said. "Doctors performed an operation to help her eat but she developed an infection and wasn't strong enough to recover from it. Our only comfort is that other girls with anorexia will take something from Lena's death. She is an example of what can happen when young women develop an obsession with their weight." Lena's sister Carla, who lives near London, was with her when she died. "It is devastating", said Ms Zavaroni. "She had been in hospital for about two weeks, and the operation was to help her eat, but she developed an infection. I still can't believe it's happened. "I was on the phone to my uncle Victor last night, and we were all crying - we were all too upset." She said Lena's father was too upset to speak publicly about her death. Lena was such a strong force in my young life, I developed the love of stage craft from watching her on talent shows and variety shows! I wanted to be like her! And later in life wanted to manage her! How strange I developed the same horrible thing that killed Lena! Now I am cured, and Lena is now featured in tribute at a wonderful website maintained by a wonderful lady called Debs. CLICK HERE FOR THE LENA ZAVARONI TRIBUTE CD!!!