Sertab Erener, 38, winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, reveals her medical past; an unknown and serious stomach disease.
Two weeks ago Sertab Erener sang Turkey to victory with her song 'Every way that I can'. “That was the happiest moment of my life”, she says, beaming with joy.
However, behind the glamorous and glittery exterior Serteb has been carrying a dark secret with her. “For more than twenty years I have been struggling against a terrible disease. It started when I was eleven, and nobody knew what it was, but I could not keep any food down.”
After her breakthrough as a singer in 1992 and more than one million records sold Sertab was suddenly able to seek help from the best medical doctors abroad.
“The year after my breakthrough I went to Cleveland, US and underwent my first major surgery”. The operation, however, resulted in Sertab having to carry a stomi pouch. “It was terrible. Every day was a fight”, she says with lustrous eyes.
After two further extensive surgeries Sertab finally got rid off the pouch. “I now have an artificial replacement for the part of my intestines that was ill, and now I can function normally and enjoy good food. It is a divine gift”, Sertab says.
Sertab now wants to help others, children in particular, who suffer and have suffered from the same as she has. “This year I am going to raise a fund for stomachally ill children in Turkey. It feels wonderful to be able to support them”, finishes a hale and hearty Sertab Erener.