Christine Spines
May 08, 2009 AT 11:21 PM EDT

On doctor’s orders, Mia Farrow is ending the fast she began 12 days ago to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan. “I have been instructed by my doctor to stop my fast immediately due to health concerns — including possible seizures,” said Farrow in a statement. “I am fortunate. The women and children and men I am fasting for do not have this option.”

Airline and music industry tycoon Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, plans to take over where Farrow left off and launch his own Darfur-inspired fast today. Branson intends to forgo food for three days in an effort to convince world leaders to restore international aid to the refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan. “I’m honored to be taking over the fast for the next three days from Mia Farrow in her courageous stance to support the people of Darfur,” Branson said in a statement. “Over a year ago I travelled to Darfur and was horrified with the stories people of all ages shared with us. We cannot stand and watch as people suffer.”

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