December 4, 2022

‘I believe I may have had the most surreal, mind blowing, humbling 5 days of my life,’ she said

Deborah James said she has had the “most surreal, mind blowing, humbling” five days of her life, after being made a dame and seeing her fundraiser smash the £5million mark.

The podcaster and cancer campaigner was visited by Prince William at her family home in Surrey, who personally honoured her with the damehood on Friday. The Queen approved the honour just days after James revealed she was receiving end-of-life care, as none of the treatment she has received for bowel cancer has worked.

Deborah James has raised millions for bowel cancer research

James, who had already been raising money for cancer charities for years, decided to launch her own fundraiser, the Bowelbabe Fund, on Tuesday. By Saturday, it had passed £5.8million.

Posting on social media today, James said: “I believe I may have had the most surreal, mind blowing, humbling 5 days of my life.

“I cannot thank you for your generosity at launching the @bowelbabefund which now stands at £5.7 million, and to the @dukeandduchessofcambridge for going above and beyond to make a very special memory happen yesterday. Can’t quite believe im actually a Dame!

“My family are being amazing and as emotional as it all is, we are finding so much to smile about in the sadness. I may be getting weaker and more tired each tired having run off pure adrenaline, but my word, I always said I wanted to slide in sideways when my time is up, with a massive smile, no regrets and a big glass of champagne! Still my intention!!!”

James was diagnosed with stage four cancer 10 days before Christmas back in 2016. Despite this, she continued to work – hosting the BBC podcast, You, Me and the Big C, on which she and others candidly discuss experiences with cancer and its treatment.

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Speaking to the BBC after announcing her tragic news earlier this week, the mum-of-two said she felt safe in the knowledge that her children will be surrounded by love after she died. She described her husband of 13 years as the “most wonderful man”.

James said: “I know that my kids are going to be more resilient afterward surrounded by love. My kids are going to be fine. But it does not mean that I am not going to miss every chance that I could have had with them.”

Deborah James with her family on Mothers' Day 2022 (@bowelbabe) Deborah James with her family on Mothers’ Day 2022 (@bowelbabe)

In her final column for The Sun, James said she had prepared memory boxes for her children, Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, and bought them “gifts for certain key future birthdays.”

Ending the column, she said: “I suppose it would be weird to leave my column without saying a few final things: find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope.

“And finally, check your poo – it might just save your life.”

For more information on bowel cancer and its symptoms, you can visit the NHS website or Bowel Cancer UK.

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