August 19, 2022

James said she was ‘blown away’ by the honour

Podcast and cancer campaigner Deborah James has reached another incredible milestone in her fundraising efforts, surpassing the £4m mark on her JustGiving page.

James reached the landmark figure just hours after the Queen gave her approval for the 40-year-old to be honoured with a Damehood.

Downing Street confirmed the mother-of-two would be receiving the honour in a press release on Thursday evening, which read: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it. Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people.

“Through her tireless campaigning and by so openly sharing her experience she has not only helped in our fight against this terrible disease, she has ensured countless others with the Big C have not felt alone.”

Earlier this week, James revealed that she was receiving end-of-life care and had stopped treatment for her bowel cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2016.

At the same time as announcing the news, she set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Cancer Research UK, with an initial goal of £250,000.

But the Bowelbabe Fund has now raised more than 16 times this original target, with donations continuing to flood in.

At the time of writing, the page has received more than 228,000 donations and raised £4,187,119.

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Speaking to the BBC, the inspirational You, Me and the Big C podcast host said she was “mindblown” by the amount raised.

She said: “I had a figure in my mind of about a quarter of a million, because I thought that would be enough to fund a good couple of projects across the charities that I wanted to fund.

“I’m absolutely mindblown and I just cannot thank people enough for their generosity. It just means so much to me. It makes me feel utterly loved.”

James is now aiming for the page to raise £5,000,000 by the end of the weekend.

She told the Sun: “It’s surpassed all expectations. I’d love to get it to £5million by the end of the weekend.”

On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said their thoughts were with James and praised her “tireless efforts” on raising awareness about bowel cancer.

They tweeted: “Every now and then, someone captures the heart of the nation with their zest for life & tenacious desire to give back to society. @bowelbabe is one of those special people.

“Her tireless efforts to raise awareness of bowel cancer & end the stigma of treatment are inspiring.

“We are so sad to hear her recent update but pleased to support the @bowelbabef, which will benefit the @royalmarsdenNHS among others. Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and your friends.

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“Thank you for giving hope to so many who are living with cancer.”

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

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