Bowel Babe Dame Deborah James says campaigning ‘keeping me going’

·3-min read

Dame Deborah James has said campaigning and raising funds is “keeping her going” as she receives end-of-life care at home for bowel cancer.

The 40-year-old podcaster, known as Bowel Babe online, admitted she was “surprised” to have outlived her life expectancy diagnosis, as she spoke in a video message on ITV’s Lorraine.

She has launched a number of initiatives in recent weeks including a clothing line and a new book to help raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

The campaigner appeared on Lorraine on Thursday in a pre-recorded message to thank the team for taking part in the charity run Race For Life.

She told the show: “I am doing okay, I’m stable. I think stable is a good thing. I’m taking life slowly.

“Not on social media too much and just spending time in the garden with my family. A much slower pace of life, which is not what I’m used to.

“Physically, I’m quite tired, but mentally, I’m still a campaigner.

“I’m still asking people to check their poo. I’m still on it about getting that messaging on loo roll across the country. The No Butts campaign, absolutely. We want it spread far and wide.”

Dame Deborah, who is a former headteacher, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has since kept her Instagram followers up to date with her treatments to raise awareness about the signs of bowel cancer.

She has so far raised more than £6.6 million for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity through her Bowelbabe fund on JustGiving.

The presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, added: “I’m taking life day-by-day, and I think just continuing to feel blessed to have another day knowing that my time is limited, but at the same time, if truth be told, I’ve already outlived yet again what I was told when I was sent home from the hospital, so I think already even I’m a bit surprised, but I think it’s having that sense of purpose.

“Getting involved. Continuing with the campaigning is keeping me going.

“But obviously the Bowel Babe fund I’m so proud of and it’s a legacy that I am so proud to leave behind when I am no longer here.

“But for the moment I’m here, I’m alive, kicking as much as I possibly can, and sending my love and thank-you for all your kind messages.”

Last month, Dame Deborah announced she had written another book, titled How To Live When You Could Be Dead, documenting what she has learned about having a positive mindset when faced with life’s biggest challenges.

Despite not being due to be published until August, the book shot to number one on the Amazon list through pre-orders, with her royalties going towards her Bowelbabe Fund.

The podcast host followed this up by releasing a clothing line with In The Style, with 100% of the profits going towards the cancer charity.

She was also recently honoured with a damehood by William at her home for her “tireless campaigning” efforts.

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