Dame Deborah James has said a sleepover with family and friends helped to raise her spirits and “make new memories” as she continues to raise millions in the fight against cancer.
The podcaster, who has terminal bowel cancer, wrote on instagram of how she spent a day in tears before the sleepover raised a smile “like a cheshire cat”.
She revealed the group watched Cinderella from a teepee pitched in her living room.
Her ‘Bowelbabe’ fund has collected £6.6million for charities including Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden.
She has been made a dame for her fundraising, including launching her own fashion range, and work to help those affected by cancer.
She wrote: “Making memories can be hard why you are dying! Oh the pressure!!. I’m now only getting some very grabbed hours between the sleeping and side effects, but this girly sleepover managed to put such a smile to my face having spent most of yesterday in tears!I’m getting less and less able to leave the house, or bed really now, so was feeling pretty down about it.
“Or do anything for that matter! But my sister suggested a party sleepover! She managed to call a very local Woking company (@teepeevibetribe ), that morning, who said, yes we’ll come and help and make the whole thing so easy and enjoyable all within 3 hours notice! I was feeling awful after a bad day, so didn’t watch the set up of anything.
“Actually I just cried over my leaking drains next door! But with the help of my sister and bro, managed to calm down and then they wheeled me into the room last night and yes I cried over the fairy lights! Good tears! It was just perfect!
“I went from staying in my wheelchair to ending up everyone helping to get me into an actually Tee pee to watch Cinderella with the gang and sit their like a 5 year old with a huge Cheshire Cat smile on my face next to my daughter and sister!
“We booked the experience as regular customer but they refused payment so have donated it to @bowelbabefund instead. But I wanted to give a big shout out to @teepeevibetribe because they were local, just so good and made something that meant a a lot to me just so effortless.
“Today I sleep! But with another memory and a smile:#teepeeparty#party#sleepover#girls#family.”
Meanwhile, in an update on the fund’s Instagram page on Tuesday, the campaigner’s family thanked everyone for their donations.
They wrote: “Through donations, fundraising and partnerships we are all continuing to raise an incredible amount of money that will help give more Deborah’s more time.
“All money raised will be allocated, with the support of CRUK to funding causes and projects such as: funding clinical trials and research into personalised medicine that could result in new treatments for cancer patients.”
They highlighted this includes projects in collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden.
On top of this, the money will go towards continued support to raise awareness of cancer such as Bowel Cancer UK’s ‘Never Too Young’ campaign.
“You are all incredible, and we are totally blown away by you all.”
Since her diagnosis in 2016, Ms James has been passionate about raising awareness of bowel cancer.
She hosted the BBC radio 5 podcast You Me and the Big C about her struggles with her illness.
Alongside the fund, one of her projects is a book that is set to come out later this year which has already reached the top of the Amazon charts.
She has said the publishing date of the book had been moved forward as she’s got “a few things to share” before she dies.
The book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, was originally due to be released next year - but will now be published on August 18. TO DONATE to BowelBabe Fund visit www.bowelbabe.org