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Dame Deborah James embracing the rain in case it's the last time she feels it

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·3-min read
Cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James
Dame Deborah James is embracing the rain as she prepares for the end of her life. (PA)

Dame Deborah James has said she is embracing the rain in case it's the last time she feels it on her face.

The 40-year-old cancer campaigner and mother-of-two - who has just been presented with a Damehood by Prince William for her 'tireless campaigning' to promote bowel cancer awareness - last week revealed she was preparing for the end of her life.

Dame Deborah shared a video of the rain falling in the garden on Instagram and wrote: "Thought of the day: A late friend once told me to embrace the rain, because you never knew when the last time you might feel the rain on your face is... so am embracing it! Albeit with blankets."

Read more: Deborah James 'humbled and blown away' after being made a dame

The You, Me & The Big C podcast host - a regular contributor on ITV's Lorraine and This Morning - was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer in 2016.

She has set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, which will support Cancer Research UK, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), The Royal Marsden Hospital and promoting cancer awareness among younger people. It has raised over £6million in a week.

Last week Dame Deborah announced she had stopped receiving treatment and moved into hospice care at her parent's home, revealing: "My body just can’t continue anymore."

She revealed she has made memory boxes for son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, and she and her husband Sebastien Bowen have bought birthday presents for future "key birthdays".

Deborah James hosts You, Me & The Big C with Rachael Bland's widower Steve and fellow cancer patient Lauren Mahon. (PA)
Deborah James hosts You, Me & The Big C with Rachael Bland's widower Steve and fellow cancer patient Lauren Mahon. (PA)

She added: "I do not want to die – I can’t get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids' weddings or see them grow up – that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much.

"I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had."

Prince William visited her family home to present her with her Damehood.

She said: "I don’t even know where to start with the overwhelming tears getting in the way.

“I’m humbled and blown away that 5 years of talking about poo can lead to a Damehood!

Lauren Mahon, (unknown), Shareefa J, Anna Harding, Nimco Ali, Andrea McLean and Deborah James pose for a photograph after running the Vitality London 10000 in their underwear to promote body confidence.
Deborah James (far right) after running the Vitality London 10,000 race in her underwear to promote body confidence in 2019. (PA)

Read more: Lorraine pays tribute to cancer campaigner Deborah James who is in hospice care

“I feel honoured and shocked that I even got considered.”

Dame Deborah launched the BBC Radio 5 podcast You, Me & The Big C in 2018 with fellow cancer patients Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland.

Bland died aged 40 in 2018 after a two year battle with breast cancer.

Watch: Prince William presented Dame Deborah James with her medal at her home

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