Deborah James honoured with Damehood after raising more than £4m

·3-min read
Deborah James / BowelBabe  (Deborah James / the Bowel Babe )
Deborah James / BowelBabe (Deborah James / the Bowel Babe )

Deborah James has been honoured with a Damehood after raising more than £4 million for cancer research.

The You, Me and the Big C podcast host, 40, launched her BowelBabe cancer fund on Monday and within hours it surpassed its original target of £250,000.

James has inspired millions by documenting her experience of having bowel cancer on social media using the moniker @BowelBabe.

And now the mother-of-two, who revealed on Monday that doctors do not know much how longer she has left to live, is being honoured with a Damehood for her inspirational fundraising efforts.

James said she was “blown away” after being made a Dame.

Reacting to the news, she told The Sun: “OMFG, this is crazy.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured.

“I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in.”

Deborah James said she was “blown away” and felt “incredibly honoured” (Deborah James / the Bowel Babe)
Deborah James said she was “blown away” and felt “incredibly honoured” (Deborah James / the Bowel Babe)

Her husband Seb told the publication: “She has campaigned tirelessly, often through adversity, and being recognised with a Damehood is something that she would never have dreamt of, but it is so truly deserved.”

Downing Street confirmed the granting of the honour in a press release, which said: “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.”

Her story, which has gained the support of millions of people across the world, also caught the attention of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who said on Wednesday evening that their thoughts are with her and her family.

The couple have also donated to James’s fund.

In a personal tweet written by William and Kate, they said: “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. Thank you for giving hope to so many who are living with cancer. W & C.”

On Monday, James penned a heartbreaking Instagram post revealing that “nobody knows how long I’ve got left”.

In the message to her supporters, she said her “body isn’t playing ball” and has now been moved to hospice at home care.

She wrote: “My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.

“Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not unable to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned.”

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