Smiles and memories for Dame Deborah James after ‘girly sleepover’ with family

·2-min read

Dame Deborah James says she is going to sleep with “another memory and a smile” after hosting a “girly sleepover” for her family and friends.

The 40 year-old podcaster and campaigner said there was “pressure” to make memories while dying but that the impromptu event had put “such a smile to my face”.

Sharing pictures on social media, she wrote: “Making memories can be hard when 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.”

Dame Deborah said it was becoming harder for her to leave the house, or her bed, and she had been feeling “pretty down” before her sister had suggested the sleep-over, which had been organised in three hours.

“I was feeling awful after a bad day, so didn’t watch the set up of anything,” she said,

“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 there like a 5 year old with a huge Cheshire Cat smile on my face next to my daughter and sister!”

She added that the organising company had refused payment for the experience so the money had been donated to her own Bowel Babe charity fund.

“Today I sleep! But with another memory and a smile,” she said.

Dame Deborah is a former headteacher who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has kept her more than 800,000 Instagram followers up to date with her treatments.

She has raised more than £6.5 million for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving.

She set herself an initial target of £250,000 and has received donations from a huge number of supporters, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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