Deborah James gives health update and says she is ‘humbled and blown away’ by damehood

‘Small chats really can save lives, small conversations can create ripples far beyond where we might see them,’ the campaigner wrote

Laura Hampson
Friday 13 May 2022 14:28 BST
Deborah James in April 2022
Deborah James in April 2022 (YouTube)

Dame Deborah James has said she is “humbled and blown away” by her damehood.

The cancer campaigner was made a Dame on Thursday 12 May after raising £4m for Cancer Research UK since Monday 9 May.

“I don’t even know where to start with the overwhelming tears getting in the way. I’m humbled and blown away that five years of talking about poo can lead to a damehood!” the 40-year-old wrote in a post to Instagram.

“I feel honoured and shocked that I even got considered. These last four days of your unwavering support launching the @bowelbabefund to benefit @cr_uk , @royalmarsden And @bowelcanceruk seem like a whirlwind of surreal dreaming when each day I can’t fathom the kindness and generosity. £4 Million!!!”

James also gave an update on her condition, as she explained she is “getting more and more sleepy” and “finding life a little harder”.

“I’ve had more time to think that I’ve never stopped to realise the impact that our podcasting, and talking, and campaigning has had over five years. Small chats really can save lives, small conversations can create ripples far beyond where we might see them, and seeds might grow where we never see their fruits,” she wrote.

“And there is something exciting and beautiful in that cycle of life. With this money hopefully more people will have more time with their loved ones. Who knows what plants we might grow, but when done with hope we pray that some blossom into game changers for our kids, and many more to come.

“Keep loving in kindness, with rebellious hope always.”

In a statement about James’ damehood on Thursday, 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.”

Earlier this week James, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016, said that her active care had stopped and she had been moved to hospice at home care.

At the time, James wrote: “Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able 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. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.”

James is being cared for at her parents home, and is surrounded by her family.

You can donate to the BowelBabe Fund here:

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