BBC podcast presenter, blogger, cancer campaigner, and former teacher Dame Deborah James has died aged 40 after a five-year battle against bowel cancer.
Her grieving family took to Instagram and shared the heartbreaking news, writing: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.”
The mother-of-two had been receiving care at home and had raised millions for cancer research.
In her final weeks, Deborah raised more than $8 million for cancer research. She was labeled ‘inspirational’ by fans as she shared her struggles on social media, as well as on the BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C.
It was in December 2016 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The former deputy head teacher, parent to Eloise, 12, and Hugo, 14, was told that she might not live beyond 5 years – a milestone that passed in the autumn of 2021.
On May 9, Deborah she bid farewell to her followers on Instagram as she revealed that she was moved into hospice-at-home care at her parents’ house because her ‘body simply isn’t playing ball.’
She also revealed that she was given only days when she was discharged from the hospital.
The mother-of-two was also made a dame by the Duke of Cambridge, with Prince William praising her for “going above and beyond to make a very special memory.”
“She is a brave and inspirational woman,” the duke told staff at the Royal Marsden.
Deborah concluded her Instagram post, writing: “A few final things from Deborah…find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”
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