Deborah James, 40, has expressed her gratitude to the public after their incredible support since she announced that she was receiving end-of-life care. Since releasing the sad statement on Monday, her bowel cancer fundraiser has raised more than £5 million and she was made a dame by Prince William.
In a new update to her followers, Deborah said she is overwhelmed by the “generosity” of the public, however, she conceded that she is “getting weaker” and “more tired each day”.
Writing on Instagram, the mother-of-two penned: “I believe I may have had the most surreal, mind blowing, humbling five days of my life.
“I cannot thank you for your generosity at launching the Bowelbabe Fund, which now stands at £5.7 million.
“And to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for going above and beyond to make a very special memory happen yesterday.
“Can’t quite believe I’m actually a Dame!”
Deborah added that her family have been “amazing” and that, despite their tragic circumstances, they are “finding so much to smile about in the sadness”.
She went on: “I may be getting weaker and more tired each [day] having run off pure adrenaline.
“But my word, I always said I wanted to slide in sideways when my time is up, with a massive smile, no regrets and a big glass of champagne! Still my intention!”
And blogger Harriet Shearsmith commented: “You really are a truly magnificent woman Dame Debs, you deserve that Damehood so much. Sending all my love, laughter and joy to you and your beautiful family in this difficult time. What a way to leave this life you beautiful lady, what a way.”
Prince William travelled to Deborah’s family home on Friday to present her with the prestigious honour.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also donated an undisclosed amount to her Bowelbabe fund, which will go towards research and raising awareness of bowel cancer.
In a tweet shared on Wednesday, William and Kate 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 and end the stigma of treatment are inspiring.
“We are so sad to hear her recent update but pleased to support the Bowelbabe Fund, 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.”