Deborah James' cancer fundraising campaign tops £2million as hospice care tributes pour in

Podcaster and bowel cancer sufferer Deborah James has set up a JustGiving page to help raise money for cancer research after revealing her condition is getting worse

Deborah James' fundraising campaign for cancer research has topped £2million
Deborah James’ fundraising campaign for cancer research has topped £2million

BBC podcast host Deborah James has raised over £2million after setting up a fundraising campaign for cancer research, amid her tragic hospice care announcement.

Deborah left her fans and followers devastated as she shared the final update from her battle with cancer, confirming that she was having hospice care at home as she spends her final days surrounded by her family.

The 40-year-old mother-of-two, who presents You, Me and The Big C, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, and set up the JustGiving Bowelbabe Fund on Monday – by midnight on Tuesday, £2,094,470 had been pledged by over 120,000 supporters.

The Sun columnist said doctors had told her there was no further treatment available, and Deborah said her body “just can’t continue”, as she updated her Instagram and JustGiving followers.

Deborah James’ fundraising campaign for cancer research has topped £2million

She wrote: “We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball. Even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, I realise my rollercoaster of a ride is coming to an end very soon.

“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.

“This is the message I never wanted to get to, but it’s written with a vision that I’m truly determined to deliver. And your support in establishing the Bowelbabe Fund, continuing to spread the word, and smashing those poo taboos will forever be cherished.

“My family and I, with the support of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), are establishing the Bowelbabe Fund. All money raised will be allocated, with the support of CRUK, to funding causes and projects that I really care about.

“These include: Funding clinical trials and research into personalised medicine that could result in new treatments for cancer patients, including projects in collaboration with partners such as the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden. And continued support to raise awareness of cancer, such as Bowel Cancer UK’s Never Too Young campaign.

“Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step-by-step and being grateful for another sunrise. Everybody around me has been working crazy hard these past few weeks to get everything in place.”

Deborah James’ fundraising campaign for cancer research has topped £2million

Deborah, who began co-presenting her show in 2018 alongside Lauren Mahon and Rachel Bland (who died of breast cancer six months after the programme started), added: “My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing at every possible moment. All I ask is that next time you pop for a coffee or grab a drink with a friend, please consider donating the cost of one extra for me.

“Your support in establishing the Bowelbabe Fund will help so many more people benefit, like I have, from the amazing work of these causes in the many years to come. You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey.”

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker sent Deborah a special message of support on Instagram, saying: “Deborah… we spoke to someone from one of the charities you support on BBC Breakfast and they, in tears, said they wanted to thank you for being honest about your condition, for changing the conversation, for raising awareness and for saving lives. You are a very special person.”

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