Politics

Deborah James’ Bowelbabe Fund Hits £3m In ‘Remaining F*** You To Most cancers’

Deborah James has raised a staggering £3m for Cancer Research UK after revealing to her followers that she has moved from active treatment to hospice care.

The co-host of the You, Me and the Big C podcast was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and this week, shared the message she “never wanted to write”.

“We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball,” she wrote on Instagram and Twitter. “My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.”

The podcast, which James co-founded with Lauren Mahon and the late Rachael Bland, has touched millions of lives worldwide. But James wanted to drive this last fundraising push to give “one final F you to cancer”.

She’s set up the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK, raising money to fund clinical trials and research into personalized medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

“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,” she said on her fundraising page.

“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.

“Please help me, my family and everyone around us give one final F*** YOU to cancer! You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey.”

The fundraising has quickly spread on social media, raising £3m in just two days. People have been “raising a glass” in James’ honor and pledging to donate.

To Deborah, I’ve bought you a drink or two and I raise an actual glass to you, it’s a pleasure to do so but I so wish we didn’t have too. Thank you for being inspirational ❤❤😢 pic.twitter.com/bLVQh0gVwt

— Lou Blakeway 🏃‍♀️⚓📚🏳️‍🌈 (@leo181711) May 9, 2022

Followed you for year’s on social media, this has honestly upset me,and we don’t even personally know each other, sending love, hugs and strength, to you and your family and friends. CHEERS LOVELY LADY 🥂❤🙏 pic.twitter.com/BmvHu4lIbH

— Liz Toon (@loonytoon92) May 9, 2022

done What incredible work you have done to raise awareness and enable conversations about such a difficult subject. What a legacy you leave, I hope it is some consolation to your family to know what an impact you have made. I wish you peace and love pic.twitter.com/cjADJ4BIUx

— Lucy Shurwood (@lucyshw) May 9, 2022

You will leave such a legacy that will never be forgotten Deborah. Sending lots of love and hugs to you, your family and close friends. This one’s for you xx💗 pic.twitter.com/P1U05mIWOw

— Jayne B (@Jayneb2210) May 9, 2022

Dear Deborah, this is for you! Thank you for all your strength, love and hope. You are simply amazing and will always be remembered. I wish I would have known you in person. Love to you from the Atacama desert ❤️ pic.twitter.com/DceTluGPIp

— Kat (@katoech) May 9, 2022

Brave, strong and inspiring doesn’t even begin to describe you and how candid and honest you’ve been.
You have made a difference!!!!!
Thinking of you all xx pic.twitter.com/ykDMuHLxvW

— Peter Hannis (@peterjohnhannis) May 9, 2022

The fundraiser has also led to an outpouring of thanks, with cancer patients and their family members sharing the personal ways James has impacted their lives.

Ah no 😞 thanks to you my beloved husband is finding his bowel cancer journey easier. The thought of his looming radical surgery and ileostomy isn’t phasing him. Thank you from both of us.
🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗
Sending you a whole lot of love ❤️

— Jackie Morgan #proudnanny (@westjmorgan) May 9, 2022

I’m so sad to read this. As another Deborah with stage 4 BC I’ve learned a lot from you, not least putting on a nice frock on your good days and living your biggest life. Hunker down with your fam now, thinking of you and sending love sweet girl. X

— Debbie Rendall (@debbie_rendall) May 9, 2022

Dear Deborah, although we never met I know I am saying goodbye to a friend. Thank you for all of the inspiration over the last 5 years. You have achieved so much, and your legacy will never end. Safe and peaceful journey home my friend. We are surrounding you with love ❤🙏🏻

— James (@JamesInLandan) May 9, 2022

You have done the most incredible things with your 5 years..(and a few before!).
You’ve done so much.
A friend died age 19 from bowel cancer&the changes you’ve made to the world🌍 re this are immeasurable.

Thank you❤️
Will be thinking of you & your family…&raising a glass of🍷x

— Rachel Morris MBE PLY (@Rachel44Morris) May 10, 2022

Absolutely heartbroken Deborah. Thank you for your constant strength. You really helped me and my family get through my sister’s diagnosis in 2020, and I’m sure we are just one family of many. You are an inspiration ❤️

— Molly Codyre (@MollyCodyre) May 10, 2022

My 16 year old needed a role model like you when she was diagnosed. Have a G&T with her when you reach your next destination x

— Donna Dunn 💙 (@Donna_Dunn_) May 9, 2022

You kept my hope alive when my partner was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel & liver C in Oct 20. 43, Fit, active,strong guy with a zest for life like u! He sadly left us in Nov 21. Leaving 13 & 9 yr olds behind who have no stable mother either. My heart breaks for u & ur loved ones x

— saira hand (@sjh0179) May 10, 2022

Thousands of others have also thanked her for the wider impact she’s had on bowel cancer awareness.

Deborah, you have been a shining light and you have shone so very, very bright. What an extraordinary way you chose to use your time. How many lives will be saved by the awareness you have raised.

I hope the rest of your journey is gentle and without pain. thinking of you xxx

— Helen Rippon (@DrHelenRippon) May 9, 2022

.Wishing you a peaceful end to this horrid journey Deborah and strength to your family and friends in the days ahead.

Your inspiration and legacy live on for those of us lucky enough to survive.

Know that you saved lives.

Thank you…. X

— Neil Walsh (@NeilWalsh_UN) May 9, 2022

Deborah, you have left the world of cancer in a better state than you found it. That is more than many of us can achieve in our lives. The oncology community is indebted to you for destigmatizing BC, esp for younger ppl. Thank you 🙏

— Prof Sarah Blagden (@sarah_blagden) May 9, 2022

Our heart goes out to you, Deborah. We promise to work together to save lives and create change for the future. All our love and support to you and your family from everyone at Bowel Cancer UK 💛

— Bowel Cancer UK (@bowelcanceruk) May 9, 2022

You can find Deborah James’ Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK here.

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