When she was sent home from hospital in May to receive end of life care at home, Dame

When she was sent home from hospital in May to receive end of life care at home, Dame was told she had days to live, but after a final rally she made sure the last month of her life counted. 

Determined not to go quietly, the campaigner who died yesterday aged 40, five years after being diagnosed with bowel cancer, welcomed to her parents’ home in Woking, got glammed up to go to Royal Ascot, and enjoyed quality time with her loved ones. 

After launching her Bowelbabe Fund, which raised millions for cancer research, she released a fashion collection in collaboration with In The Style with the aim of bringing in an extra million from t-shirt sales alone — and achieved it. 

 The mother-of-two also made most of the time she had left with her family, hosting a sleepover on May 31, enjoying cocktails at home with her mother and date nights with her husband Sebastian Bowen. 

Here, Femail takes a look at home the inspiring campaigner spent her last days.  

May 9: Moved to hospice care 

Dame Deborah James, 40, dedicated the time she had after being moved to hospice care to raise funds for Cancer Research and raise awareness about bowel cancer. She also attended Royal Ascot, pictured, and the Chelsea Flower Show as well as saying goodbye to her family

Dame Deborah James, 40, dedicated the time she had after being moved to hospice care to raise funds for Cancer Research and raise awareness about bowel cancer.She also attended Royal Ascot, pictured, and the Chelsea Flower Show as well as saying goodbye to her family 

Dame Deborah announced she’d been moved to hospice care at home on May 9 in an heartbreaking Instagram post.

At the time, she wrote that ‘nobody knows how long she has left’, adding: ‘The message I never wanted to write.We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.  

‘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.’

She continued: ‘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.’

‘In over 5 years of writing about how I thought it would be my final Christmas, how I wouldn’t see my 40th birthday nor see my kids go to secondary school — I never envisaged writing the one where I would actually say goodbye.

‘I think it’s been the rebellious hope in me.’

As she made the heartbreaking announcement, Dame Deborah announced she had set up the Bowel Babe foundation in order to raise money for cancer research, bowel cancer research and the Royal Marsden Hospital, where she had been treatment for the condition.

She kickstarted fundraising efforts by asking people to ‘buy her a drink’ and to donate the cost to her Fund, with an initial target of £250,000. 

Within days of the announcement, she raised more than £5million for the fund after an outpouring of public support, with many calling to see Dame Deborah receive a royal honour.  

May 13: Received Damehood

Dame Deborah James was awarded a damehood from the Queen, which she received at home from Prince William on May 13

Dame Deborah James was awarded a damehood from the Queen, which she received at home from Prince William on May 13

Five days after the announcement that she would be moved to hospice care, Deborah was made a dame by the Queen for her commitment to raising awareness and funds for bowel cancer following her shock diagnosis in 2016.

She received the honour from Prince William, 40, who travelled to see her at home on May 13. 

Deborah revealed her ‘surreal’ meeting with the Duke via her Instagram page, where she uploaded several pictures of the Duke of Cambridge with her and her family.

The cancer-stricken mother-of-two told her more than 630,000 followers how ‘kind’ William ‘made everyone feel at ease’, adding that he was ‘welcome back any time.’

The campaigner added she was ‘utterly honoured’ that the Duke of Cambridge had tea with her family. 

He is clearly passionate about improving oncology outcomes as the President of the Royal Marsden.

‘It was such a special day for my whole family, making memories to last a life time.He’s welcome back any time!’ she said.

May 18: RHS Garden Wisley 

Deborah revealed how her banker husband of 14 years  Seb, right, whisked her off to RHS Garden Wisley, in Surrey on May 18

Deborah revealed how her banker husband of 14 years  Seb, right, whisked her off to RHS Garden Wisley, in Surrey on May 18

The campaigner made one of her final public appearances on May 18, travelling to RHS Garden Wisley with her husband Sebastian for a day out. 

It was the first time she was seen after announcing she was moved to hospice care. 

In an emotional Instagram post relating the outing, she praised Sebastian, calling him her ‘utter rock.’

‘Seb whisked me ( bit of a mission but worth it!) at the crack of dawn to @rhswisley before all the crowds, to say well done for the book launch, and it was just perfect for a hour,’ she wrote at the time. 

‘I haven’t left the house in 10 days as have been too weak, and whilst I’m now going to snooze for most of the day (in the sun like a cat!) — I love this picture of reminding me of vibrant green life all around, despite the sadness of knowing the state of my body inside. 

‘But Seb is an utter rock for me and together we seem to be able to squeeze our hands, swallow the tears and laugh instead.

May 19: Book becomes Amazon best-seller 

James's book overtook Richard Osman's mystery novel on Amazon in pre-orders on May 19 after she announced Peguing had moved up their timeline so it could be published in August

James’s book overtook Richard Osman’s mystery novel on Amazon in pre-orders on May 19 after she announced Peguing had moved up their timeline so it could be published in August 

After announcing her book How To Live When Yo Could Be Dead would be released in August — and adding she would likely not live to see it published after spending two years writing it — Dame Deborah was blown-away by the response to the pre-launch on Amazon. 

How To Live When You Could Be Dead, which is due to be published on August 18, overtook Richard Osman’s blockbuster mystery novel The Man Who Died Twice on Amazon’s chart through pre-orders alone and in just over two days. 

It was announced that for For every edition sold in the UK, techtogadgets £3 would go to Dame Deborah’s Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK. 

The book was due to be published in January 2023, but publisher Penguin hasten production so the release date could be brought closer. 

Announcing the book, Dame Debs wrote at the time: ‘I wrote another book!!So I’ve got a few things to share with you before I die that I’m gutted I won’t see in real life! But I’ve now been granted permission to share them and I’m really excited!

‘For the last 2 years I’ve been working on my second book How to Live when you could be Dead — oh the irony of the title!I wanted to share all my (hard-won!!) learning on how to have a positive mindset when we are faced with life’s biggest challenges.’

‘All things considered, Penguin have managed to put it on pre-order and are aiming to publish it on the 18th August!It is still long after I’m flying high, but hopefully a little less longer for you to wait.

‘We have worked really hard over the last few days to ensure the book benefits Bowelbabe Fund as much as possible. All my royalties will go to the fund and Penguin have kindly agreed to make an additional contribution per book.Altogether the donation per book will be £3.’

May 19: Announces fashion collaboration with In The Style 

The mother-of-two announced she had worked on a fashion collaboration with retailer In The Style to raise funds for her Bowelbabe Fund on May 19

The mother-of-two announced she had worked on a fashion collaboration with retailer In The Style to raise funds for her Bowelbabe Fund on May 19

The mother-of-two announced another charity collaboration on May 19, revealing she had worked on a fashion collection with online retailer In The Style. 

Upon announcing the collection she revealed she ha worked on it while at home and during her hospital stays. 

But she added at the time: ‘We made it, we got it done.I was enjoying it. It was kind of bringing me to life, it was giving me something else to think about.’

‘The reason that I really wanted to do it is because it is something totally different to cancer.

‘I love fashion. Anybody that has followed me for years and years knows I love my dresses’, she said.

‘I am always hunting for the best prints.I love clothes, it makes me happy.’ 

The collection included Dame Debs’ Rebellious Hope t-shirt, which has since then been embraced by countless celebs, including Kim Murray at Wimbledon and the Countess of Wessex.  

Since then, the collaboration raised more than £1million for cancer research, with You In The Style CEO Adam Frisby writing on Instagram: ‘You are one incredible, strong, beautiful woman Debs and I am so chuffed to have had chance to know you and to have been a part of this incredible achievement with you.’

May 25: Visit to the Chelsea Flower Show

Dame Deborah James at the Chelsea Flower Show 2022 with BBC presenter Sophie Raworth, left

Dame Deborah James at the Chelsea Flower Show 2022 with BBC presenter Sophie Raworth, left

Dame Deborah James has visited the stall selling the beautiful bloom, which is breaking sales records, on a special out-of-hours tour of the Chelsea Flower Show. The cancer campaigner, 40, and her husband Sebastien enjoyed a tour of the show gardens with TV presenter Sophie Raworth

Dame Deborah James has visited the stall selling the beautiful bloom, which is breaking sales records, on a special out-of-hours tour of the Chelsea Flower Show.The cancer campaigner, 40, and her husband Sebastien enjoyed a tour of the show gardens with TV presenter Sophie Raworth

Dame Deborah and her husband  Sebastien enjoyed a tour of the show gardens with TV presenter Sophie Raworth. 

The campaigner had a rose variety named after her ahead of the West London Show, and was treated to a secret after-hour visit to see the blooms in person on May 25. 

 At the time, The Harkness Rose Company said it had 25,000 blooms available on pre-order for delivery this autumn, and said 15,000 had already been taken.

For every £16.99 rose sold, £2.50 would be donated to Dame Deborah’s Bowelbabe Fund.

 Harkness’s Hannah Albone said interest in the rose has been unbelievable.It is the fastest-selling rose in our 140-year history. We feel very privileged.’

Dame Deb told how she cried when the offer was made to have the rose named after her, and hopes her daughter Eloise, 12, may one day have it in her wedding bouquet.

She said: ‘I just can’t wait for my family to plant them everywhere this autumn. What breaks my heart and brings me the most beautiful thought, is that this variety can be grown for ever, and maybe one day even Eloise might choose to have it in her bouquet.’

Celebrities including Dame Joanna Lumley, Alex Jones, Gaby Roslin and Jodie Kidd posed for photos holding a bouquet featuring the white and pale pink flower as it was launched at the beginning of this year’s Show in Chelsea. 

May 31: Sleepover with family 

Deborah's sister and mother as well as her daughter Eloise and nieces surprised her with a sleepover on May 31

Deborah’s sister and mother as well as her daughter Eloise and nieces surprised her with a sleepover on May 31 

While she never stopped her fundraising efforts for Cancer Research, Dame Deborah also spent her last days saying goodbye with her family. 

On May 31, she revealed she had a sleepover with her daughter Eloise and her mother Sarah Williams. 

The mother-of-two who moved in with her parents in Woking, Surrey, to see her last days, said that her family managed to ‘put a smile on her face’ with the impromptu party which included matching pyjamas, face masks and indoor teepees.

Adorable photos show Deborah with her family in matching pink satin pyjamas and facemasks, on futons covered with pink sheets and dozens of teepees.

Writing on Instagram alongside a collage of sweet family photos at the time, she wrote: ‘Making memories can be hard why you are dying!Oh the pressure!!. 

‘I’m now only getting some very grabbed hours between the sleeping and side effects, but this girly sleepover managed to put such a smile to my face having spent most of yesterday in tears! 

‘I’m getting less and less able to leave the house, or bed really now, so was feeling pretty down about it.Or do anything for that matter! 

‘But my sister suggested a party sleepover! She managed to call a very local Woking company (Teepee Vibe Tribe), that morning, who said, yes we’ll come and help and make the whole thing so easy and enjoyable all within 3 hours notice!

‘I was feeling awful after a bad day, so didn’t watch the set up of anything. 

‘Actually I just cried over my leaking drains next door!But with the help of my sister and bro, managed to calm down and then they wheeled me into the room last night and yes I cried over the fairy lights! Good tears! It was just perfect! 

‘I went from staying in my wheelchair to ending up everyone helping to get me into an actually Tee pee to watch Cinderella with the gang and sit their like a 5 year old with a huge Cheshire Cat smile on my face next to my daughter and sister! 

‘We booked the experience as regular customer but they refused payment so have donated it to Bowel Babe Fund instead.But I wanted to give a big shout out to Teepee Vibe Tribe because they were local, just so good and made something that meant a a lot to me just so effortless. 

‘Today I sleep! But with another memory and a smile,’ she concluded the post. 

June 4: Watched her brother getting engaged

Dame Deborah Jame revealed some happy news on June 4 as she shared her brother has got engaged to his girlfriend of 11 years

Dame Deborah Jame revealed some happy news on June 4 as she shared her brother has got engaged to his girlfriend of 11 years

In early June, the campaigner revealed her brother has got engaged to his girlfriend of 11 years. 

 She wrote at the time: ‘Ashley Hall and Benjamin James have finally ‘put a ring on it’.I cried and cried…Even Prince William asked my brother why he hadn’t done it yet.’

Posting a gallery of snaps online, the mother-of-two wrote: ‘He finally put a ring on it! Congratulations to @benjaminrjames and @ashleyclairehall for finally getting engaged after 11 years! 

‘If you ever followed my podcasts, brother banter features highly, and even Prince William joined in on the action recently! 

‘The question to my brother has always been why haven’t you proposed!As a family everyone knew they both wanted to, it wasn’t like the it’s been off the cards it’s just always been apparently about «the right time».’

She continued: ‘So they finally did it and then face timed me from Cornwall and then friends all afterwards — my mouth was still opened for the rest of the day!’

June 11: Glyndebourne opera house

'But be under no illusion! I'm knackered! I've worked out it takes me longer to get ready and organised to go than the time I actually last anywhere,' said Deborah (pictured)

 ‘But be under no illusion! I’m knackered!I’ve worked out it takes me longer to get ready and organised to go than the time I actually last anywhere,’ said Deborah (pictured)

Dame Deborah James vowed to 'still live whilst dying' after sharing comparison photographs while visiting Glyndebourne opera house with her husband Sebastien, pictured

Dame Deborah James vowed to ‘still live whilst dying’ after sharing comparison photographs while visiting Glyndebourne opera house with her husband Sebastien, pictured 

The campaigner also made most of the time she had left with her husband, and travelled to Glynderbourne opera house on June 11 for an evening of music. 

Deborah vowed to ‘still live whilst dying’ as she reflected on the evening on  Instagram. 

At the time, she shared snaps from her visit to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera alongside her husband, explaining she was ‘taking things one day at a time’, next to a picture of her at the event five years ago, when newly diagnosed.

Mother-of-two Deborah was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2016, and was told early on that it was likely she would not survive beyond five years — a milestone that passed in the autumn of 2021. 

She explained in her post that she was ‘trying to see a few of her favourites one last time’ as she received end of life care.

Deborah shared two stunning images of herself side by side on her stories, telling her followers that she had visited the opera house ‘five years ago to the week’.

She also shared photo campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms as she battled the disease herself, and in the process saved the lives of countless others who sought an early diagnosis. 

Cancer survivors from across the UK have thanked Dame Deborah for her selfless work, telling how they went to the GP after hearing her story during her regular TV appearances and episodes of her podcast You, Me and the Big C. 

‘Without her campaigning I wouldn’t have kept going back to me GP,’ survivor Teresa Whitfield said today.’She triggered something in me. And I’m now cancer free. She did save my life. I can only say thank you. Without her I don’t think I would be here today.’

BBC Radio 1 DJ Roberts, who this week announced she had been given the all-clear after receiving treatment for bowel cancer, was also helped by Dame Deborah’s efforts. 

Dame Deborah James was an inspiration to millions and saved many lives including Teresa Whitfield, right, who said that she is only alive today because of an appearance on TV

Dame Deborah James was an inspiration to millions and saved many lives including Teresa Whitfield, right, who said that she is only alive today because of an appearance on TV

Saving lives: Dame Deborah James campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms as she battled the disease herself, and in the process saved the lives of countless others who sought an early diagnosis.The cancer campaigner has died at the age of 40 

‘I truly believe what Deborah and others like her have done to get the message out — that bowel cancer can happen to anyone, at any age — was a huge factor in Adele’s symptoms being taken seriously and getting her seen for a colonoscopy as quickly as she was,’ her girlfriend Kate Holderness said. 

Dame Deborah’s death was announced on Instagram last night in a post that revealed that she was surrounded by her family after months of end of life care at her parents’ house in Surrey. 

In a poignant message to her 1million followers, it said that Dame Deborah’s final message to them was: ‘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’. 

The campaigner’s Bowelbabe fund surged past £6.8million in the hours after it was revealed the mother-of-two had passed away.

She is survived by her two children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, and her husband Sebastien.

Here, a look at just some of the lives Dame Deborah impacted… 

I THOUGHT ‘IF SHE CAN HAVE CANCER THEN SO CAN I’ 

Bowel cancer survivor Margaret Murtagh, 41, from London, told how listening to Dame Deborah James’ podcast saved her life after realising she was suffering from similar symptoms, which she had initially dismissed because she was a busy, active single mother-of-two. 

'If she can have cancer, so can I': Bowel cancer survivor Margaret Murtagh, 41, from London, told how listening to Dame Deborah James' podcast saved her life after realising she was suffering from similar symptoms, which she had initially dismissed

‘If she can have cancer, so can I’: Bowel cancer survivor Margaret Murtagh, 41, from London, told how listening to Dame Deborah James’ podcast saved her life after realising she was suffering from similar symptoms, which she had initially dismissed

Full of energy: Margaret told GB News how Deborah had been selfless and full of energy, even as she fought her own battle with the disease. Pictured, the women at a charity event

Full of energy: Margaret told GB News how Deborah had been selfless and full of energy, even as she fought her own battle with the disease.Pictured, the women at a charity event

Margaret Murtagh, 41 from London started experiencing a change in bowel habit and fatigue, she put it down to her diet and being a single mother-of-two. 

It was around the time of the death of BBC presenter Rachael Bland, Deborah’s podcast co-host, who lost her battle with breast cancer in September 2018. 

Margaret recalled how she kept seeing Deborah on TV and online as news outlets covered Rachael Bland’s death. 

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS femail" data-version="2" id="mol-47939860-f78c-11ec-98dd-9386dd102d5a" website campaigner Dame Deborah James spent her last days

Добавить комментарий