Podcaster Deborah James has raised over £4million for Cancer Research through her incredible, record-breaking Bowelbabe Fund initiative.
The 40-year-old author has raised more than 16 times her original £250,000 goal for Cancer Research UK, with more than 235,000 people donating so far.
The Bowlbabe fund is ‘raising money to fund clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer’, according to Deborah’s Just Giving Page.
The You, Me & The Big C presenter has been using her platform to speak out about her diagnosis and urge others to keep a lookout for symptoms of bowel cancer since she was diagnosed with the disease in 2016.
Deborah made the devastating announcement this week that she is receiving end-of-life care at her family’s home, telling friends and fans in an Instagram post that her ‘body is no longer playing ball’.
On Thursday, the mother-of-two was officially made a dame for her inspirational campaigning, with Downing Street saying the Queen was ‘pleased to approve the honour of damehood’ be bestowed upon her.
Deborah co-presented You, Me & The Big C with Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland in 2018. Rachael died in September that year at the age of 40, two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Rachael’s widower Steve, who joined the podcast following her death, appeared on BBC Breakfast to commend Deborah’s five-year campaign to raise awareness for bowel cancer which has saved people’s lives.
‘Everyone is focusing on the last five days, but actually Deb has been doing this for five years, ever since she was diagnosed with incurable cancer five years ago, and since then she has just been trying to help people,’ Steve said.
‘She has been banging the drum over and over and over and over – on bowel cancer symptoms, working hard to get drugs approved that she knew would help her but help loads of other people too.’
Confirming Deborah had reached the £4 million mark with her fundraising, he added: ‘While the last five days have been amazing – the £4 million is incredible – there are people all over the country walking around enjoying their children’s birthday parties because she has basically saved their lives.’
Simon added that Deborah had messaged him to say she would be watching the interview from her parents’ home in Woking, Surrey.
Meanwhile, Lauren told BBC Radio 5 Live that she was ‘beside herself’ with the news of Deborah’s damehood, and added that Deborah ‘looks like she is a dame anyway’.
‘She is fabulous and now she has got the official title. We are over the moon. I couldn’t be prouder of her. Unbelievable.’