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Wednesday, 29 June 2022 – Dame Deborah James, the podcaster who raised millions of pounds for charity while campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer, has died at the age of 40.
James, who was 40, left her career as a deputy headteacher and began blogging about her diagnosis under the name Bowel Babe in 2017.
She went on to become a Sun columnist and released a book, Fuck You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life and Still Be Yourself.
She was best known for sharing her six-year battle with terminal bowel cancer on the popular BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C.
James detailed her treatments, progress and diagnosis to her followers.
In a post on 10 May, she said she had never expected to reach her 40th birthday, or see her children go to secondary school.
She described how her health had deteriorated over the past six months and said she had been moved to hospice at home, where she was receiving end of life care.
After announcing that she was receiving end-of-life care, she launched a fundraiser for cancer research, the Bowelbabe Fund, which has so far raised more than £6m on her JustGiving page.
A few days after its launch she was made a dame, with Prince William going to her parents’ home to give her the award for her awareness-raising campaigns.
James’s second and final book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, topped the Amazon UK bestsellers list on pre-orders alone. It shot to the top of the charts within a day of James announcing it on Instagram.
She also released a clothing line whose proceeds go towards her Bowel Babe fund.
In a teary last appearance on You, Me and the Big C, entitled Deborah James’ Last Dance, she said her final farewell.
Her death was announced today by her family.
She is survived by her husband, two children, and her parents.