Deborah James has said she’s ‘in disbelief’ after her cancer fundraiser reached – and quickly passed – £2million in just two days.
The broadcaster, 40, announced the devastating news that she is now receiving hospice care at home with her bowel cancer becoming terminal.
After Deborah – who’s also known as ‘Bowelbabe’ and for her popular podcast You, Me, and the Big C – announced the heartbreaking news, she launched a fundraiser for Cancer UK, which has soared past the £2million mark.
It’s astronomically higher than Deborah’s original target, which was £250,000, with more than 125,000 people donating.
‘I’m utterly in [disbelief] to wake up to see £2 million in the fund!’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘Thank you for your generous donations. Thank you for helping me build a future where we can [show] Cancer who is boss.
‘We have brilliant, enthusiastic talent in this country- let’s support them to do the best job they can to give more people more time living.’
The money from the fund will go to areas of research that Deborah is particularly passionate about, as she listed: ‘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’.
‘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 wrote.
‘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.’
On Monday, Deborah shared the news that her cancer treatment has stopped.
The broadcaster, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, shared an emotional Instagram post on Monday, writing as if it were to be her last.
In the lengthy message, Deborah explained that it was one she ‘never wanted to write’, and revealed how the focus was now on making her comfortable.
‘We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball,’ she began. ‘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.
‘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.’
The 40-year-old author continued: ‘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.’
The presenter explained that the last six months haven’t ‘exacty been kind’, and that while it is ‘heartbreaking’ news, she is ‘surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will’.
Deborah went on to list the charities that have helped her since her diagnosis, including Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Hospital. She is also setting up her own Bowelbabe Fund which she hopes will ‘flourish’ with donations, and ‘give more Deborah’s more time’.
The post concluded: ‘Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise. My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment!
‘You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets. Enjoy life x Deborah.’
Macmillan cancer support
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.
You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their webchat service, or visit their site for more information.
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