DEBORAH James says she is “in tears” as the BowelBabe Fund hits £1million within hours of launch.
The Sun columnist urged people to donate to the fundraiser – on bowelbabe.org – as she revealed she had been transferred to a hospice at home.
Deborah James, 40, who has advanced and incurable colon cancer, told The Sun: “I’m just blown away, I never thought we’d hit that number in 12 hours.
“It makes me emotional to see the outpouring of love x”
The fund had an initial target of £250,000 which was smashed within hours, reaching £600,000 in the morning.
Deborah wrote on her Instagram Stories: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that 12 hours later we would wake up to this total. I’m actually crying!”
The Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK is Deborah’s latest effort of many to support bowel cancer research and its partners.
“All funds raised will be allocated with the support of CRUK [Cancer Research UK] to fund causes and projects that are really close to my heart,” the website reads.
In a heartbreaking Instagram post last night, the mother-of-two said: “I always knew there was one thing I always wanted to do before I die.
“Over the years I’ve always raised so much awareness and money for the charities closest to me. @cr_uk @royalmarsden @bowelcanceruk
“As a result, the @bowelbabefund is formed and I would be happier for nothing than for you to help it thrive.
“Please visit bowelbabe.org for all information and to donate.
“I’m just asking if you’ve ever read a column, followed my Instagram, listened to the podcast, or seen me dressed up as poo for no reason.
“Please buy me a drink to see me out of this world by donating the cost to @bowelbabefund which helps us raise funds for more life-saving cancer research.
“To give Deborah more time!”
Deborah, who writes Things Cancer Made Me Say for The Sun, revealed she is now receiving hospice care because her “body just can’t keep going.”
Deborah has been living with stage four colon cancer since 2016 and has spent the past five years raising awareness of the hideous disease.
Even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world, or some magical new breakthrough, my body just can’t keep going
She wrote last night: “I never meant to write that message. We’ve tried everything, but my body just won’t cooperate.
“My active care has ended and I have now been placed in a home hospice with my incredible family around me and the focus is on making sure I am not in pain and spending time with them.
“Nobody knows how long I have left, but I can’t walk, I sleep most of the time and most of the things I took for granted are pipe dreams.
“I know that we have left no stone unturned.
“But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world, or some magical new breakthrough, my body just can’t go on anymore.
“In over five years of writing about how I thought it would be my last Christmas, how I wouldn’t see my 40th birthday and not see my kids go to high school – I never intended to write that in which I would actually say goodbye.
“I think it was the rebellious hope in me.”
Deborah has shared every step of her journey with cancer in her Things Cancer Made Me Say column, first opening up about her shock diagnosis despite living a healthy, fit lifestyle.
She has become a national treasure, with an army of loyal Instagram followers and listeners, and on her BBC podcast entitled You, Me and the Big C.
Piers Morgan tweeted: “You have been an extraordinarily brave inspiration to so many people Deborah. Thanks.”
While Lorraine Kelly blinked back tears as she praised her beloved friend for exceeding her fundraising goal.
Lorraine, 62, told viewers today: “I know she’s watching now and she wants to say ‘thank you’.”
Lorraine recently visited Deborah in the hospital and said she was really thin. “But she was Deborah. She made everyone laugh, I just thought, ‘She’s going to get back on her feet’.”
Susanna Reid also appeared on the verge of tears this morning as she championed Deborah’s accomplishments.
She said: “Absolutely amazing the impact she is making and we send you our love.”
She called Deborah “hugely inspirational and hugely influential.”
At 35, Deborah, a former assistant principal, was given only an 8 percent chance of surviving five years.
In 2022, after constant hospital stays, she was confronted with the severity of her illness in the summer of 2021.
Deborah was told she had a growing tumor around her bile duct that was leading to liver failure.
It is ultimately the cause of her medical emergency in January, when she nearly died from a hemorrhage that left her in intensive care for several days.
The “traumatic” experience in which Deborah said goodbye to her children – Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, who she shares with her husband Sebastien – didn’t snuff her light.
Deborah said in February she still had a “glimmer of hope” and “plowed on with a slim chance of further treatments for my terminal colon cancer.”
You can donate at bowelbabe.org.
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Our hearts go out to our Patron Deborah James and her family at this extremely difficult time.
“Deborah has been a constant source of inspiration, including to many people affected by the disease, and we are so grateful to her for remembering Bowel Cancer UK with her eternal legacy, the Bowelbabe Fund.
“Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with colon cancer in the UK and we will put every penny to work as hard as she always has to to save lives from the disease now and in the future.”
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8771283/deborah-james-bowelbabe-fund-hits-850k-hours/ Deborah James in tears as the BowelBabe fund hits a staggering £1MILLION just hours after farewell Instagram post