Podcast host Deborah James has praised the Duke of Cambridge for “doing everything possible to create a very special memory” after making her a lady in their family home.
The 40-year-old, known online as Bowel Babe, was honored for her “tireless campaign” to raise awareness of colon cancer.
Posting pictures of William with herself and her family to Instagram, Dame Deborah said the visit gave her family “so much reason to smile in the sadness”.
In a post on Instagram, she said: “I think I’ve had perhaps the most surreal, amazing and humbling five days of my life.
“I cannot thank you for your generosity in launching the @bowelbabefund, which now stands at £5.7million, and the @dukeandduchessofcambridge for doing everything possible to make a very special memory happen yesterday. Can’t quite believe I’m actually a lady!
“My family is amazing and as emotional as it all is, we find so much to smile about in the sadness.
“I may only get weaker and more tired after unloading pure adrenaline, but on my word, I’ve always said that when my time is up I want to slide sideways in, with a big smile, no regrets and a tall glass of champagne! Still my intention!!!”
Dame Deborah has raised more than £5.7million for Cancer Research UK through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving.
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After setting her original goal of £250,000, she has now increased her goal by more than 22 times.
Dame Deborah reached the £5million milestone on Friday after donations from more than 240,000 supporters including William and his wife Kate.
According to their Just Giving page, the aim is to “raise money to fund clinical trials and research into personalized medicine for cancer patients and to support campaigns to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.”
She said she was “completely speechless” after reaching the phenomenal crowd.
TV presenter Lorraine Kelly responded to the message, saying: “This is just wonderful – tears and laughter – love you @bowelbabe.”
The host of the popular BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C announced on Monday that she had moved into a home hospice to be treated for her colon cancer.
She wrote on Instagram: “No one 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 keep going.”
Dame Deborah, a former headmistress, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and has kept her more than 500,000 Instagram followers updated on her treatments.
On Thursday night, Number 10 confirmed James was to be made a Dame, saying: “The Queen has pleased to agree that Deborah James will be made a Dame.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “If ever an honor was well deserved, this is it.
Every once in a while someone wins the heart of the nation with their zest for life and their stubborn desire to give back to society. @bowelbabe is one of those special people. Her tireless efforts to raise awareness of colon cancer and end the stigma of treatment are inspirational. (1/2)
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 11, 2022
“Deborah was an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage were a source of strength to so many people.
“Through her tireless campaigning and by openly sharing her experiences, she has not only aided in our fight against this horrible disease, but has also made sure that countless others are not alone with the Big C.
“I hope this recognition of Her Majesty – which is sure to be supported across the country – will bring some comfort to Deborah and her family at this difficult time.
“My thoughts are with them and Deborah should know that she has the love and gratitude of the country.”
Thanks to an incredibly generous donation earlier today and to every single person who donated to the @BowelbabeF, we have just reached the incredible £5 million. We are completely at a loss for words. It’s all beyond anything we could have ever imagined. @CR_DE pic.twitter.com/zEgQbUna0O
— Deborah James (@bowelbabe) May 13, 2022
Damehoods are usually bestowed by members of the royal family, including William, at investiture ceremonies held at royal palaces such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
In a personal tweet written by William and Kate this week, they said: “Every once in a while someone wins the heart of the nation with their zest for life and their stubborn desire to give back to society.
“@bowelbabe is one of those special people. Her tireless efforts to raise awareness of colon cancer and end the stigma of treatment are inspirational.
“We are so sad to hear your recent update but are delighted to support @bowelbabef which will benefit the @royalmarsdenNHS, among others.
“Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and friends. Thank you for bringing hope to so many cancer patients. TOILET.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/deborah-james-hails-special-memory-as-william-makes-her-a-dame-41649462.html Deborah James praises ‘special memories’ as William makes her a lady