Deborah James: tireless cancer activist honored with the dignity of a lady
Podcaster and cancer activist Deborah James was honored with a damehood just days after revealing she is now receiving end-of-life care.
The 40-year-old presenter of the BBC You, me and the Big C Podcast has raised more than £4million since Monday when she revealed in a post she had stopped treatment for colon cancer Instagram.
She told that BBC that she was “blown away and cried” at the ceremony. While ladies would “normally be announced as part of the New Year’s tributes or the Queen’s birthday honours”, they are awarded at other times of the year in “extraordinary circumstances”.
social media star
James, a mother of two and a former assistant principal, was diagnosed “late” with terminal colon cancer in December 2016, the said Daily Mail. She then began sharing her experiences with the disease on social media under the name “Bowel Babe” before becoming one of Radio 5 Live’s three presenters You, me and the Big C in 2018.
The hit show was the brainchild of her late co-host Rachael Bland, who died of terminal breast cancer at the age of 40 just six months after the show started.
James was praised for her “factual” approach to speaking about cancer on the show, added the BBC, who continued to host her alongside Lauren Mahon and Steve Bland, Rachael’s husband, after Bland’s death.
The show, which has starred a number of celebrities, has won praise for its “open discussion” about cancer and how it handles practical matters such as hair loss, finances and telling loved ones about the disease, the BBC said.
In conversation with The timesJames announced this week that she is receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ bungalow in Woking, where her husband and children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise, have joined her.
“I want to die and listen to my family, I just want to hear their banter and the normal buzz of life as I go,” she said.
The Queen cited the praise for James, saying she was “delighted” to approve the dameship. Boris Johnson described the award as “well deserved”.
“By her tireless campaign and by sharing her experiences so openly, she has not only helped in our fight against this terrible disease, but has also ensured that countless others have not felt alone with the Big C,” said the Prime Minister.
James started it Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK on Monday as she shared with her Instagram followers that she is receiving at-home hospice care.
She told her followers that it was “the message I never wanted to write,” but that even though I “tried everything… my body just wasn’t up to it.”
“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.”
A huge response meant James managed to raise “£1million in less than 24 hours”, he reported The guard. The fund, which will be used to fund clinical research into personalized medicine for cancer patients, has now raised more than £4.4 million.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/science-health/956742/who-is-deborah-james-cancer-campaigner-damehood Deborah James: tireless cancer activist honored with the dignity of a lady