EMOTIONAL Deborah James has revealed she’s “getting weaker” but “running out of adrenaline” after meeting Prince William.
The Duke of Cambridge presented The Sun’s cancer activist with her damehood yesterday – just a day after the announcement.
In an “unprecedented” move, the Duke cleared his diary to pay his respects at a tea party at her parents’ home in Woking, Surrey.
And in an Instagram post today, Deborah told fans she had “the most surreal, mind-blowing, most humbling five days of my life.”
Alongside a photo from The Sun’s front page, she wrote: “I can’t quite believe I’m actually a lady!
“My family is amazing and as emotional as this all is, we find so much to smile about in the sadness.
“I might get weaker and more tired after releasing 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!”
Mother Deborah, 40, who provides end-of-life care, told The Sun yesterday Prince William is welcome to join her for tea and champagne after receiving the honor in a moving ceremony.
He was “extremely generous” with his time and is said to have deleted his diary when he received Deborah’s invitation.
The father-of-three spent time speaking with Deborah’s two children, Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, and offering advice and guidance.
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Wills, whose mother Princess Diana died when he was 15, told them he went through something similar.
Deborah’s family hosted a traditional afternoon tea of scones and bubbly – and said the “down to earth” Duke enjoyed a smoked salmon sarnie.
Reflecting on the “surreal” day, Dame Debs told The Sun: “The Duke was so charming and put everyone at ease straight away.
“He was incredibly engaging and generous with his time, I could have talked to him all afternoon.”
Normally, damehoods and knighthoods are only announced twice a year – either in the New Year Honors or the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
But due to Deborah’s circumstances, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and No10 pulled out all the stops for the honor to be presented.
Investiture ceremonies usually only take place in royal palaces and take months to complete.
But Debs became a lady the day after the announcement – a tribute to how her story and fundraising touched the hearts of the nation and the royal family.
Yesterday she and Wills talked for half an hour.
“HONOR TO HAVE HIM WITH US”
Dame Debs said: “We exchanged some really interesting ideas on how the BowelBabe Fund could continue to support the great work being done for Cancer Research UK and Royal Marsden.
“It was an honor to have him here and he is always welcome for tea and champagne.”
She added: “I got very emotional when I was presented with my honor. It’s a memory my family and I will cherish forever.”
Deborah decided to be with proud parents Heather and Alistair to save her children seeing their south London family home full of medical kits.
She explained: “That means the kids can go back there and not have those scars all over the place. Without those memories, it can continue to be her home.”
Wills also spoke to Heather and Alistair, Deborah’s husband Seb, brother Ben and sister Sarah, and their children.
He even posed for popular family photos. Dame Deborah added: “I could have stayed with him all afternoon.
“As President of The Royal Marsden, he is clearly passionate about the hospital and knew exactly how the BowelBabe Fund could make a meaningful impact.”
Sharing photos of herself with Wills online last night, she wrote: “Prince William actually came to our family home today!! I am deeply honored that he has joined us for afternoon tea and champagne.
“It’s quite surreal to have a royal visit home and yes, you can imagine the cleaning antics and prep got out of hand. But it was all irrelevant because William was so nice and put us all at ease.”
In December 2016, she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 35 and given an 8 percent chance of living five years.
But “riding on the wings of science,” as Deborah described it, she has defied the odds time and time again.
Last year she celebrated her 40th and five-year milestone.
However, last summer the drugs that had kept her alive — which didn’t exist for colon cancer patients when she was first diagnosed — stopped and stopped working.
Her liver began to fail.
Repeated surgeries led to four bouts of sepsis, and in January husband Seb rushed Deborah to the hospital, where medics saved her life after diagnosing severe internal bleeding.
On Monday, she shared a heartbreaking Instagram post, saying she is now receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home because the heroic efforts of her medical team at the Royal Marsden Hospital in south-west London have now been fruitless.
She said her body “just doesn’t play ball,” adding, “My body is so emaciated that I have no choice but to surrender to the inevitable.”
“Can’t go on”
In her latest column for The Sun, she said, “My body just can’t keep going.”
But in typical Deborah style, she was determined to give her campaign a final boost.
She set up the Bowelbabe Fund to raise money for Cancer Research UK, The Royal Marsden and Bowel Cancer UK.
And since then it has surpassed £5.7million.
The official confirmation of her damehood came at 10pm on Thursday, hours after The Sun launched a campaign for it.
Seb, her husband of 13, said, “It has brought a penetrating ray of light and hope to this darkest of times.”
“You will live on in all of us”
SUN readers have paid tribute to the ‘inspirational’ lady Deborah James after she stole the hearts of the nation with her brave account of her colon cancer.
Here are some of their messages.
Sharon Simmons: Not all superheroes wear capes, but you truly are my greatest hero. Thank you for all your fantastic work.”
Jackie Leverton: “You are such a kind, lovely, brave and inspiring young lady. You will live on in all of us.”
Jan Owen, who has colon cancer: “Your positive attitude and the way you always try to look good really makes me want to do the same. It really lifts the spirits of fellow sufferers.”
Debbie Aris: “Deborah, you are an inspirational woman who deserves this dameness more than anyone. If the world was full of Deborahs what a beautiful place it would be.”
Giselle Walsh: “As a mother, my heart aches for you. I woke up this morning and held my babies a little tighter, grateful to be able to.”
Janey King: “Deborah is an inspiration to all of us. She is a force to be reckoned with.”
Marie Leadsford: “You are such a brave woman, I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through.”
Teresa Griffin: “The path you’ve had to walk for the last five years. So, so painful but so inspiring, no bolder story.”
Kerry Cutts: “You and your family should be so proud of what you have accomplished. Greetings to all of you.”
A source told The Sun: “William and Katherine were very moved by Deborah’s story as they are both parents themselves and were blown away by their campaign.
“William moved heaven and earth to ensure she received the award she so deserved.”
The Cambridges previously tweeted: “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.
“Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and friends.
“Thank you for bringing hope to so many living with cancer.”
The Sun’s campaign to honor Debs with a damehood has been supported by leading charities and celebrities including football legend David Beckham, TalkTV’s Piers Morgan, heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, TV’s Lorraine Kelly and the winner of I’m A Celebrity , Giovanna Fletcher.
HONOR IS UNIQUE
By Arthur Edwards, Sun Royal Photographer
It is quite clear that William, like the rest of the country, was deeply moved by this lovely lady’s dire plight.
Because for starters, what he did yesterday was unique.
I’ve never seen the royal family react so quickly to do something like this.
It started with the queen quickly granting queenship – something that is also unprecedented.
The fact that the Duke of Cambridge then went out of his way to ensure that she received her beautiful medal and was officially made a dame by himself is so typical of him.
He takes investigative work incredibly seriously – and this one was no exception. And his kindness and compassion is amazing.
William will hardly have been warned of the visit and his guards will not have been able to carry out their usual thorough checks, but he did it anyway.
He will never stop surprising me. It’s just a great thing for him to do.
Well done William.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8795623/deborah-james-weaker-adrenaline-damehood/ ‘Emotional’ Deborah James says she’s ‘getting weaker’ but ‘running out of adrenaline’ after being recognized as a dame by Prince William