“I can’t tell you what this means for my family”
INSPIRATIONAL Deborah James has been blown away after raising more than £5million for charity.
The Hero Sun columnist has raised more than 16 times her original target of £250,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Deborah, 40, started GoFundMe on Monday when she announced she was receiving end-of-life care.
In response to the milestone, Deborah wrote: “Words fail us. All of this is simply beyond anything we could have ever imagined.”
She wrote on Instagram: “The last 5 days have been surreal. Thank you for putting a huge smile on my face and helping us launch a legacy that will hopefully impact a lifetime of cutting-edge cancer care.
“Thanks to an incredibly generous donation earlier today and every single person who has donated to the @bowelbabefund, we’ve just reached the incredible sum of £5million.”
A-listers and royalty, touched by the mother-of-two’s story, have all donated – helping the page hit well over £5million tonight.
Prince William and Kate Middleton left an undisclosed amount after praising Deborah, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016.
In a personal tweet, the couple added: “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 about colorectal 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 amongst others.”
While Steve Bland, who co-hosts the podcast You, Me And The Big C alongside Deborah, also praised the colon cancer activist.
Appearing at the BBC Breakfast, he said: “It’s amazing but that’s what Deborah does. Deborah deals with the extraordinary. That’s what she’s been doing for five years.
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“Everybody focuses on the last five days but actually Deb has been doing this for five years since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer five years ago and since then she’s just been trying to help people.
“She’s been banging the drum over and over – about colon cancer symptoms, working hard to get medication approved that she knew would help her but would help a lot of other people too.
“While the last five days have been amazing – there are people across the country who are walking around enjoying their children’s birthday parties because she basically saved their lives.”
Determined, Deborah reached the £5million milestone on Friday night – a goal she hoped to reach by the end of the weekend.
She said: “It exceeded all expectations.”
Husband Seb said the outpouring of love, support and donations has been extremely uplifting and heartwarming to the family at “this extremely difficult time”.
He added: “It has brought a piercing ray of light and hope to this darkest of times.
“She has fought tirelessly, often in the face of adversity, and to be awarded a damehood is something she never dreamed of, but so truly deserves.”
It comes after Deborah was honored with a damehood for her “relentless campaigning.”
Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and No 10 pulled out all the stops to honor the mother-of-two, who has written for The Sun about her treatment and life since diagnosis.
Prince William is said to have been the driving force behind the honor.
He worked behind the scenes to make sure she got her ladyship.
The Sun also led calls for her recognition.
Deborah opened up about her shock at being made a lady, saying: “OMFG this is crazy.”
The brave former deputy chief added: “I don’t know what to say. I am overwhelmed and incredibly honored.
“I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means for my family, it’s so much to process.”
Deborah, known to fans as BowelBabe, has shared every step of her journey through her Sun column Things Cancer Made Me Say and podcast You Me and the Big C.
In her latest column for The Sun Online, she said: “My body just can’t go on anymore. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that my health for the last six months has been pretty hell.
“Unfortunately, I find myself in the place I never wanted to be – the next crossroads. My body is so emaciated that I have no choice but to surrender to the inevitable.”
But brave Deborah said she always wants to make good use of her platform, raising a whopping £2million in just 16 hours of launching her BowelBabe Fund.
She asked supporters to buy her a drink to “see me out of this world” by donating the cost of a gin and tonic to the fund.
The Sun columnist said it would raise money for more life-saving cancer research “to give more Deborahs more time.”
The money will be donated between Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden.
“I want to raise a bag of money to support the three charities that have supported me.
“My cancer didn’t define me, but it never went away. We knew it would get me in the end, I had to live with it,” she added.
- Deborah has been urging people to donate to her fundraiser at bowelbabe.org
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8789052/deborah-james-overwhelmed-fundraiser-success/ “I can’t tell you what this means for my family”