Deborah James ’heartbroken family said they were“ incredibly proud ”of her, paying an emotional tribute to the memory after her death.
Inspirational Sun columnist today died of bowel cancer at the age of 40 surrounded by her loved ones.
Deborah’s mother of two, known as BowelBabe for her legions of Instagram fans, has been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer a few days before Christmas in 2016, at the age of 35.
Her devastated family confirmed her death tonight in a touching Instagram post next to a photo and video of the campaign participant.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Lady Deborah James, the strangest wife, daughter, sister, mother. Deborah passed away today surrounded by her family.
“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, has been an inspiration, and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charity, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness about the cancer that has affected so many lives.
Deborah shared her experiences with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation about cancer.
“Even in her most difficult moments, her determination to raise money and awareness inspired her.
“We thank you for giving us time privately as a family and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through @bowelbabefund.
“Thank you for participating in her journey, you are all incredible.”
Courageous Deborah wrote the latest message for her followers, which her family shared at the end of her statement.
It read, “And a few last things from Deborah …” find a life worth enjoying; take a risk; love strongly; do not regret it; and always, always be a rebellious hope.
“Finally, check your feces – it can save your life.” x “
Even though she was told she had an eight percent chance of living for five years, Deborah challenged the odds against her.
After celebrating her 40th birthday in October last year, a birthday she never thought would last, the brave activist celebrated her five-year mark a few months later.
Deborah shared every step of her way with Sun readers in his column What Cancer made me say and her army of loyal followers on social media.
She then presented the award-winning BBC podcast You, me and Big C with other cancer patients Rachel Blandwho passed away in September 2018, Lauren Mahon and husband Rachel Steve.
In the five and a half years since being diagnosed, Deborah has changed the conversation about bowel cancer, raising awareness and breaking taboos.
She knocked incessantly F *** Cancer drum – wrote a book of the same name – and vowed to do everything possible to help others avoid her fate.
Her inspiration was the fierce love she had for her children, Eliza, 12, and Hugo, 14.
She dreamed of a future in which they would not be afraid of cancer, where medicines would be readily available and the disease would no longer be a killer.