BBC's 'Bowel Babe' Blown Away by Damehood

Deborah James awarded for charity efforts days after announcing she was in hospice care
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2022 7:16 AM CDT
Updated May 15, 2022 6:15 PM CDT

(Newser) Update: Deborah James' days are limited. But recent ones have been remarkable. The host of the BBC podcast "You, Me, and the Big C," now in hospice care with bowel cancer, was awarded damehood Thursday as her campaign to raise money for cancer research, started just four days earlier, topped $4.8 million, per the Independent. "I'm humbled and blown away that five years of talking about poo can lead to a damehood!" the 40-year-old writes on Instagram. It seems "like a [whirlwind] of surreal dreaming." While "I'm getting more and more sleepy and finding life a little harder … with this money hopefully more people will have more time with [their] loved ones," she adds. The BowelBabe Fund now stands at $5.3 million, per the Guardian. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

Just two years ago, Deborah James put up a cautiously celebratory post on Instagram about how cancer had "chosen the wrong girl," announcing to fans she was cancer-free after a three-year bout with bowel cancer. On Monday, however, the 40-year-old BBC radio host wrote "the message I never wanted to write": She's now in hospice care at home and is saying her goodbyes, reports People. "We have tried everything, but my body simply isn't playing ball," she wrote. "My active care has stopped. ... My body just can't continue anymore."

James, who the BBC notes was diagnosed in 2016, wrote that "nobody knows how long I've got left but I'm not able to walk, I'm sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams." The former high school teacher and mom of two, who's long shared her cancer journey with fans, posted that the goal right now is to keep her free from pain and able to enjoy her last moments of happiness with her loved ones.

"I know we have left no stone unturned," James wrote, encouraging fans to donate to her bowelbabe.org website, established to fund research and raise awareness for bowel cancer. "Right now for me it's all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise. My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I'll cry!!) at every possible moment!" James signed off on her post: "No regrets. Enjoy life x Deborah." (Read more hospice stories.)

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