UK Podcaster Deborah James Dies at 40

Mom of 2 announced last month she was in hospice care for bowel cancer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2022 7:49 AM CDT
She Became a Dame for 'Talking About Poo'
Deborah James, left, and Steve Bland pose for a photo at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on March 12, 2019.   (Ian West/PA via AP, File)

(Newser) – Last month, podcaster Deborah James delivered some surprise news to fans, announcing her bowel cancer had returned after a bout of remission and that she was in hospice care at home. Now, a sad update out of the UK: James has died of her illness at the age of 40, reports the BBC. "The most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family," read a Tuesday post on James' official @bowelbabe Instagram page.

The former high school teacher and mom of two—who'd recently achieved damehood for, as she put it, "talking about poo" and raising millions of dollars for cancer research—was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016. Four years later, it appeared she was cancer-free, but then came the May announcement that the disease had returned. Tributes are now pouring in online for James, including from Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, reports the Independent. "We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah," the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wrote on tweeted. "Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on."

The farewell post on her Instagram page also had some final words from James that she'd given her family permission to share: "Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo—it could just save your life." James leaves behind her parents; a brother and sister; her husband of 14 years, Sebastian Bowen; and their two children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise, reports the New York Times. (Read more bowel cancer stories.)

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