Cancer charities are among those paying tribute to podcaster and campaigner Dame Deborah James, who has died following weeks of end-of-life care after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
After announcing a fundraising appeal last month, while receiving the care towards the end of her life, she raised £4.2m in just days.
James, who was made a Dame in May, is better known as Bowelbabe on social media and podcasts.
The fundraising appeal tally for Cancer Research UK (CRUK), to raise awareness of the disease and fund research, was £6.8m as of this morning, after the news of her death was posted by her family on Instagram and her JustGiving pages last night.
This has been raised by more than 300,000 supporters.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family,” said the family’s statement.
“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives.
“Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.
“We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund.”
The statement adds: “Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible. And a few final things from Deborah…’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’.”
We’re deeply saddened that our patron, @bowelbabe, has died, and our hearts go out to her family and everyone who knew and loved her. Deborah’s star shone bright; she was a true inspiration to so many. pic.twitter.com/Hf2aDATftZ— Bowel Cancer UK (@bowelcanceruk) June 28, 2022
James was a patron of the charity Bowel Cancer UK, which said that “we’re deeply saddened” by her death.
“Our hearts go out to her family and everyone who knew and loved her. Deborah’s star shone bright; she was a true inspiration to so many.”
CRUK said the news of James’ passing “is such incredibly sad news”.
“Dame Deborah James brought her rebellious hope to everything she did, we will all miss her deeply,” said the charity.
“Our thoughts are with her family, friends and all those whose lives she touched.”