Thank you, Dame Deborah

27 Aug, 2022 | WYLDE Women

5 Minute Read

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Dame Deborah James

This courageous and inspirational woman didn’t just change the conversation around bowel cancer, a disease that claims 45 lives every day, she taught us to fill our lives.

WYLDE MOON loves to shine a light on women doing inspirational work in their field. If ever there was a Wylde Woman, who inspired us all to appreciate and celebrate every precious moment, it was the incredible Deborah James, otherwise known as Bowel Babe.

From the moment this loving mum of two, was diagnosed with the disease she talked openly about the importance of checking your poo, because she wanted to save lives. There are around 16,600 deaths in the UK from the disease every year, some because people are too embarrassed to talk about their symptoms. Not Deborah. She even went out dressed as a giant poo emoji to make her point, incredibly, still managing to look glamorous in the process.

Dame Deborah James

By sharing her challenging journey of hospital appointments and gruelling treatment on Instagram and the award-winning podcast, You, Me & the Big C, Deborah has made us all more health aware. This incredible one-off of a woman was someone we would all felt was our friend – loyal, kind and funny – who loved to dance, dress up and enjoyed a party.

Her children, Hugo,14 and Eloise,12, were her priorities throughout. She set herself the goal of being around for her 40th birthday and for when they had both started secondary school, which she miraculously achieved. Supported by husband Sebastien, whom she described as her rock, she was truly loved.

In one of her last social media posts she said:

I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just cant continue anymore.” 

Outpourings of support came from all over the world including Prince Williams visiting her at her mum’s home in Woking to award a Damehood.

In an interview for the Times she said: I could have died when my kids were seven and nine, [but] science and brilliant doctors and my rebellious hope has given me life which has enabled me to have holidays; and experience things that I never thought possible; and raise awareness of bowel cancer; and do a tiny bit of good.

I could have regretted working too hard as a teacher but I loved every second of it. I could have regretted putting my life on show and stripping off to my knickers for bowel cancer but I dont regret it, I met incredible people and felt I was making an impact.”

Dame Deborah with her Children

At the time this article went to press the Bowelbabe Fund, to promote cancer research had raised well over £7 million with donations still pouring. Deborah admitted the reaction from everyone had blown her mind.”

We think it is only right to say, thank you Deborah for blowing ours.

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