Our patron, Dame Deborah James (bowelbabe), has died from bowel cancer aged 40
Tuesday 28 June 2022
Our patron, Dame Deborah James (bowelbabe), has died from bowel cancer aged 40.
Everyone at Bowel Cancer UK is deeply saddened that our patron Dame Deborah James has died. Our hearts go out to Deborah's family and her friends, including the many she made in the bowel cancer community and beyond.
Deborah was a formidable supporter of the charity who did so much to raise awareness of bowel cancer and make a difference to people affected by the disease. We were absolutely delighted when she became a patron during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April 2021, after offering her support over the years since she was told she had bowel cancer.
Deborah received her bowel cancer diagnosis in 2016 when she was only 35 years old, and soon began writing her bowelbabe blog. Her candour and honesty in talking about her bowel cancer journey reached millions of people through social media, TV, radio, her book 'F*** you cancer', her weekly column on The Sun online, and the BBC podcast 'You, Me & the Big C'. She has, without doubt, saved lives because of her openness and honesty about her own diagnosis and experiences, which has forever changed the way people talk about bowel cancer.
She played a huge part in our Never Too Young campaign, working with us on issues affecting younger patients diagnosed with the disease, and raised tens of thousands of pounds for our charity, for which we will be forever grateful. One of Deborah's final acts of selflessness was to launch her Bowelbabe Fund, which has raised millions of pounds for charities close to her heart including Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
We're truly grateful to have known Deborah and to call her our friend. She was a powerful patron for Bowel Cancer UK, and we will miss her dreadfully. We're determined to ensure her lasting legacy by continuing to raise awareness of bowel cancer and its symptoms, pushing for earlier diagnosis of the disease, and ultimately, saving lives.
Photo credit: Sophie Mayanne - @sophiemayanne