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Deborah James feels ‘humbled and blown away’ by damehood

Deborah James (Alamy/PA)
Deborah James (Alamy/PA)

Podcast host Deborah James said she is “honoured and shocked” that she was considered for a damehood.

The 40-year-old, known online as Bowel Babe, was honoured for her “tireless campaigning” to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

As of May 13, James had raised more than £5 million for Cancer Research UK via a Just Giving online fundraiser.

Having set her original target at £250,000, she has now raised more than 20 times her goal.

In a post on Instagram, James said the last few days had been a “whirlwind of surreal dreaming”, and that she “can’t fathom the kindness and generosity”.

She said: “I don’t even know where to start with the overwhelming tears getting in the way.

“I’m humbled and blown away that five years of talking about poo can lead to a damehood!

“I feel honoured and shocked that I even got considered.

“I can simply only give thanks for the wonderful people in the world and say the most heartfelt thank you for your unconditional support not just now but over the years.”

James reached the £5 million milestone on Friday after donations from more than 240,000 supporters, including high-profile figures such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Her Just Giving page said it is “raising money to fund clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer”.

James said she was “completely lost for words”, after reaching the phenomenal amount.

In an Instagram post, she wrote: “Thanks to an incredibly generous donation earlier today, and to every single person who’s donated to the @bowelbabefund, we’ve just reached the unbelievable total of £5m.

“We’re completely lost for words. This is all just beyond anything we could have ever imagined. The last 5 days have been surreal.

“Thank you for putting a huge smile on my face, and helping us to launch a legacy to hopefully impact a lifetime cutting edge cancer care.”

The presenter of popular BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, disclosed on Monday that she had moved to hospice-at-home care to treat her terminal bowel cancer.

In the social media post, she added: “As I’m getting more and more sleepy and finding life a little harder, I’ve had more time to think that I’ve never stopped to realise the impact that our podcasting, and talking, and campaigning has had over five years.

“Small chats really can save lives, small conversations can create ripples far beyond where we might see them, and seeds might grow where we’re never see their fruits.

“And there is something exciting and beautiful in that cycle of life. With this money hopefully more people will have more time with their loved ones.

“Who knows what plants we might grow, but when done with hope, we pray that some blossom into game-changers for our kids, and many more to come.