Dame Deborah James urges supporters to buy her Rebellious Hope t-shirts


Dame Deborah James urges supporters to snap up more of her Rebellious Hope t-shirts as she aims to boost her Bowelbabe Fund by another £1 million

  • Dame Deborah James, 40, from London, has said thank you to her supporters 
  • Loves the photos being sent of people wearing her Rebellious Hope t-shirts
  • She is currently receiving hospice care at her parents’ home in Woking 
  • Revealed last month she’s no longer receiving active treatment for bowel cancer

Dame Deborah James has thanked her supporters for all the photographs of people wearing her ‘Rebellious Hope’ t-shirts, as she campaigns to reach her fundraising goal.

The former deputy head teacher turned cancer campaigner, 40, from London, is currently receiving hospice care at her parents’ home in Woking, after revealing last month that she’s no longer receiving active treatment for bowel cancer. 

Taking to Instagram yesterday, she posted a photo of herself with her daughter Eloise, both wearing the t-shirts from her fashion collaboration with InTheStyle to raise additional money for her BowelBabe fund.

Her campaign to raise money for Cancer Research UK has already hit more than £6.7 million, but she wants to add £1 million through t-shirt sales alone.  

She said: ‘Am loving your Rebellious Hope t-shirt pictures! We are sooooooo close to raising £1million! Remember you can still get yours – pink, black and white! Thank you to the thousands of you who have done so already!

Taking to Instagram yesterday, she posted a photo of herself with her daughter Eloise, both wearing the t-shirts

Taking to Instagram yesterday, she posted a photo of herself with her daughter Eloise, both wearing the t-shirts

Deborah has seen unwavering support for her fundraising during these last few weeks but is now striving to reach the £1 million goal from the sale of the t-shirts

Deborah has seen unwavering support for her fundraising during these last few weeks but is now striving to reach the £1 million goal from the sale of the t-shirts

‘Anyone interested in a ‘men’s’ or whoever wants to wear it! version – navy and white – very limited edition. Last colour offering I promise! Just want to get to £1 million!’

Deborah has seen unwavering support for her fundraising during these last few weeks. Even though her fund has reached £6.7million through direct donations she hopes to reach a further £1million through T-shirt sales alone.  

The top, created with fashion brand In The Style, has even been sported by royalty, The Countess of Wessex was photographed wearing one while in Gibraltar.

Later on, the campaigner posted a video of her brother Benjamin making them a Bloody Mary cocktail out in the garden. She said: ‘Sundowner vibes with the bro. 

The campaigner posted a video of her brother Benjamin making them a Bloody Mary cocktail out in the garden. She said: 'Sundowner vibes with the bro.

The campaigner posted a video of her brother Benjamin making them a Bloody Mary cocktail out in the garden. She said: ‘Sundowner vibes with the bro.

Like many others, Deborah posted that she loved the pickle in the popular cocktail saying it's 'like salad in a cocktail!'

Like many others, Deborah posted that she loved the pickle in the popular cocktail saying it’s ‘like salad in a cocktail!’

‘It’s the pickle juice that does it for me! Feels like salad in a cocktail! 

Dame Deborah James has vowed to ‘live whilst dying’ after sharing snaps from her visit to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera alongside her husband Sebastien.

She explained she’s ‘taking things one day at a time’, next to a picture of her at the event five years ago, when newly diagnosed.

Opera-lover Deborah and Sebastien got dressed up in all their finery to La bohème at the venue in East Sussex, last week.

Dame Deborah James has vowed to 'still live whilst dying' after sharing comparison photographs while visiting Glyndebourne opera house with her husband Sebastien last night, pictured

Dame Deborah James has vowed to ‘still live whilst dying’ after sharing comparison photographs while visiting Glyndebourne opera house with her husband Sebastien last night, pictured 

As she shared side-by-side pictures of her in 2017 and her now, Dame Deborah reflected on how she was 'trying to make the most of not knowing what lay ahead' five years ago

As she shared side-by-side pictures of her in 2017 and her now, Dame Deborah reflected on how she was ‘trying to make the most of not knowing what lay ahead’ five years ago 

The mother-of-two said she remembered visiting Glyndebourne Festival Opera five years ago, shortly after she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer

The mother-of-two said she remembered visiting Glyndebourne Festival Opera five years ago, shortly after she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer 

Deborah was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2016, and was told early on that it was likely she would not survive beyond five years – a milestone that passed in the autumn of 2021. 

She explained in her post this weekend that she was ‘trying to see a few of her favourites one last time’ as she receives end of life care.

Deborah shared two stunning images of herself side by side on her stories, telling her followers that she had visited the opera house ‘five years ago to the week’.

She also shared photographs showcasing her stylish metallic ensemble, and posed up a storm with her husband. 

The mother-of-two wrote on Instagram: ‘Another day, brings another excuse to spend half of it exhausting myself getting dressed up to go to one of my favourite places!!!! 

Deborah shared a throwback picture of Sebastian and her attending the opera house back in 2017

Deborah shared a throwback picture of Sebastian and her attending the opera house back in 2017 

'But be under no illusion! I’m knackered! I’ve worked out it takes me longer to get ready and organised to go than the time I actually last anywhere,' said Deborah (pictured)

 ‘But be under no illusion! I’m knackered! I’ve worked out it takes me longer to get ready and organised to go than the time I actually last anywhere,’ said Deborah (pictured)

‘@glyndebourne to watch #laboheme – But totally worth it. Thank you @glyndebourne for being so lovely and welcoming tonight – doing all this in a wheelchair is certainly a new challenge to learn!

‘I can’t believe I was last here 5 years ago this week – scared, newly diagnosed, just trying to do the same as I’m doing now – taking things one day at a time!!

‘Anyone that’s followed me for years knows that the British season is my favourite time of the year hence why all my @inthestyle dresses are named after events!! So I figured my aim is just try to fit in a few whilst I’m still kicking around and am able to!

‘But be under no illusion! I’m knackered! I’ve worked out it takes me longer to get ready and organised to go than the time I actually last anywhere!! 

‘Getting dressed is tiring, getting meds organised is tiring, the extra moving, the travel, the wondering what mood your stomach is in – its all real! 

Dame Deborah James took to Instagram to tell fans she is 'trying to find the diamond moments in the rough' on Friday

Dame Deborah James took to Instagram to tell fans she is ‘trying to find the diamond moments in the rough’ on Friday

‘But then the feeling of making it to something you didn’t think possible, having put make up on, donning new shoes (that finally arrived in the right size for massively swollen feet!), with the sunshine smiling – well then it’s all worth it! It’s a kind of cheeky “still living whilst dying” two fingers up to it all!!’

On Friday, she shared a picture showing her having lunch at the £700-a-night Beaverbrook estate in Leatherhead, Surrey and ‘enjoying the sunshine on her face’.

Deborah hits back at critics after saying she ‘wouldn’t die over the Jubilee’ because she ‘didn’t want Meghan to steal her thunder’ 

Last Saturday, Dame Deborah wrote in The Sun that she was ‘determined not to die over the Jubilee weekend’, adding: ‘I don’t want Meghan stealing my thunder.’

However on Sunday she was forced to hit back at critics over the comment, posting on Twitter : ‘Meghan comment is a joke, apparently you can still find a send off fun in your day!’

She also added: ‘The rest is not. Is dying the last taboo of them all? 

‘I thought poo talk was hard, but navigating end-of-life care makes checking your poo easy by comparison of DNR chat and respect documents!’

 

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Posting the image on Instagram, Deborah captioned it: ‘Happy Friday! Feeling grateful to be able to enjoy another moment of sunshine on my face, and food that makes me smile! 

‘Just trying to find the diamond moments in the rough – but when you look hard enough you realise they can still be there! Thanks as always for your amazing messages and love. Have a good one.’

Dame Deborah is now receiving end of life care at her parents’ home in Woking and has raised over £6.5million in the weeks since she announced the news after launching her Bowelbabe Fund.

At the start of the year, the mother-of-two, who shares her children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, with her husband Sebastien, announced she had ‘nearly died’ in hospital, calling it the ‘hardest’ part of her 5-year cancer battle – before breaking the heartbreaking news that there was no more treatment she could have. 

Deborah shared an Instagram post earlier this spring revealing, saying: ‘The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.

‘My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.’

She is receiving the hospice care at her parents’ home in Woking, to spare her children the difficult memories of her spending her final days at the family home in London.

The news comes after she told The Sun that she was ‘scared to fall asleep’ because she does not know how long she has got left.

Deborah is now receiving end of life care bowel cancer at her parents' home in Woking and has raised over £6 million in the weeks since she announced the news

Deborah is now receiving end of life care bowel cancer at her parents’ home in Woking and has raised over £6 million in the weeks since she announced the news

Struggles: Deborah James (pictured with husband Sebastien) has shared her anger amid her incurable bowel cancer battle and admitted she finds the pressure to 'make memories' hard

Struggles: Deborah James (pictured with husband Sebastien) has shared her anger amid her incurable bowel cancer battle and admitted she finds the pressure to ‘make memories’ hard

She added she had felt a ‘deep love’ from her family, saying: ‘I think my family are knackered, they have all been incredible – going above and beyond to look after me and nurse me.’

Symptoms of bowel cancer 

– Change in bowel habits with diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying

– Thin or loose bowel movements

– Blood or mucous in stools

– Abdominal pain, bloating and cramping

– Anal or rectal pain

– Lump in the anus or rectum

– Unexplained weight loss

– Fatigue

– Unexplained anaemia

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And speaking of her end of life care recently she said: ‘I feel very strongly that I don’t want my kids to see me agitated and distressed. I want to make sure they see me when I’m having a good days.’

Saying the ‘pressure’ on her young children was ‘huge’, she continued: ‘I want them to have nice memories.

‘I don’t want them to take on the burden of having to care for me, massage my legs because I can’t walk. That would break my heart.’

In recent weeks, she has won praise from Prince William who called her ‘brilliant, brave and inspirational’ as he met some of the staff who treated her. 

Speaking at the Royal Marsden to patient Lorraine Kimber, 59, from Essex, who is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer and knows Mrs James well, the prince described his meeting with her. 

‘She was incredible, incredible. She was surrounded by her family, we had a lovely afternoon,’ he said.

‘You know she’s had over 100 tumours. Which is unbelievable. I couldn’t believe that. The resilience you have to have to keep going back again, it’s got to be very draining on you.’

William said: ‘She was joking…because they are a very tight family, very close, you could see that….she was joking that at last she could now drink.

‘She said it was brilliant. She was ‘triple parked’ and kept on joking about how many drinks she could get lined up in front of her.

‘She’s realising that being at home is just where she wants to be right now, surrounded by all her loved ones.’ He added: ‘ I love Deborah, she’s fantastic. Her legacy is massive.’  

Illness: She is receiving hospice care at her parents' home in Woking, to spare her children the difficult memories of her spending her final days at the family home in London

Illness: She is receiving hospice care at her parents’ home in Woking, to spare her children the difficult memories of her spending her final days at the family home in London 

HOW DEPUTY HEAD TURNED SOCIAL MEDIA STAR HAS TRANSFORMED BOWEL CANCER AWARENESS  

In December 2016, the West London mother-of-two, a deputy head, was diagnosed ‘late’ with incurable bowel cancer

After sharing her experiences on living with the disease on social media, Deborah became known as the ‘Bowel Babe’

In 2018, she became one of three presenters on Radio 5 Live’s You, Me and the Big C, which was conceived by her late co-host Rachael Bland

The campaigner has been praised for her honest portrayal of living - and dying - with cancer via her Instagram page @bowelbabe

The campaigner has been praised for her honest portrayal of living – and dying – with cancer via her Instagram page @bowelbabe 

On September 5th 2018, Welsh journalist and presenter Bland, diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, died at the age of 40

Deborah and her co-host Lauren Mahon continue to present the show, with Steve Bland, Rachael’s husband, joining the duo

On social media and in her column for the Sun newspaper, Deborah has documented the many chemo, radiotherapy sessions and surgery she’s had since

During her treatment, Deborah told followers on Instagram ‘By my general lack of being on here (dancing!), that Things have moved (in the wrong direction) very quickly cancer wise.’

In 2019, she had a procedure known as CyberKnife, a highly targeted form of radiotherapy to attack an inoperable lymph node close to her liver

The pandemic’s impact on cancer services saw her campaign for care to continue as normal and, earlier this year, she launched the ITV’s Lorraine’s ‘No Butts’ campaign, raising awareness on bowel cancer symptoms

Since last year, she has been taking new experimental drugs as part of a trial after her oncology team gave her the green light to do so

August, Deborah revealed that scans she’s had in recent days have revealed her cancer has gone in the ‘wrong direction very quickly’

She told followers she would be taking a break on social media over the weekend to ‘snuggle’ with her family ahead of more scans

The mother-of-two said a new ‘rapidly-growing’ tumour near her liver had wrapped itself around her bowel

On October 1, Deborah celebrates her 40th birthday

By October 18, the mother-of-two told her followers her chemotherapy is working

Days later, she was rushed to A&E with ‘spiking 40 degree temperatures’

In November, she reveals she is unable to walk for more than 20 minutes and remains ‘very weak’

By December, Deborah said she was ‘not sure what her options were’ after her liver stent ‘stopped working’

In January, she had five operations in 10 days after nearly dying in an acute medical emergency

January 25, Deborah returns home from hospital after three weeks

March 14, the mother-of-two is back in hospital as an in-patient after suffering from septic infection

In April, she concerned fans with snaps after suffering ‘a rough few days’

April 14, the mother-of-two tells fans she has been discharged from hospital but calls the situation ‘very tough’

April 27, she tells Lorraine that she has spent ’80 per cent’ of the year in hospital

May 9 – Deborah announces she has moved to hospice care

 

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