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Dame Deborah James looks stunning in charity collection as her Bowelbabe fund passes £6.5MILLION

Dame Deborah James has raised a huge £6.5million for her cancer fundraiser since announcing the start of her end-of-life care.

The 40-year-old BBC podcaster has been living with stage four bowel cancer since December 2016, but since her health took a turn in early May, she launched the Bowel Babe fund to continue her legacy.

In the three weeks since first sharing her fundraiser on JustGiving, she has smashed her target of £250,000 for Cancer Research UK to reach over £6,570,000 as of Saturday 28 May, with over 302,000 supporters chipping in.

She has launched a collection with InTheStyle this week, to raise money for the bowelbabe fund, which has hit more than £6.5 million since she announced she’s receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home in Woking.

The collection with InTheStyle is available to pre-order until 8am on Monday, with 100 per cent of the profits going to Bowel Babe for Cancer Research UK.

Dame Deborah James has raised a huge £6.5million for her cancer fundraiser since announcing the start of her end-of-life care

Deborah has been living with stage four bowel cancer since she was diagnosed in December 2016 and said designging the collection gave her something to focus on other than her illness. 

‘From now until I die, I’m wearing a different dress each day. Sounds slightly odd and morbid but I’m enjoying it so much,’ she said. 

In her photos with Prince William when he visited, she wore an InTheStyle number from her collection, ahead of announcing its launch. 

In a video announcing the news on her Instagram, Dame Deborah answered questions about the collection.

Revealing the process of designing her collection, she said that at the time, she was living a ‘hybrid’ life and working between home and the hospital.

But she said: ‘We made it, we got it done. I was enjoying it. It was kind of bringing me to life, it was giving me something else to think about.’

The 40-year-old BBC podcaster has been living with stage four bowel cancer since December 2016, but since her health took a turn in early May, she launched the Bowel Babe fund to continue her legacy

The 40-year-old BBC podcaster has been living with stage four bowel cancer since December 2016, but since her health took a turn in early May, she launched the Bowel Babe fund to continue her legacy

She has launched a collection with InTheStyle this week (pictured wearing one of the dresses in the range), to raise money for the bowelbabe fund, which has hit more than £6.5 million since she announced she's receiving end-of-life care at her parents' home in Woking

She has launched a collection with InTheStyle this week (pictured wearing one of the dresses in the range), to raise money for the bowelbabe fund, which has hit more than £6.5 million since she announced she’s receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home in Woking

On May 9, when the BowelBabe fund was first shared by Deborah, the 40-year-old wrote in an Instagram post: ‘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.

‘Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned.

In the three weeks since first sharing her fundraiser on JustGiving, she has smashed her target of £250,000 for Cancer Research UK to reach over £6,570,000 as of Saturday 28 May, with over 302,000 supporters chipping in

In the three weeks since first sharing her fundraiser on JustGiving, she has smashed her target of £250,000 for Cancer Research UK to reach over £6,570,000 as of Saturday 28 May, with over 302,000 supporters chipping in

‘But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.’

The former deputy head teacher turned cancer campaigner from London was once told she might not live beyond five years – a milestone that passed in the autumn of 2021.

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, and was admitted as an in-patient earlier this month. 

She is now receiving end of life care bowel cancer at her parents’ home in Woking and told The Sun she was ‘scared to fall asleep’ because she doesn’t know how long she has got left. 

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.’ 

At the Chelsea Flower Show this week, a rose was named after her, and last week, she released her book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, which topped Amazon charts after sharing it on her Instagram page, where she has over 888,000 followers.


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