Dame Deborah James said she felt 'utterly loved' in video filmed before her death

·2 min read

Watch: Deborah James says she felt 'utterly loved' in video filmed during final days

Dame Deborah James said she felt "utterly loved" in a video that was filmed in the final days of her life.

The cancer campaigner - who was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer in 2016 – passed away peacefully on 28 June, surrounded by her loved ones.

It came a few weeks after Dame Deborah, who was 40, told fans on Instagram that she had moved to hospice care as her body was no longer "playing ball".

Read more: What is bowel cancer? Signs and symptoms to be aware of

A special tribute programme entitled Dame Deborah James: The Last Dance aired on the BBC on Thursday night, and saw Dame Deborah talking about her charity fund, which has now passed the £7 million mark.

Dame Deborah James died from bowel cancer aged 40. (Getty Images)
Dame Deborah James died from bowel cancer aged 40. (Getty Images)

"Before I died the one thing I knew I wanted to do was set up a fund that could continue working on some of the things that gave me life," she said.

"I just cannot thank people enough for their generosity because it just means so much to me.

"It makes me feel utterly loved.

"But it makes me feel like we are all kind of in it at the end together and we all want to make a difference and say you know what, 'Screw you cancer, we are going to do better, we are going to do better for people, and we just need to show it who is boss'."

Dame Deborah rose to fame as one of the hosts of the You, Me & The Big C podcast.

L-R: Rachael Bland, Lauren Mahon, Deborah James, presenters of <i>You, Me &amp; the Big C</i>. (BBC/Claire Wood)
Dame Deborah James hosted her podcast with Rachael Bland and Lauren Mahon. (BBC/Claire Wood)

She presented the show with Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland, who died in 2018 at the age of 40 after battling breast cancer.

Read more: Deborah James says husband is her 'rock'

The mum-of-two set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, which will support Cancer Research UK, The Institute of Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden hospital and promoting cancer awareness among younger people.