Deborah James said she felt ‘utterly loved’ in final video

·2 min read

Dame Deborah James thanked donors to her Bowelbabe Fund in a video recorded a month before her death.

The podcaster and campaigner died of stage 4 bowel cancer on 28 June, aged 40.

James said she felt “utterly loved” in the message featured on Dame Deborah James: The Last Dance, which was broadcast on BBC One on Thursday evening.

Donations to James’ Bowelbabe Fund surpassed £7m on Wednesday, with all proceeds going towards Cancer Research UK.

In the special, James said that the donations made her feel that the public were supporting her efforts to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

“I just cannot thank people enough for their generosity because it just means so much to me — it makes me feel utterly loved,” the campaigner said.

James was made a Dame in May for her fundraising efforts. Prince William visited her at her family home to award James her damehood.

Announcing her death on Tuesday, her family wrote on Instagram: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.

“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives.

“Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.”

They also thanked followers for giving them time in private as a family to grieve, and said they looked forward to continuing James’ legacy through the Bowelbabe Fund.

In her final parting message, James said: “Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”