HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessDame Deborah James’ mother shares tribute to daughter on 41st birthday

Dame Deborah James’ mother shares tribute to daughter on 41st birthday


The mother of Dame Deborah James has shared a touching tribute to her daughter on what would have been the cancer campaigner’s 41st birthday – and the first since her death earlier this year.

James – known on Instagram as BowelBabe – died aged 40 in June, six years after she was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer.

Her mother, Heather – who goes by the name BowelGran on social media – shared a post to celebrate her daughter’s life this morning.

“Happy birthday to our darling daughter,” she wrote. “How we wish you were still with us but so proud of all you achieved and the legacy that you have left.

“You will forever live in our hearts.”

She added: “We miss you every single moment of every day.”

The post has amassed tens of thousands of likes and thousands of comments wishing James a “Heavenly Birthday”.

James spent her final months receiving end-of-life at-home care after her body had stopped responding to treatment. In that time, she started the BowelBabe Fund to raise money for cancer research. Donations to the fund have since surpassed £7.4m.

Last month (18 August), her posthumous book which she wrote during the last two years of her life, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, was released.

In an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine to promote the book in August, her mother said James struggled to come to terms with the loss of her independence after she became unable to carry out everyday tasks.

Opening up about her grief, Heather said she is finding it more difficult as time passes.

She said: “We knew she’d come home to die, but you still had that bit of hope, ‘Did they get it wrong?’

“She lived longer than the first time we were given. I actually find it harder now since the weeks go on because it’s been longer since I’ve spoken to her and, like this, she should be here doing this.”

“She was such a positive person, full of energy, right up to the last breath she took,” Heather told ITV.

“She wanted life and loved life so much and she wanted everyone else to experience the positivity of life – what a great way to lead your life, and if we could all just take a little bit of that hope and positivity and mindset – that is hopefully what the book will help you achieve.”

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