Deborah James 'in disbelief' after bowel cancer fundraiser reaches £2m in two days

11 May 2022, 08:42 | Updated: 11 May 2022, 13:17

Cancer-stricken podcaster Deborah James raises £2m after tearful farewell post
Cancer-stricken podcaster Deborah James raises £2m after tearful farewell post. Picture: Instagram/bowelbabe

By Will Taylor

Cancer-stricken podcaster Deborah James said she is "in disbelief" after her fundraiser reached more than £2million in just two days.

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Ms James, who has revealed she is beginning hospice at home care for her terminal bowel cancer, reached the sum on her BowelBabe Fund after launching the fundraiser, smashing the initial target of £250,000.

The 40-year-old launched the donation page to raise money for Cancer UK to help fund research, clinical trials and support campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

The original target was £125,000 but tons of people flocked to donate and have raised more than £2.25million.

"I’m utterly in [disbelief] to wake up to see £2 million in the fund!" she wrote on Instagram.

"Thank you for your generous donations. Thank you for helping me build a future where we can [show] Cancer who is boss.

"We have brilliant, enthusiastic talent in this country- let’s support them to do the best job they can to give more people more time living."

Deborah has gone to her parents' home to spend her remaining time with her family because it is where she "always wanted to die".
Deborah has gone to her parents' home to spend her remaining time with her family because it is where she "always wanted to die". Picture: Instagram/bowelbabe

Ms James plugged the fundraiser in a heartbreaking Instagram post last night, saying it was "the message I never wanted to write" but that her body "simply isn't playing ball".

The popular host of the podcast You, Me and the Big C said even a "magic new breakthrough" will not be able to help her – but she has "no regrets".

Previously she said: "I'm just blown away, never thought we’d get to that number in 12 hours. It makes me emotional to see the outpouring of love."

Listen to You, Me and the Big C on Global Player

Ms James was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has become famous for her candid updates about her condition.

She wrote to her 400,000 Instagram followers: "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. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.

"In over 5 years of writing about how I thought it would be my final Christmas, how I wouldn't see my 40th birthday nor see my kids go to secondary school - I never envisaged writing the one where I would actually say goodbye.

"I think it’s been the rebellious hope in me.

"But I don’t think anyone can say the last 6 months has exactly been kind! It's all heartbreaking to be going through but I'm surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will."

She revealed she has gone to her parents' home to spend her remaining time with her family because it was "where I always wanted to die".

Read more: Cancer breakthrough as ‘mindblowing’ gene discovery brings hope of better treatment

Deborah James said she is "in disbelief" after her fundraiser reached more than £2million
Deborah James said she is "in disbelief" after her fundraiser reached more than £2million. Picture: Instagram/bowelbabe

She has encouraged people to donate to charities like Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

"Please buy me a drink to see me out this world, by donating the cost to @bowelbabefund which will enable us to raise funds for further life saving research into cancer. To give more Deborahs more time!

"Right now for me it's all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise. My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I'll cry!!) at every possible moment!

"You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey."

Read more: Oasis star Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs reveals tonsil cancer diagnosis

She added: "I do not want to die - I can't get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids' weddings or see them grow up - that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much.

"I am not brave - I am not dignified going towards my death - I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had."