Deborah James' parents say daughter would have been ‘proud’ of Princess Kate’s bravery in cancer battle

25 March 2024, 06:09 | Updated: 25 March 2024, 06:12

Deborah James would have been 'proud' of Princess Kate, her parents have said.
Deborah James would have been 'proud' of Princess Kate, her parents have said. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The parents of Dame Deborah James have praised the Princess of Wales for her ‘bravery’ after revealing her cancer battle.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Kate spoke publicly on Friday about the "huge shock" of finding out she had cancer following abdominal surgery in January earlier this year.

She said her family had experienced an "incredibly tough couple of months" in a video released to the public and explained she was now undergoing preventive chemotherapy.

Now Heather, 66, and Alistair James, 68, the parents of journalist Deborah James who died from bowel cancer in 2022 have praised Princess Kate for her courage.

The pair said they believe Deborah would be “proud” of Kate’s bravery and that the announcement will encourage more people to seek out check-ups at the doctors.

They told The Sun: “In being so open and honest, Kate will undoubtedly encourage many more people who are living with potential symptoms of cancer, to seek medical help. In doing so, she will save lives.”

Read more: Kate recorded video after seeing 'warmth and affection' displayed by public following King's cancer announcement

Read more: Kate 'wrote every word' of speech revealing cancer diagnosis and 'timed the announcement for her children'

Prince William presented the damehood to Deborah in 2022.
Prince William presented the damehood to Deborah in 2022. Picture: Alamy

Dame Deborah, who came to be known as Bowelbabe, battled the disease for five and a half years before her death.

She spent years campaigning and fundraising before going on to receive a damehood from Prince William for services to charity and cancer awareness a month before her death in May 2022.

“We know if Deborah were here to send Kate a message, she would tell the Princess of Wales to hold on to rebellious hope,” they added.

“Deborah was a firm believer in the power of hope, and given how many times she beat the odds to survive, rebellious hope became her mantra.”

Deborah was 35 when she received a diagnosis of incurable bowel cancer in 2016.

Following the diagnosis, she became an avid campaigner and started presenting the podcast You Me and the Big C in 2018.

Her Bowelbabe fundraiser made £7 million, which Prince William later praised her efforts for.

To present her damehood, the Prince of Wales visited Deborah’s home in Surrey at the time, which her mother Heather said was like having a “friend round for tea”.

Deborah was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
Deborah was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Picture: Instagram

Ali Miraj says it's time to 'show a bit of kindness' towards Princess Kate

She said that Prince William spoke to Deborah’s young children Hugo and Eloise, adding that his kindness had never been forgotten.

Kate was admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery on January 16 and at the time her condition was thought to be non-cancerous but tests after the successful operation found cancer, the type of which has not been disclosed.

The future Queen began a course of "preventative chemotherapy" late in February but is said to have a positive mindset for her recovery and is in good spirits, describing herself as "well and getting stronger every day".

Kate has received an outpouring of support and well-wishes following her announcement.

Rishi Sunak praised her "tremendous bravery", saying she had been "unfairly treated" and "subjected to intense scrutiny" in recent weeks.

Sir Keir Starmer said Kate has "the love and support of not just her whole family, but the whole nation too" during this "distressing time".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Football chiefs have agreed radical changes to the FA Cup

FA Cup scrapping replays as football chiefs announce radical overhaul of the competition

Firefighters work on a building that was partially destroyed after a Russian bombardment in Chernihiv, Ukraine (Francisco Seco/AP)

Russia reports downing five Ukrainian military balloons

Britain's most expensive coffee revealed as £265 cup from Japan's 'island of eternal youth'

Britain's most expensive coffee revealed as £265 cup using beans from Japan's 'island of eternal youth'

Fire and smoke rise out of the Old Stock Exchange, Boersen, in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen and Paris mayors discuss lessons learned after fires wreck landmarks

Mark Menzies (l) who has had the Conservative whip withdrawn in another headache for Rishi Sunak (r). Inset Cabinet Secretary Simon Hart. Picture: Getty

Tory MP suspended after claims he used party funds to pay for matter of 'life and death' escape from 'bad people'

Prince Harry backdated his new official status as a US resident to the exact day he and Meghan left Frogmore Cottage

Harry ‘backdated US residency to the day he was evicted from Frogmore Cottage ‘to make point to King & William’

Police officers clean the debris from an earthquake in Uwajima, Ehime prefecture, western Japan

Strong earthquake in Japan leaves nine with minor injuries, but no tsunami

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump meets with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda

Poland’s president becomes latest foreign leader to visit Donald Trump

A pharmacist stocks shelves at a chemist

Brexit has ‘exacerbated’ UK drug shortages with supply 'broken', research finds

Following a "remarkably wet" start to April, the Met Office says Friday will see that cold front clearing as high pressure moves in from the Atlantic.

UK prepares for two weeks of sunshine as temperatures set to soar to 25 degrees

German far-right politician of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Bjorn Hocke, centre, attends his trial in the state court in Halle, Germany

Far-right politician stands trial in Germany over alleged use of Nazi slogan

Home Office worker arrested for ‘selling’ UK residency as dozens of staff remain under criminal investigation

Home Office worker arrested for ‘selling’ UK residency as dozens of staff remain under criminal investigation

Sadiq Khan has promised to give all primary school children in London free school meals for another four years if he is re-elected

Sadiq Khan pledges four more years of free primary school meals for children if re-elected as Mayor

'If we can't trust the Tories on defence what can we trust them on?': Nick Ferrari puts Grant Shapps on the spot

'If we can't trust the Tories on defence what can we trust them on?': Nick Ferrari puts Grant Shapps on the spot

Belgium EU Summit

EU leaders vow to impose tougher sanctions on Iran as Ukraine pleads for support

Asylum seeker Anicet Mayela pictured outside Campsfield House detention centre in Oxfordshire

Asylum seeker raped 15-year-old girl after his deportation flight was blocked by protesting cabin crew