DEBORAH James’ devastated mum has said her “heart is broken” as she shared a touching clip of her late daughter dancing.
Tireless campaigner Dame Deborah died today at the age of 40 from bowel cancer, surrounded by her family.
In a heartbreaking Instagram story on her page @bowelgran, her mum Heather wrote “love you forever” beside a clip of Deborah dancing.
She also said “my heart is broken” after the family confirmed Deborah’s death in an emotional post on the platform.
Just days ago, Heather congratulated her daughter after Tesco made a huge change to its loo roll in a bid to save millions.
The supermarket will print the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer on its toilet paper packs after The Sun writer launched a campaign.
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Heather shared an image of the new campaign from Tesco, writing: “Well done Deborah and a big thank you to @tescofood for your support and £300,000 donation to the @bowelbabefund”.
Last week, the mother and daughter enjoyed a pint in the sunshine in front of the canal at a country pub in Woking.
Posting to Instagram, Deborah said: “A lovely relaxing lunch in the sunshine.”
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After learning last month she would receive end-of-life hospice care, she began fundraising in earnest – with the total now topping an astonishing £6.7million.
Her legions of fans around the country learned of her death in an Instagram post shared from her account tonight.
It reads: “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.
“We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund
“Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible.”
True to form, the beloved national treasure had the last word.
She penned a final missive to supporters before her death. Her words were shared in the Instagram post tonight.
“Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope,” she said.
“And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”
Despite being told she had an eight per cent chance of living five years, Deborah defied the odds stacked against her.
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After celebrating her 40th birthday last October – a birthday she never dreamed she would live to see – the brave campaigner marked the five-year milestone a few months later.