Bowelbabe blogger Deborah James awarded damehood for cancer fundraiser - Women's Running

Bowelbabe blogger Deborah James awarded damehood for cancer fundraiser

Author: Holly Taylor

Read Time:   |  May 18, 2022

Podcaster, writer and campaigner Dame Deborah James has raised over £6 million for Cancer Research UK

Photo: @bowelbabe

Writer and host of the You, Me & the Big C podcast Deborah James has been made a Dame, with Prince William personally visiting her family home to award her the title.

Deb James, who has spent the last five years campaigning for bowel cancer treatment and awareness since receiving her own diagnosis under the social media handle Bowelbabe, announced last week that she was now receiving hospice care at home and that her body had stopped “playing ball”.

In her “goodbye” post to her Instagram following, she encouraged people to “buy [her] a drink to see [her] out”, announcing a campaign called the Bowelbabe Fund that would raise vital funds for life-saving cancer research treatment, “to give more Deborahs more time”.

Since starting the fund Deb has raised over £6 million, far surpassing the £250,000 goal she initially had in mind.

In response to this incredible achievement, she was awarded a damehood in person by Prince William. Usually, these are announced as part of the New Year or Queen’s Birthday Honours, but a special exception was made for Deb.

“It’s quite surreal having a royal pop in at home,” she told her Instagram followers. “It was such a special day for my whole family, making memories to last a life time.”


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A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe)

Deb is a UK Race for Life ambassador, and has run with the Celebrate You team in the London Vitality 10,000 and took on the virtual London Marathon back in 2020. You can hear more of her inspiration story on episode 11 of the Women’s Running podcast, where she tells Esther all about her marathon experience.

If you want to get involved and support Deborah, donate to the Bowelbabe Fund here.

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor is the digital editor of Women’s Running and co-host of the Women’s Running podcast, where she shares her running journey as well as the inspiring stories of women runners all over the country. She’s never been the sporty type, but running is the first time she’s felt real joy in getting active. She loves talking about running with a community of inclusive and supportive runners, and Women's Running is the perfect space for this. She's currently aiming for a half marathon PB!

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