Dame Deborah James said she was ’embracing the feel of the rain on her face’ in a poignant Instagram Story – as it may be the ‘last time’ she will feel it.
It comes days after the cancer campaigner revealed she had moved into palliative care with her family after battling stage four bowel cancer since 2016.
Monday, the You, me and host Big C shared an excerpt from her family’s garden with the following message: “A deceased friend once told me to kiss the rain because you never knew when was the last time you could feel the rain on your face … so I accept it! Although with blankets.”
Known online as Bowel Babe, the former deputy manager was made a dame on Friday, after the Duke of Cambridge visited him at his parents in Woking, Surrey, to personally present this honour.
She said she was “completely honoured” that Prince William had joined her family for afternoon tea, but admitted ‘her cleaning and preparation got out of hand’ as she prepared for the royal visit.
Prince William and Kate had already given at her checkout and thanked the activist for her “tireless efforts”.
Dame Deborah’s Bowel Babe Fund, launched last week to raise money for Cancer Research UK, has already received more than £6million in donations after surpassing the original £250,000 target.
After breaking the £5million mark, the 40-year-old said: “We are completely at a loss for words. This is all beyond anything we could have imagined.”
She added: “The past 5 days have been surreal. Thank you for putting a big smile on my face and helping us start a legacy that will hopefully impact cutting-edge cancer care. Thanks to an incredibly generous donation earlier today, and everyone who has donated to the @bowelbabefund, we have just reached the incredible total of £5million.”
“A pure joy to hold on to”
In 2018, Dame Deborah started the podcast You Me And The Big C in 2018 with Rachel Bland and Lauren Mahon – all former or current cancer sufferers.
The trio candidly discussed living with cancer, as well as treatment and other topics related to the disease.
Ms Mahon, who has been cancer-free for five years, told Good Morning Britain on Monday that her friend Dame Deborah “still shines such a bright light” despite receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer.
She added: “I am heartbroken. We all are. Anyone who loves Deb or is close to Deb, people who have never met her are.
“But what this week has done has given us pure joy to cling to, and only Deb could do that in the darkest of times, shine such a great light. We’re all so proud.”
Last week, Dame Deborah told her followers that she had been transferred to palliative care at home to treat her end bowel, saying she did not know “how long I have left” now that her body does not ” played more ball.” .
She added that she left “no stone unturned” in seeking treatment, but that even a “magical new breakthrough” would make no difference.
She said she was spending this time with her family – including her two young children – at her parents’ house, adding, “We will dance together, sunbathe and laugh every moment we can!”
On Saturday, the mother-of-two said she was “become weaker and more tired” and runs on “pure adrenaline”.
“My family is amazing and as emotional as it all is, we find so many reasons to smile in the sadness,” she said.
“I always said I wanted to slide aside when my time was up, with a big smile, no regrets and a big glass of champagne! That’s always my intention!”
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