Adele Roberts shares her London Marathon medal with Dame Deborah James’ parents

Adele Roberts shares her London Marathon medal with Dame Deborah James’ parents

BBC Radio DJ Adele Roberts, who recently broke a world record after completing the London Marathon, has shared her medal with the parents of Dame Deborah James in honour of the late campaigner’s work.

Roberts, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2021, became the fastest woman to complete the London Marathon with a stoma bag on Sunday (23 April) when she finished the race in three hours, 30 minutes and 22 seconds.

Dame Deborah’s parents, Heather and Alistair James, appeared on Lorraine on Friday morning (28 April) to speak about Lorraine’s No Butts campaign, which was first launched by the late podcast host in 2021.

They were joined by Roberts, who proceeded to share with them her London Marathon medal as thanks for all her work in raising awareness about bowel cancer. She said: “This is as much for you as it is for me.”

Alistair praised Roberts for running the race in the time that she did, which the DJ revealed included a toilet stop for her, not for her stoma bag which is named Audrey.

Roberts turned to Dame Deborah’s parents and thanked them for their daughter’s work, adding: “I think she’s helped save my life. The awareness that you’ve done with this campaign is fundamental, you’ve shown it can happen to anyone at any time. I had Deborah in my heart all the way around.”

Heather and Alistair agreed that Dame Deborah would have been “very impressed” by Robert’s achievement.

On the eve of the race, Roberts posted a photograph of her marathon running gear on Instagram and included the hashtag #RebelliousHope, a phrase coined by Dame Deborah throughout her journey with cancer.

Dame Deborah died last June, six years after she was diagnosed with the disease. She became known for her campaigning and urging people to “check your poo”, as well as sharing her journey candidly with her followers.

Lorraine announced the return of the No Butts campaign earlier this month and said it would be “celebrating the life of our friend, the late, great Dame Deborah James”.

It is supported by her parents and Roberts. Heather said it was one of her late daughter’s wishes that she continue to be a part of the campaign.

“I’m so pleased to be able to honour and carry forward Deborah’s legacy to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis and to make sure everyone understands the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer,” Heather said.

“Please remember to check your poo – it could just save your life!”