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Dame Deborah James’ funeral to take place for close friends and family

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The funeral of Dame Deborah James will take place today, Wednesday (20 July).

The cancer campaigner, who became known by her social media handle Bowelbabe, died on Tuesday 28 June, six years after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

James, 40, was honoured with a damehood that was presented to her by the Duke of Cambridge in her home before her death.

Close friends and family are expected to attend the private funeral service in her memory.

A number of celebrities and public figures, including prime minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and Kate Middleton, paid tribute to the mother-of-two and host of the hugely popular You, Me and the Big C podcast for the BBC.

In an Instagram post, James’ family said her final words to the public were: “Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”

James was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and became known for sharing candid posts about her illness and treatment.

She also ran marathons, organised a charity ball, and took part in numerous fundraising challenges between cancer treatments.

 (In The Style)
(In The Style)

On Monday (9 May), the campaigner announced she had been moved to hospice-at-home care, telling her nearly one million social media followers that “the time has come to say goodbye”.

She launched her Bowelbabe fund for Cancer Research UK in the months leading up to her death, which to date has collected more than £7m in donations, far surpassing her initial £250,000 goal.

Genevieve Edwards, chief executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said in a statement: “We are truly grateful to have known Deborah and to call her our friend.

“She was a powerful patron for Bowel Cancer UK, and leaves a stunning legacy through her BowelBabe Fund, a testament to the love and admiration so many had for her.”

She added: “She turned her bowel cancer diagnosis into an incredible force for good and through her tireless campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, will have saved countless lives.”

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