Dame Deborah James' mum reveals the moment her daughter told her she was 'coming home to die' | The Sun
DAME Deborah James' mum has revealed the heartbreaking moment her daughter told her she was 'coming home to die'.
Heather James, also known as 'bowelgran', had been at Dame Debs' side right until she passed away on June 28 this year.
The Sun columnist spent her last week's raising over £7million for her BowelBabe Fund, to fund cancer research.
The 40-year-old was determined to spread the message that early diagnosis saves lives.
In the clip published on Instagram, Heather recalls how her daughter struggled in hospital for the first few months of 2022 after experiencing a severe haemorrhage in January.
After that, Deborah lived in The Royal Marsden and "slowly deteriorated," she revealed.
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"I can remember her saying one day 'I can't do this anymore'," Heather, 65, said.
For her final few months, Deb returned home to spend time with her family.
Her mum said she recalls Deborah saying: "'I'm coming home to die but I don't want to die' and I went, I know you don't want to die darling".
Heather had shared the clip as part of Stand Up To Cancer UK.
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As part of the video, she shared anecdotes about young Debs.
She said: "When Deborah was a very young child, she was always on the go.
"She never slept, she was energetic and always fun".
Heather went on to explained how Deborah had found a love of gymnastics and from then, had trained 20 hours a week from a very young age.
She added that when her daughter went to university, everyone said she would do a fashion show.
"She's lived life to the full," Heather added.
However, she said that Debs' ambition had initially been to become a headmistress.
Heather added that her daughter had been going into schools that were failing and turning them around.
She said: "Deborah was a very glamorous teacher and I remember her saying 'they like fashion, I like fashion – it opens up a conversation'.
Deborah just blew me away
When she was diagnosed with cancer, Debs had been working as a teacher, she was just 35-years-old.
Recalling the start of that journey, which would in the end, see her daughter raise millions of pounds, Heather said Debs had one day told her that she had 'blood in her poo'.
Heather said: "And she said 'is that normal?' and I went 'no that's not normal'.
"You must go and get that investigated further."
When Deborah went to get it checked out, Heather said her husband phones her to inform her that Deborah had had a colonoscopy and that medics had found a tumour.
"That's when they found out it had spread further.
"Within a few weeks we had a stage four diagnosis. So then I said, 'That's stage 4, what's afterwards', and she went 'there isn't'.
Heather said she had been quite naive about cancer.
But once Deborah had her diagnosis, she started a blog, which Heather said 'blew her away'.
Deborah shared every step of her journey with Sun readers in her column Things Cancer Made Me Say and her army of loyal social media followers.
She went on to present the award-winning BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C with fellow cancer patients Rachael Bland, who passed away in September 2018, Lauren Mahon and Rachael’s husband Steve.
In the five-and-a-half years since her diagnosis Deborah changed the conversation around bowel cancer, raising vital awareness and breaking down taboos.
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She tirelessly banged the F*** Cancer drum – writing a book of the same name – and vowed to do everything she could to help others avoid her fate.
And, just a month before she died, when she was told she would receive end-of-life hospice care, she started the BowelBabe Fund for Cancer Research.
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