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Thousands share moving tributes to bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James

·3-min read
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

Yesterday the family of Dame Deborah James, a bowel cancer campaigner, author and inspiration to millions of us, very sadly announced that five years after her diagnosis, Deborah had passed away. Known online as Bowel Babe, since her stage three bowel cancer diagnosis, Deborah has shared the realities of living with such a heinous disease – but also taught her followers how to have 'rebellious hope' in the face of such adversity.

Following the announcement of her passing on social media, which has been 'liked' more than 690,000 times, plenty took a moment to pay tribute to such a special individual, with more than 64,000 people leaving a comment under the post (which featured a video of her dancing whilst on holiday).

One moving tribute to Deborah came from presenter and model Davina McCall, who wrote: "Oh Deborah, thank you thank you for everything you have done… leaving such a huge legacy. Thank you for having such a positive impact on so many of us. Thank you for making us look and re-examine our lives and for educating us all. Thank you for raising all of that money for others. You were a total firecracker [and] will be so, so missed. RIP and so much love to your family and your beautiful kids."

Former Bake Off contestant, Candice Brown, added, "Fly high angel ❤️ you will always be remembered ❤️."

Model Jodie Kidd also wrote in memory of Deborah, "Heart aches for such a loss, my thoughts and prayers to her incredible family. Fly high my darling you will never be forgotten" and fellow bowel cancer campaigner, DJ Adele Roberts shared that Deborah's diagnosis and strength had been a true source of comfort during her own health journey.

"My heart hurts 💔 Thank you for everything Deborah. Thank you for being so strong for so long and helping others when you were in so much pain yourself," Adele reflected. "You are the best of us. Thinking of your family and friends and I am forever grateful to you for helping me and my family."

Presenter and singer Stacey Solomon remarked that Deborah has left "an incredible legacy" behind, as did actor Vicky McClure who wrote, "Always in our hearts. Did so much for so many ♥️".

As well as those also in the public eye, thousands of Deborah's other followers shared how her life and work had made an impact on their own, with one social media user saying, "When I first got diagnosed stage 4 and was scared beyond belief, I found so much hope and determination to just live unapologetically after I found your page @bowelbabe ❤️ you are one in a million. Always did it your way all the way to the end. Thank you so much for being here for us. RIP to the most incredible woman ever."

Deborah's final book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, is due to be released on 18 August. It has already climbed the bestsellers chart through pre-orders.

On a personal note, many of us here at Cosmopolitan UK were lucky enough to spend some time with Deborah through Cancer Research's incredible Race For Life - which she took part in several times and delivered rousing speeches at. We will all be feeling her loss, but remain truly grateful for all of the good and all of the joy that she put out into the world.

Our thoughts are with all of Deborah's loved ones at this deeply sad time.

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