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Dame Deborah James’ mum reveals the moment her daughter told her she was ‘coming home to die’

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.

Heather recalls how her daughter struggled in hospital for the first few months of 2022 after experiencing a severe haemorrhage
Deborah and Heather spent a lot of time together, and Heather said Debs was always on the go even from a young age
For her final few months, Deb returned home to spend time with her family.

The Sun columnist spent her last weeks 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.

I can remember her saying one day I cant 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: Im coming home to die but I dont want to die and I went, I know you dont want to die darling.

Heather had shared the clip as part of Stand Up To Cancer UK.



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 explain 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.

Shes 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.

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 thats not normal.

You must go and get that investigated further.

When Deborah went to get it checked out, Heather said her husband phoned her to inform her that Deborah had had a colonoscopy and that medics had found a tumour.

Thats when they found out it had spread further.

Within a few weeks we had a stage four diagnosis. So then I said, Thats stage 4, whats afterwards, and she went there isnt.

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.

Deborahshared every step of her journeywith Sun readers in her columnThings Cancer Made Me Sayand her army of loyal social media followers.

She went on to present the award-winning BBC podcastYou, Me and the Big Cwith fellow cancer patientsRachael Bland, who passed away in September 2018, Lauren Mahon and Rachaels 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.

She tirelessly banged theF*** 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 receiveend-of-life hospice care, she started theBowelBabe Fund for Cancer Research.

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  1. Pingback: Christmas without my brave daughter Deborah James will be hard – seeing her last wish come true brought tears to my eyes

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