Dame Deborah James Has Lost Her Battle With Bowel Cancer Aged 40

Credit: Instagram

Mother of two and host of ‘You, Me and the Big C’ podcast Deborah James, 40, passed away after being given the diagnosis of colon cancer in December 2016, according to a statement from her family.

When she was 35 years old, the former headteacher was diagnosed with colon cancer. Since then, she has kept more than 500,000 of her Instagram followers updated on her progress.

She rose to fame through her writing and podcasts, which described what it was like to live with cancer and spread awareness of the symptoms.

She and her podcast co-hosts Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland gained praise for helping those fighting the condition by utilising humour to de-stigmatize colon cancer.

She said her “body simply isn’t playing ball” despite her having “done everything” and that her active care had ended on May 9.

Dame Deborah was the headmistress of two secondary schools in Surrey before becoming ill, and she continued in that position up until the time of her diagnosis.

She started her career as a journalist describing her battle with cancer shortly after learning she had bowel cancer. In March 2018, she started hosting the BBC podcast “You Me and the Big C.”

With their podcast, the group had great popularity and received numerous honours.

When Bland said she only had a few days left to live in September 2018, the show topped the UK podcast charts.

Since then, Steve Bland, Bland’s widower, has occasionally co-hosted the show.

James published a book about her experience with the cancer in September 2018 titled “F*** You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life, and Still Be Yourself.”

After making a significant effort, she declared in June 2021 that her cancer was moving “in the wrong direction” and that the medications she was taking were no longer working.

She was unable to move and spent the majority of her time asleep by the time she made her post in May.

Two days after publishing her social media post, she raised millions of dollars for Cancer Research UK through her campaign, the Bowelbabe Fund. At this time, the total exceeds £6.7 million.