Terminally ill Deborah James has been made a Dame after raising just short of £4 million for charity in a matter of days, after announcing that she had been moved to hospice at home care.
The 40 year old, who has been courageously battling bowel cancer for five years, wrote a heartbreaking “goodbye" post on Monday revealing that her body “just wasn’t playing ball”.
The devastating announcement penned by the mum-of-two, which she asked her followers to donate to cancer research for the price of a drink “to see me out of this world”, has raised a staggering £3.8 million.
There have been numerous calls for Deborah to be honoured with a Damehood, and now she has, after Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and No10 honoured her.
In a statement, Downing Street said the Queen was “pleased to approve the honour of damehood” be conferred upon Deborah.
Revealing her shock at being made a Dame, Deborah told The Sun: “I don't know what to say. I'm blown away and feel incredibly honoured. I don't feel like I deserve this. I can't tell you what this means to my family, it's so much to take in.”
Her children said to the same publication: “We’re just speechless, we’re so, so proud.”
Her husband, Sebastian said that the outpouring of love and generosity has: “Brought a piercing ray of light and hope into this, the darkest of times.
“She has campaigned tirelessly, often through adversity, and being recognised with a Damehood is something that she would never have dreamt of, but it is so truly deserved.”
Deborah’s parents, Heather and Alistair also praised their daughter, saying: “It is amazing that the love for our inspirational daughter has been honoured in this way.
“It recognises her strength and courage in sharing her story over the last five years to help others facing the challenges of cancer.”
In her heartbreaking post on Monday, Deborah wrote: “The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.
"My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.”
Describing her current state of health, she said: “Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams.”
Speaking of her cancer treatment, she said: “I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.”
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