Bowel cancer campaigner Deborah James who is receiving end-of-life care has been awarded a “richly deserved” damehood.
The 40-year-old mother-of-two from London raised more than £3m for Cancer Research following the announcement via her foundation, the Bowel Babe Fund.
Dame Deborah, who has shared her experience of the illness on Instagram and the BBC Big C podcast since her 2016 diagnosis, said she was “blown away and crying at the honour”.
In a statement released last night (Thursday, May 12), a No10 spokesperson said: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.”
Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it.
“Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people.
“Through her tireless campaigning and by so openly sharing her experience she has not only helped in our fight against this terrible disease, she has ensured countless others with the Big C have not felt alone.
“I hope this recognition from Her Majesty - backed I’m sure by the whole country – will provide some comfort to Deborah and her family at this difficult time.
“My thoughts are with them and Deborah should know she has the country’s love and gratitude.”
Her original target was £250,000 and the money raised will go towards clinical trials, research and raising awareness of the illness.
In an Instagram post on Monday, May 9, she said: "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.
"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."
She added: "Right now for me it's all about taking it a day at a time, step-by-step and being grateful for another sunrise.
"My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I'll cry!!) at every possible moment!
"You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey.
"No regrets. Enjoy life x Deborah."