Susanna Reid was left chocking back tears as she spoke about the ‘inspirational’ Deborah James on Good Morning Britain. The presenter and co-host Richard Madeley were discussing the BBC presenter’s incredible fundraising efforts after telling fans nobody knows “how long I’ve got left”.
The popular presenter of the BBC podcast, You, Me And The Big C, shared that she had been moved to hospice at home care to treat her terminal bowel cancer. In 2016, at the age of 35, Deborah was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer. Ella since then she has kept her nearly 300,000 Instagram followers up to date with her treatments of her, with candid posts about her progress and diagnosis of her.
Then on Monday night (May 9), Deborah issued a heartbreaking message on Instagram where 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.
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“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 that she and her care team had left “no stone unturned” in search of treatment, but that even a “magic new breakthrough” would not make a difference. She went on to reveal that she had set up the Bowelbabe Fund, and shared links to charities including Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Appearing on GMB this morning, Susanna and co-stars Richard Madeley and Charlotte Hawkins showed their support for the mum-of-two. Susanna, 51, told viewers that at the time of them speaking, Deborah had raised almost £784,000 for her charity from her in just 24 hours after sharing her sad news from her and said she’s donated too.
She called Deborah “hugely inspirational and hugely influential”, adding: “Raising that amount will have an extremely positive effect,” before Charlotte, 46, added: “Deborah, we salute you.”
Dr Hilary also heaped praise on the campaigner and said she has “undoubtedly saved many lives” by raising awareness. “She is an extraordinary person. She has always tried to remove the stigma of bowel cancer with humor and good humour,” he said. “Ella She has fought against all odds and exhausted all active treatments. Ella She’s beloved by the nation now, ella she really has made it fun.”
Lorraine Kelly also spoke about Deborah on her own self-titled ITV show as she previously teamed up with Deborah for her show’s No Butts campaign as well as becoming friends off-screen. She said: “I always thought she would bounce back, it really brings it home, Deborah if you’re watching this morning we are sending you all our love.”
“Thank you to Deborah for everything she does and everything she continues to do,” the 62-year-old add before revealing at the end of her program that she had raised more then one million pounds after initially setting out to raise £250,000.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.