Deborah James

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Journalist and Podcaster (1981)
Sat Oct 22 2022
By   Sushmita22

Deborah James is a British journalist, podcaster, and active campaigner who raised millions for cancer research. She was born on 1st October 1981 in London, England and she died at the age of forty after fighting against Bowel Cancer for years on June 28, 2022.

James was the host of the award-winning BBC Radio 5's podcast called You, Me and the Big C, about living with cancer along with Rachael Bland and Lauren Mahon. Her parents were Heather James and Alistair James.

Net Worth: How Rich Is James?

James had a successful life as a journalist and a podcaster. Along with that, she also wrote a few books. Because of the success, she has had in her working life, Deborah James is expected to have a net worth of 1.5 million pounds. 

Deborah James having a sleepover
Deborah James having a girl's night at a family sleepover. Source: [email protected]

Additionally, James receives a royalty from a number of publications and from other sources. She is also the brand ambassador of Elizabeth Arden beauty products.

James Trained Upto 30 Hours A Week

James was born in London to her mother Heather who is a preschool gymnastics coach. She grew up along with her two siblings, Benjamin James, and Sarah James. When she was just nine, she spent up to 30 hours a week training as a gymnast.

“I learnt at that young age that your mind is sometimes more powerful than your body,” James wrote in a blog post, “that whilst you can control it, at times it may seem like it controls you like a rollercoaster you are not in charge of — but work with it and anything is possible.”

Heather and Alistair James
Parents of Deborah James. Source: newsunzip

Education & Profession As A Teacher

James went to the University of Exeter and majored in economics. After her graduation, she became a deputy head teacher that specialized in computer science and e-learning and led national research into growth mindsets in schools. 

She also worked at Salesian School in Surrey before she worked in Chertsey. And then she started teaching at Matthew Arnold School, Staines-upon-Thames, until her diagnosis with stage 4 terminal bowel cancer in December 2016. In 2019, James received an honorary doctorate from the University of East Anglia and the Royal Marsden School.

Marital Life Of James

Deborah James was married to an investment banker named Sebastien Bowen. The couple first met back in 2005 and decided to tie the knot three years later their first meeting. Due to some unknown reasons, they got separated in 2014 and started living in different homes.

Deborah James and her husband
Deborah James and her husband Sebastian Bowen. Source: [email protected]

During the divorce proceedings, the couple took some counseling sessions. The sessions helped them calm down and brought them back together. Then, the couple got reconciled in 2016. But just a month later their reconciliation, James received her cancer diagnosis. In the Sun column given to her, she wrote:

“You might find, like I did, that cancer is the wake-up call to realising you have a pretty good thing going on” 

James Loved Her Children Endlessly

Deborah James with her family
Deborah James with her husband and children. Source: eveningstandard

James is the mother of two children. She has a son named Hugo Bowen and a daughter named Eloise Bowen. In James' first book, F*** You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life, and Still Be Yourself which came out in 2018, she addressed that her children were everything to her.

“Hugo and Eloise, you are my world. You are my everything and I love you beyond comprehension. Know that whatever happens I am with you, I’m at your side and I believe you can do anything you want to do. I’m so proud of you and all I ask for you in life is to make the most of every single day.

Battle With Cancer And Death: Left Behind A Beautiful Message

The history of James with cancer was scary. She was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer which was incurable in December 2016. She was being treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital. Through numerous drug trials, she had her 17 tumors removed. According to reports, there was no evidence of cancer in her body by 2020. But the following year, her liver was failing and she had to undergo an emergency surgery followed by sepsis. 

After James's health stabilized, she saw aritcles of herself and said, “I saw articles in the press about me and I thought, that is really sad – then I realized it was me and my story isn’t sad. It’s really positive.”

Deborah James
Deborah James Source: [email protected]

She realized that the root of her strength was her training that helped her with her illness: “You have a mentality that you can never end on a bad one, so if you fall off the beam, you get back on and you land it.”

James died on June 28, 2022, after being diagnosed for six years with bowel cancer. The one who raised millions of pounds to the awareness of bowel cancer, James left an extraordinary legacy; the optimistic approach of Deborah James towards life has given strength to numerous fighters against cancer. 

James Posted Her Medical Settings

On James's Instagram, @bowelbabe which has over 1 million followers, she used to post the recorded episodes of her treatments and operations. She started the blog, Bowel Babe, in hopes of dismantling the taboo around bowel-related illness and providing information to people fighting cancer.

Deborah James in the hospital
Deborah James took a picture with the medical personnel during her treatment. Source: [email protected]

James was very honest about the NHS  resources, still, her approach was helpful, warm, and sensitive. Her episodes were put together and she said, “in the hope that I can give others hope”. She also lets the listeners know about the distressing details with care.

Awarded With Damehood

With her tireless efforts, Deborah James collected a fund of £3.5m as a fundraiser for Cancer Research within the span of just four days. As an honor, she received a damehood from Prince Williams in May of 2022 and became the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

Deborah James and Prince Williams
Prince Williams awarded damehood to Deborah James. Source: [email protected]

After the active care James ended, she had been moved to hospice at-home care as she didn't have much time left. So, Prince William visited James in her house along with her family. She admitted she was “blown away” by the honor, adding: 

“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.”

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