HEALTH bosses have praised Deborah James for “saving lives” by enthusiastically sharing her cancer journey.
Amanda Pritchard revealed that since May 9 – when Dame Debs launched her fund – there has been a staggering 82,000 extra visits to the NHS colon cancer page.
The chief executive of NHS England told a board meeting today: “This is clearly a difficult time for Deborah and her family, but their willingness to share their experiences since diagnosis and even now has undoubtedly saved lives and will continue to do so .
“We estimated an additional 82,000 visits to the NHS colorectal cancer page.
“For most people who come in for a check it’s not cancer, but for those who do get a diagnosis it’s important to get treatment as early as possible.
“So to anyone watching this please get in touch if you are concerned – the sooner the better – it could save your life.”
- Donate here to continue raising money for Deborah’s BowelBabe fund
She added that the 40-year-old Sun writer had done “an incredible job” to “raise awareness about colon cancer.
The mother-of-two was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer just days before Christmas 2016 – and has made it her mission to educate people about the signs and symptoms.
Last Monday, Deborah shared a heartbreaking Instagram post saying she is now receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home in Woking, Surrey, because the heroic efforts of her medical team at the Royal Marsden Hospital in south-west London have now been fruitless.
That same day, she founded the BowelBabe fund, which captured the heart of the nation.
She said her body “just doesn’t play ball,” adding, “My body is so emaciated that I have no choice but to surrender to the inevitable.”
The inspirational cancer activist was made a lady last week after calls – led by The Sun – followed a stunning fundraiser.
Prince William traveled to her parents’ home in Woking, where she is spending her final days, to ensure she gets the gong from him.
Deborah shared how overwhelmed she was from day to day as she posed for a series of snaps and chatted with William.
He spoke to her entire family, who are gathered for her remaining days after she has ceased active care at the hospital.
The mother-of-two said this afternoon: “Thank you for your generosity to the @bowelbabefund.
Symptoms to see your GP for:
More than 90 percent of people with colon cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:
- a persistent change in bowel habits – More frequent bowel movements, with looser, more liquid stools and sometimes abdominal pain
- Blood in feces without others Symptoms of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoids) – This makes it unlikely that hemorrhoids are the cause
- Stomach pain, discomfort or bloating, which is always caused by eating – which sometimes leads to a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss
If you have any of these symptoms for three weeks, see a doctor.
“With the help of gifts, the fund can now spend over £7.5million to fund innovative personalized projects in @cr_uk, @royalmarsden and @bowelcanceruk to ensure more people with cancer live longer.”
Last week, the Sun columnist said when she realized the end was near, she was determined to use her platform to raise as much money as possible.
“All I knew was that I wanted to make sure I could leave them enough money to do something worthwhile, that would mean we could fund projects that I would have benefited from five years ago to give me life.” said Deborah.
“Because you just never know when the next breakthrough is going to come, but I know that in this country we have the skills and the passion to make things happen, but we just have to fund it right.”
Today she also posted about letters addressed to “Deborah James, somewhere in Woking” that somehow found their way to her.
She revealed a snap of a collection of envelopes on Instagram, all with different attempts to describe their whereabouts at her parents’ home.
The mother was evidently both deeply touched and amused by the efforts people and the mail had made to reach her.
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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5375962/deborah-james-cancer-bowel-cancer-save-lives/ Dame Deborah James ‘will save more lives’ as NHS records 82,000 extra visits to bowel cancer page in a WEEK